Have you decided yet which fixture you’re going to install? Fluorescent bulbs (the energy efficient choice) as opposed to incandescent bulbs, provide the same amount of light without all of the heat. In the last blog we listed a few of the major benefits of fluorescent lights to incandescent. In this blog we briefly cover how to troubleshoot a problem with your fluorescent light fixture.
A fluorescent light fixture is comprised of three main working parts: the bulb, the ballast and the starter (found in older fixtures). When troubleshooting your light fixture, test all three of these components as it is most commonly one of the three. Disregard the “starter” portion if you’ve got a new fixture.
1.) Start with the bulb. If you suspect the bulb may need replacement, remove it by twisting the prongs, unlocking it from the holder. Once you’ve done this you can either test it on a working fixture or insert a new bulb into the holder.
2.) Not the bulb? Try testing the starter. Remove the bulb. Purchase a replacement starter that matches the wattage of the bulb. Remove the old starter by twisting it out of the socket of the fixture. Replace the old starter. Replace the bulb and turn it on! If that doesn’t work its not your starter!
3.) Not the bulb or the starter? Test the ballast if your light is still not working. This part is the least likely problem child of the three, but the most difficult to replace. But if the two steps before didn’t work, a faulty ballast is the likely culprit.
- Purchase a new ballast. (Make sure it matches the wattage of the bulb)
- Power down the light.
- Disassemble the fixture.
- Transfer the wires from the old ballast to the new one.
- Reassemble the fixture.
If your looking at this blog as a step by step how-to guide for fixing a ballast, it may not be the most helpful. But, if your curious about what your getting into when trouble shooting a bad fluorescent light, this blog is perfect for you. As for that ballast, here is a resource that may help you get that taken care of.