How long does a fluorescent light tube last?

Typical lamp life for a fluorescent bulb is about 20,000 hours, but this can degrade as a consequence of frequent switching (turning on and off). Burning life is extended if lamps remain on continuously for long periods of time.

How do you know when a fluorescent tube is going out?

How to Tell If a Fluorescent Tube Is Bad?
  1. Check the ends of the tube. If they appear darkened this indicates the bulb is burned out.
  2. Rotate the tube in the fixture if the bulb is not darkened on either end.
  3. Remove the bulb from the fixture if the bulb is still not illuminating.

Is it worth replacing fluorescent tubes with LED?

You could save a lot of money on energy by replacing your fluorescent bulbs with LEDs. They keep cooling costs down – You also may be able to trim down your cooling expenses as well. Fluorescent lights don’t generally produce a lot of heat, at least not as much as HID lamps, but they do burn hotter than LEDs.

Why do fluorescent tubes stop working?

A dead fluorescent can be caused by lack of electrical power (tripped breaker or blown fuse), a dead or dying ballast, a dead starter or a dead bulb(s). … defective starters, defective bulbs or a defective ballast. IMPORTANT: Flickering fluorescent tubes can cause the ballast to overheat and fail prematurely!

What causes a fluorescent light to go on and off?

If a fluorescent tube blinks on and off-a slower and more distinct process than flickering-the fault may lie in loose wiring or in another component, called the ballast. The ballast is almost always to blame if the fixture hums during operation. … If the light malfunctions, the ballast is at fault and must be replaced.

Do unused fluorescent bulbs go bad?

In general, light bulbs do not expire, and they can have an exceptionally long shelf life. To maintain unused light bulbs, store them properly so that they do not break. Keep the bulbs in their original box and in a safe place.

What are the signs of a bad ballast?

2. Look for warning signs that the ballast is failing.
  • Buzzing. If you hear a strange sound coming from your bulbs or light fixture, like a buzzing or humming noise, that’s often a sign your ballast is going. …
  • Dimming or flickering. …
  • No lights at all. …
  • Changing colors. …
  • Swollen casing. …
  • Burn marks. …
  • Water damage. …
  • Leaking oil.

How do you test a fluorescent tube?

How do you know if it’s the bulb or ballast?

One probe of the multimeter should touch the hot wire connections, while the other touches the neutral wire connections. If the ballast is good, an analog multimeter has a needle that will sweep to the right across the measuring scale. If the ballast is bad, then the needle won’t move.

How long should a ballast last?

According to the Certified Ballast Manufacturers Association, the average magnetic ballast lasts about 75,000 hours, or 12 to 15 years with normal use.

How do you check a ballast?

Why are my fluorescent lights flickering?

If your fluorescent bulbs flicker, most likely the problem is with the bulb itself. If the bulb is very dark on either end, it may be defective and burned out. The best way to test the functionality of a bulb is to put it into a fixture you know works. … Flickering fluorescent lights can also be a result of temperature.

What causes hum in fluorescent lights?

Buzzing in fluorescent lights is caused by the ballast, also known as the transformer, in the lighting fixture. Most residential fixtures use magnetic ballasts that operate at 60 hertz, which creates audible humming and flickering.

How much does it cost to replace a ballast?

A replacement ballast costs about $10-25 depending on capacity and brand. The bite is that an electrician trip charge (which includes 30 or 60 minutes work) is going to be $75-150 probably – for about 5 minutes work on each light fixture.

Do new fluorescent tubes need to warm up?

All compact fluorescent lamps require a slight warm-up time for the electrical current to fully heat the cathodes and reach their full lumen output. When a bare spiral CFL is first switched on, it lights up with approximately 80% of its rated lumens, but it will heat up to its full brightness in about one minute.

Why does my fluorescent light flicker when off?

When a CFL flickers, the cause is usually in the light switch, which is either a dimmer or a switch with an illuminate rocker. Illuminated switches pass a small amount of current even when they’re turned to the “off” position, which is enough to charge the capacitor in the CFL and cause a momentary illumination.

Do you need an electrician to replace a ballast?

Yes. As a matter of fact, you do need a lock out tag out device in place for changing a ballast. … ‘An electrician is replacing the ballast on a fluorescent light.

Can you replace a ballast yourself?

The ballast takes in electricity and then regulates current to the bulbs. … You can get a new ballast at a hardware store or home center and install it in about 10 minutes. However, buying a ballast can be expensive, so consider pricing a brand-new fixture for comparison.

How do I choose a replacement ballast?

Why won’t my fluorescent light turn on all the way?

The fluorescent tube won’t turn on

No electrical power due to a tripped breaker or blown fuse. A dead or dying ballast. A dead starter. A dead bulb.

Do all fluorescent lights have ballast?

All fluorescent bulbs require a ballast. All compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs require a ballast, which is often integrated. All HID bulbs require a ballast, which is sometimes integrated. No LED bulbs require a ballast, although some are engineered to work with an existing ballast.

Where is the ballast located?

Remove the Cover Plate

Locate the wiring cover plate, usually in the center of the fixture. On either side of the cover, there will be tabs that catch in slots in the fixture. Squeeze the sides of the cover inward to slip the tabs out of the slots, and pull the cover down. This will expose the ballast and its wiring.

Why does my fluorescent light take a long time to come on?

Most fluorescent light fixtures also have a component called a ballast, which controls the current through the fixture. If the ballast is malfunctioning, it too can cause the light to take a while to turn on. But ballasts are very expensive to replace and they malfunction far more seldom than tubes and starters.