I have a 56watt strip light in the kitchen and it has just started to flick
off for a second or so every now and again. It starts fine (electronic
starter) and the ends of the tube are not going particularly dark. Will it
be the tube - or could it be a component breaking down. The fitting is
probably about 12 years old.
By the way, I have seen recommendations about tube colours but can't recall
what was the recommendation.
Could be the tube or starter, most probably the fitting is getting to
the end of it's life. For what they cost I would get a new one.
If you're unsure buy a complete fitting with tube and starter, try the
tube and starter in the old fitting. If it doesn't work change the
whole lot, if it does work stick the tube and starter back in the new
fitting and exchange for tube and starter. I quite ofrten do that, or
buy a complete fitting and tube & starter, just take back whatever you
| Dave Plowman wrote:
| I've heard that some of them just get bored with the day to day
| drudgery of their meaningless existence, and decide to end it.
My kitchen ELU doesn't like turning on unless I take its cover off and
stroke its tube gently. This somewhat negates the purpose of its existence,
which is to stop me dropping something hot in the darkness.
I have just bought it a nice new tube from John Lewis, so it shouldn't be
email@example.com (Lurch) wrote in message
Fluroescent lighting is one of the longest lived appliances youll find
in houses. Lifetimes of several decades are expected, with numerous
1960s fittings are still giving service as good as new. 12 years is
This fault is cause by falling tube emission. When the tube goes out
the fitting puts it through the start cycle, which increases tube
emitter temps thus improving emission, but they slowly cool off a
little, bulb current falls, consequently emitter temp falls in a
vicious cycle until the light blacks out again, repeat ad nauseam.
Replace the starter as well though, as starters are generally damaged
by this routine.
In principle one can boost the tube filaments to allow it to keep
going for a while longer like this, but I've never heard of anyone
else trying it.
I replaced my flourescent fitting after a few years because I was sick
of having to traipse around trying to find a replacement 5' tube and
having no light while I did so. The old tubes were a pain to dispose of
And your point is? Mine wasn't a double fitting, in case that's what
you were hinting I should have. I just found the whole rigmarole of
buying something that size and transporting it home tedious, then the
disposal of old tube after on top of it all.
I now have much better lighting in there courtesy of the halogens (which
are functioning wonderfully after replacement of wire with decently
thick stuff!) - and two sets means I'm never in total darkness in there.
Cooking by means of torchlight/candles each time the flourescent bulb
went was annoying, and the drop in light output through the shade
getting dirty/full of flying things was also not good. Coupled with the
fact that I could always perceive a flicker in my peripheral vision made
the whole thing unpleasant.
If my next place has a flourescent fitting like that, I'll be changing
that for my lovely halogens (they're coming with me!)
Wasn't aware of that, not having bothered with them for so long. No,
I'm not, but I do get frustrated and thus have been known to appear
aggressive when I fail to see the point of someone's info, so sorry if I
came across that way, wasn't intended.
Halogens, 2 sets of 4.
More light out the halogens, much kinder light to my eyeballs, the bulbs
last for ages - longer than the flourescent used to, which I was
surprised by - and when one goes it's just one, small, easily
obtainable, and easily disposed of too.
Unsure what mine had. It used a little starter thing, that's as much as
I can remember about it...
I'm afraid you've been very unlucky with your fluorescent - a decent one
lasts for ages. And gives a very decent soft light if you use the correct
tube. And, of course the fitting is concealed. If it's working light
you're talking about, as in a kitchen.
I've got a pair of electronically controlled fluorescents under wall
cupboards lighting the worktops that are many years old and never failed.
And they are left on when the house is unoccupied after dark.
*What hair colour do they put on the driver's license of a bald man? *
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW 12
To eliminate the starter, once the light it alight, remove the starter (if
Usually when they start to flick, the bulb is on the way out - when they
don't flick, the starter is usually dead (if you leave a dead bulb flicking,
the starter will soon burn out! - well normal ones do, the electronic ones
If you actually meant it has an electronic starter (small plastic
cansister with two pins)....
In order of most likely cause.
1. The starter. You can eliminate this by removing the starter once the
tube has stuck, if it stays lit continuously, then it is the starter
which is faulty.
2. Tube suffering from wear and tear.
3. Some other problem... Choke, or poor connections, or similar.
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