We have a 2 bulb fluorescent light fixture in our basement that
simply ceased lighting up... I've tried both of the bulbs in other
lights and they work; I've tried new bulbs in the fixture and it
doesn't. Is it common for the fixture itself just to flake out? Sound
like anything that could be fixed or is it best to just trash the thing?
This is the time of year we get a lot of these questions. Most of them
are a result of cold temps. Standard fixtures just will not fire off when
cold. A poor ground just makes it worse.
Make sure the metal part of the fixture is really grounded. If not then
you need either a new cold rated ballast or a new fixture. If you have a
cheap fixture, just replace the whole thing.
Of course it could have been just something else going out, like a
switch, wire or the ballast.
Thanks to everyone for the replies... I wasn't trying to dredge up a
new conversation on the merits of fluorescent...
More information that might pertain: the basement is where the furnace
is, so even in winter it never gets very cold. Plus the room has 3
fluorescent fixtures of the same type in the same room and the others
have no problem. Plus i took the bulbs out of the bad one and tried
them in one of the others (they worked). Plus i took the bulbs from one
of the working ones and tried them in the bad fixture (didn't work).
Plus i took the fixture down and tried it from another outlet...
I'm not all that familiar with what's going into it but as part of self
education, i'd be game to try and figure out the ballast...
The wiring inside is usually colour coded.** For example; black
and white input (plus make sure fixrure is grounded, it can make
a big difference. Yellows to both tubes at one end, reds to other
end of one tube blues to other end of the other tube IIRC.
However if you have to buy a replacement ballast it may be almost
as cheap to buy a new fixture!
** Unless it's a really old unit with old dirty fabric covered
wiring (I've reballasteed those too) in which case a new fixrure
might be best anyway?
Frankly since you seem to have a plug in unit. I would not bother trying
to replace the ballast, it is just not worth the work when you can get a
whole new one for just a few dollars more than the old one. When you do,
don't get a cheap shop light, get a good one. They will last longer and be
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