Have installed a two bulb linear fluorescent fixture bought from HD as
an overhead shop light.
Have it all wired in now.
Howver, about 50% of the time, turning on the switch does not cause the
lights to light.
But, flicking the switch once or twice always gets them going.
Once on, they are perfect; no flickering.
Wired to a new wall switch I installed for that purpose.
Switch is fine, I believe.
Any thoughts on what might be the problem ?
If the ground is OK, I think you are just seeing the effect of a cheap
POS fixture from HD. I can almost guarantee that if you were to yank out
the ballast in that fixture and replace it with a BETTER ballast, your
problems would go away.
On the off chance that you bought one with a truly defective ballast,
I'd take a shot at swapping it at HD and see if the next one is any better.
If you go for replacing the ballast, you'll probably have to pay more
for a good quality ballast than you did for the whole fixture. :-)
"You never get more than you pay for, and if you pay little, that's what
Yes, I see that replacements ballasts are way more expensive than the whole
fixture. If the DH fixture is a POS, how can I have any confidence that the
more expensive ballast is really anything better? Aren;t they all made in
Mexico? Is there a brand name I should look for?
I've got no favorite brands in mind, but I bet you'll find that the
replacement ballasts are a bit bulkier and heavier than what's in your
I wouldn't be afraid to buy one and try it. It's not that big a deal to
swap it in, and at worst, you could return it where you bought it.
One last thought. If you haven't already tried a different pair of
bulbs, do so. I'm not hopeful, but you never know with things like "hard
starting" flourecents, and it's easy to try.
With the power on and the bulb not lighting, try the following:
1) Lightly touch the bulb and see it it comes on.
2) Twist the bulb, while also making sure its connections are seated
in the pin sockets properly.
3) Remove the bulbs and wipe them down to remove any residue on the
4) Be sure you have the right bulbs for the fixture's ballast.
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org Youngstown State University
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