Our office has some battery backed up Fluorescent lighting that no
longer work. Each lighting fixture has three 4' Fluorescent tubes.
When the red button is pressed, the center tube will light up, so it
seems to indicate that power is present. Is the ballast bad or
something? How to convert these battery backed up Fluorescent lighting
fixtures to be the normal kinds which is on a switched circuit? We
want them to be off when power is cut.
If I disconnect power to the fixture, will the battery module wires
still have 220V on them? I want to avoid a shock when disconnecting
the battery module.
*Yes there will be power coming out of the battery pack once it has been
disconnected. Usually there is a disconnect for the battery by means of a
wire connection. You may see two wires joined together with factory
terminals. Just separate them and it will kill the battery output. It may
be near the test button. As RBM stated, look at the wiring diagram on the
battery and the ballast.
*BTW the battery is there to provide egress lighting when the power goes
out. This is usually a code requirement. The center tube lighting at half
brightness is normal. It is suppose to provide just enough light to exit
the building. The battery back up does not light up all of the tubes.
If you want to be able to shut the fixtures off without the batteries
activating, you need to provide a separate, unswitched feed to those
batteries from the same circuit.
Many of them will have a seperate ballast for the two outside tubes. The
center tube will have its own ballast with an internal battery. There is
usually a connector between two of that ballast wires that will disconnect
the internal battery. I do not recall if it will still let the ballast work
as a normal ballast.
If not, you will have to replace that center ballast with a single tube
ballast, or maybe a newer electronic type that will operate the 3 bulbs and
do away with the other two tube ballast.
My guess is that the center bulb is the only one that is supposed to
light up in case there is a failure. The theory is that a single bulb
lighting up will provide sufficient lighting for emergency uses, such
as to evacuate people, find ddoorways, etc.. So, there may be nothing
wrong with the ballast for the center tube. Most fixtures will have a
manufacturer's name on them somewhere, ballasts also always have some
ID on them. That is where you should start.
The center tube may be run by both a separate ballast and the battery
back-up. You mention 220V, are youo not in the USA?
Do you own your office ?
Is there a code requirement for the battery backed up lighting ?
Ask your landlord what the possible alternative options are for
the back up lighting, those fixtures cost more than standard
ones so they wouldn't be there if they weren't required...
Make sure your rental agreement allows you to reconfigure
the lighting and then if you were allowed to do so you would
have to hire on a licensed electrician to do that work, office
type modifications are not DIY projects...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.