Flourescent lights in basement.

I just finished installing 3 fixtures in my in-laws basement. they are the standard 2'x2' flourescent fixture that fit in drop ceiling track. When I first put them up 2 of the three flickered, the ballasts hummed and the tubes got very hot. I noticed that the u-shaped lamps reccomended to my mother -in-law by the guy at Home Depot were energy start 32 watt models and were not listed as being a suitable lamp according to the label on the ballast. Noone seems to carry 40 watt lamps anymore but we finally found 34 watt lamps and put those in. The flickering stopped but now if you turn the lights off and on again quickly one of the fixtures will not relight. Also the hum has not gone away.
All the wiring from the breaker to the lights is 12/2 and brand new. I can't find my good RMS meter so I am unsure of the exact voltage.
Any ideas on what could be causeing the ballast to hum still and why those lights won't hot relight?
Any ideas would be appreciated
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I would return the lights and buy another brand. You've pretty much did all you can do.........

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Hi, Regardless, U shaped lamps are much more costly. Just plain 4 footer is better choice over the long run. Like 15.00CAD vs. 2.00CAD per lamp up here in Alberta. I had smae problem and ripped out all the 2X2 fixtures. Tony
BACcontra91 wrote:

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Frankly I don't like those U fixtures. The lamps are far too expensive. Based on our commercial experience with them, the early ballast were not all that good. We have considerable problems with them including short lamp life and hum until all the ballast were replaced with new electronic high efficiency ones using the 34W lamps. The new ballast/lamps performed better and even put out more light.
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said...

Like the others have said, return them and get standard 4-foot lights. You'll save a ton of money in the long run.
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Thanks for all the advice guys. Sorry to hear your advice for my in-laws sake. They just spend good money on nice 2x2 ceiling tiles and adding 4' fixtures is visually gonna be an unpopular idea. She bought them at HD or Lowes but they are "Commercial rated suitable for cold and damp environments" supposedly. I know they were over $50 per fixture. I'll run the 4' conversion past them.
Thanks again.

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said...

It's very easy to put 4' lights in a 2x2 grid. I actually think the visual effect is better because it's not such a consistent grid. Plus, you get more light with less fixtures.
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Oh I'm not worried too much about the physical as I am the aggravation for my in-laws. Yanking the old ones and wiring in the new will take me all of 10 minutes or so. They have to look at returning the old fixtures, I think they already threw the boxes out, getting the new ones, all new lamps etc.
They don't need any more light. They already have 3 of the 2x2 fixtures and the basement is only 20 x 15 or so.
I had a hunch it was as simple as you guys all say. another case of big box crap cluttering the market. I just wanted to make sure before I told my inlaws.
Thanks again.
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BACcontra91 wrote:

And, put in daylight lspectrum amps rather than warm or cool white. IMO, better choice. Tony
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