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The most popular option to light large areas of buildings. They come in a variety of connection types and power ratings.

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Fluorescent lights dim and flashing

I have a fluorescent light fixture that uses two 40-watt 4' long tubes. It has recently started acting strange. When first turned on, it works fine for a minute or two, then one of the tubes becomes dim and the other becomes dim and flashing. It's not the tubes, as I've replaced those and nothing changed. Someone suggested it might be the ballast. I'm not exactly sure exactly how old the fixture is, but I'd guess it's at least 10 years old and has been used daily for that entire time. Is the problem caused by the ballast, and if so is that something that can be changed, or should I just buy a new fixture?

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An update: I was able to get a replacement ballast at Home Depot. The bad news is the ballast was $18.49, only $1.50 less that a whole new fixture. It took about half an hour to install the replacement ballast. The replacement was successful and the lights are working great now. In my fixture there were eight 18 gauge wires that you have to cut and then attach to the new ballast. I used wire nuts to connect the wires, so it'll be a little easier to replace the ballast again in the future.

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That is the normal end-of-life behavior of a fluorescent tube.

You probably ruined the ballast by letting it continue to run while it was flashing.

If the ballast came with the lamp clips on the end of the wires, it is easier to just change out the clips too.

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We've had problems for years we are fluorescent lights dimming or not coming on at times of high humidity. Sometimes I can get them on by flipping the light switch off and on several times and out of the three maybe one will only come on. This is been going on for several years and just recently the lights are getting harder and harder to turn on.

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The good news is LED lighting is getting cheap fast. You may want to look here. https://www.instructables.com/howto/LED+...

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I had the same problem. I could not go another way because I needed the fluorescent tube to work for a UV light for my pond. That was the only way to get the light to filter my water. With LED not doing the same job. I could not go for a bulky electronic balast because of the space of a sealable unit. So I had to get this one sorted out.

What solved my problem…

I found that this light needed a 4 micro farad capacitor with double the supply voltage of the mains connected across the Live and Neutral wire. The light flashed a few times and then can on to its full brightness. Be sure to use a ac capacitor normally comes with the light fixtures for your country and the balast wil have a drawing on it where to wire it in.

Marking s wil show the starters position and the —| |— wil indicate the capacitor position.

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The ballast is causing your problem, and it can be changed. You need to remove the original ballast, (after you shut off the circuit breaker) and take it to a lighting place or electrical supply house. Better yet, get the numbers off the ballast first and call. It may take them a little while to cross reference the part number, but they will find you a suitable replacement.

With any luck, the replacement ballast will be the same size as the old one. If it is not, you will need to find a way to secure it to the old fixture. Perhaps you will need to drill new pilot holes and use sheet metal self tapping screws. Rewire the light if you have to, plug in the new ballast, reset the breaker and you should have bright consistent light.

Otherwise, for a few dollars more, you can get yourself a new light fixture

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Annoyingly true that sometimes it's cheaper to replace whole fixture than the ballast. Arrgh. LED lighting is getting cheap fast, and doesn't seem to include the environmental dangers of mercury (plus whatever evils lurk in the ballasts). Have a look here. https://www.instructables.com/howto/LED+...

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That's what I'm afraid I'll find. Home Depot sell the whole fixture for only $20, but at least online they don't list the ballasts separately. Hopefully I can replace just the ballast, even if it costs as much as a new fixture.

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That's true, that was my experience also.

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I was able to get a replacement that fit in the same mounting tabs as the original ballast. It was wider and taller than the original, but the same length.

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Luke, Well how much did the ballast cost? Did it fix the damned problem fixture?

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The ballast was $18.49 at Home Depot. It did fix the issue completely, and was a lot less wasteful that throwing the entire fixture away.

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It's likely that the ballast is causing the issue with your fluorescent light fixture. Over time, ballasts can wear out, causing issues with the functioning of the fixture, such as flickering or one bulb becoming dim.

In many cases, the ballast can be replaced rather than replacing the entire fixture. This can be a more cost-effective solution, especially if the fixture is still in good condition otherwise. If you're not familiar with electrical work, it's best to hire a professional to replace the ballast for you.

If you're familiar with electrical work and want to replace the ballast yourself, you'll need to know the type of ballast that is in your fixture and purchase a replacement that is compatible. You'll also need to follow all safety precautions, including turning off the power to the fixture before you begin.

If you're not comfortable with electrical work or don't want to spend the time and effort on replacing the ballast, then purchasing a new fixture might be your best option.

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If all above fails (which probablywon't) get a new transformer.

-Me-

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Sell this ballast to a cinematographer. They'll love you for it.

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Why? What o they use it foe and how many do you want to buy?

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So what about if you change ballast and bulb is still dim?

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Based on your description, it's likely that the problem is caused by a faulty ballast. The ballast is responsible for regulating the electrical current that powers the fluorescent tubes, and when it starts to fail, it can cause the symptoms you're seeing - dimming and flashing lights.

Replacing the ballast is a common solution for this issue and may be more cost-effective than replacing the entire fixture. However, since the fixture is at least 10 years old and has been used daily for that entire time, it may be worth considering purchasing a new fixture instead.

If you decide to replace the ballast, make sure you purchase one that is compatible with your fixture and that you follow proper safety procedures when making the repair. If you're not comfortable with this type of repair, it's always best to hire a licensed electrician to do the job for you.

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