Sometimes this helps where the recomended grounding is lacking, or where
the bulbs have a coating of slightly-conductive dirt/dust. The
explanation is that touching the bulb can overcome the above in favor of
increasing electric field intensity ("voltage gradient") within an
unstarted bulb where it needs to be increased.
I would look into implementying cleaning of bulbs, proper grounding, and
avoiding 34/35 watt "energy saver" versions of F40.
Furthermore, I hope you are not using the newfangled better 1-inch-wide
"T8" with ballasts made for the "older stuff".
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
On Sep 14, 11:29 am, email@example.com wrote:
The way it works is that there is an inter\\nal field from the hot end
of the fixture to your hand, capacitively coupled thru the glass, that
starts the arc. This happens when the voltage differential between
the two ends of the bulb is not enough to strike the initial arc. If
the fixture is grounded, and the bulbs are within a couple of inches
of the fixture (metal), then the arc will start from the hot end of
the bulb to the fixture (coupled thru the glass) and that starts the
lighting. If the fixture is not grounded, then the initial arc from
the hot end of the bulb to ground does not exist, and the fixture will
not light. That is why there is usually a warning on ALL fixtures
about grounding the metal case of the fixture.
Not unusual. The cheapie lights often only work well under ideal
conditions. As soon as anything changes, including the environment,
problems can start with the cheap ones. I'll bet it's worst when
humidity is highest.
New bulb sometimes helps. If they show any burn marks, etc., definitely
Yes, with the cheapies stuff.
Yup. That's OK though; a lot of us are dated here<g>!
If new, bring it back to Lowes for replacement. But yes, replacement is
often as cheap as bulbs and almost always cheaper than a ballast. BUT,
a quality ballast might make the quality of the fixture rise
significantly, so ... .
These always require a good, properly applied ground wire. A bad earth
gnd can cause all of the problems you mentioned. Not only that, but
things like distance from grounded fixture metal to bulbs can be
critical too, so if you're bastadizing the fixtures at all or the design
is bad, there's another possibility.
Besides gnd, be certain Hot/Neutral polarity is correct too.
Considering where you bought it that would be a good guess.
My buddy really bought into all of the HD marketing. He had an
outbuilding built and asked me to help him hang 4, 8' HO strip fixtures.
He bought them from "the depot". Three of the fixtures didn't light
properly. After troubleshooting and swapping stuff it turned out 3 of
the ballasts were bad. We pulled the fixtures to return them. We brought
them back and at least the guy was honest. He said they had changed over
to some even cheesier supplier and returns were common. I told my buddy
he was going to do the job himself if he bought more fixtures from "the
depot". He bought 4 better quality fixtures at the local real supply
house for less money and they worked the first time we turned them on.
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