The basic procedure is the same in both cases. Switch to an electronic ballast, switch to a T8 fluorescent As mentioned above, if you're going to climb a ladder to do a ballast change out, you may as well carry a lamp up there with you. Hold onto the ballast with your free hand to keep it from falling out. Replacing a Ballast in a Fluorescent Light. If you bought one of the new electronic ballasts, you will have two blue wires and two red wires. ! Most T8 tubes will have a hidden ballast, covered with a casing and resting behind the tube light. Push the cover-up with your thumbs and pull your fingers towards you to lift the edge of the cover-up and over the edge of … Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! 1. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Properly recycle spent fluorescent lamps. Before starting to … Standard fluorescent lighting fixtures are more energy-efficient than incandescent light fixtures, and the bulbs generally last considerably longer, but occasionally a special transformer inside the fixture, called a ballast, may need replacing.The type of ballast in the fixture will depend on the age of the light fixture. To create this article, 35 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. The new ballast wires are connected to the lampholder wires with wire connectors. The ballast regulates the amount of electricity flowing to the fluorescent bulb. The ballast limits the current passing through the lamp so that you get just the right amount of light that is necessary. Sign up for our newsletter! Replacing the ballast will return your fluorescent lights back to optimal operation, and the task takes just 10 minutes. Replacing a fluorescent light fixture doesn’t require an electrician. Replace the ballast cover on the fluorescent light fixture. Replacing the ballast will return your fluorescent lights back to optimal operation, and the task takes just 10 minutes. Replace the bulbs or the entire fixture to light up your home again. Con… How do I fix that? After all, without a working ballast, you can't have a working light. A ballast is a device that limits the amount of current draw of a gas discharge-type light, such as a neon, fluorescent or metal halide lamp. Now that you know how to determine whether or not your fluorescent light ballast is going bad, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not you should replace it. Steps to Replace a Light Ballast. Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement. This article has been viewed 1,022,213 times. Complete DIY projects like a pro! Replacing a fluorescent ballast is not a terribly difficult job. The ballast regulates the amount of electricity flowing to the fluorescent bulb. Fluorescent lights use either an electronic or a magnetic ballast. When replacing a ballast where the wires colors don’t match, it is important to understand the ballast wiring concept. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,022,213 times. Some fixtures require proper grounding, too. How to Remove Fluorescent Light Cover – Fluorescent lamps come in a wide range of styles and types and provide many years of operation without the need for maintenance. Probably not. If 1 lamp in a 3 lamp fixture does not work, does it shorten the life? 2. Given the amount of time and money to be spent on this retro fit, it may be advisable to either replace the failed ballast with the same electromechanical technology or replace the entire fixture altogether. Fluorescent light bulbs typically last many years, but when one flickers on and off, or the end turns light gray to black in color, you'll just need replacement light bulbs. If flickering still persists, replace the ballast. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Note: There will be four to eight wires coming out of the ballast. Most likely that is a different generation of ballast. The Ballast is an electronic, Rapid Start. Fluorescent lights really only have two parts -- the tube and the ballast. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. If you're having problems with a fluorescent light turning on, and you have tried the simple solutions, the problem could originate with a bad ballast. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement. However, an electrical ballast can be checked quickly and easily with the right tools. It’ll show you just how easy it is to replace a ballast, or at least I hope so! Use the picture as a reference when splicing the ballast wires to the socket wires with wire caps. If the fixture is a 2 tube fixture, it is probably a single bad tube. With the help of quick connect, the cables are assembled. Step 5. Nowadays, magnetic ballasts are a rather outdated technology that manufacturers are phasing out, and so they’re usually only found on older types of lights. Provide 1 inch (2.5 cm) (25 mm) of air space between the fixture and any combustible materials to reduce fire hazards. (Yes, Virginia, that hum when you flip on the fluorescent lamp is from the ballast, not the bulbs!) Turn off the electricity to the fixture at the power breaker box. As a professional electrician, I have replaced hundreds of ballasts, and it normally takes about 10 or 15 minutes if the light fixture itself isn't something special and difficult to disassemble. Separate wires from existing fixture. References. If you are referring to "quick connect" terminal blocks on each end of a ballast, the answer is yes. As a last resort, replace the fixture. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Fluorescent Light Ballast Problem Electrical Question: Does My Fluorescent Light Ballast Need to be Replaced? How to Build an Indoor Kids Fort with PVC Pipe, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), Parts of Your Home Prone to the Most Winter Weather Damage, Bosch’s New Thermal Camera a ‘Staple for Any Toolbox’, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. The ballast takes in electricity and then regulates current to the bulbs. So, I went to Amazon and immediately found a number of LED replacement bulb options for fluorescent fixtures.. The light fixture is thus divided into two ends; a neutral side, and a hot side. What do I do if my old ballast had eight wires and my new one only has five? Light Fixtures with Two Ballasts. Do not lean or touch conductive surfaces while working on the circuit. Fluorescent lights use either an electronic or a magnetic ballast. A defective ballast in your fluorescent fixture may make you want to sink it in the nearest pond! The fixture here uses a 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with a 2-bulb parallel ballast. Step 3 Two wires attach to each socket on a fluorescent fixture to provide the electricity necessary to cause the gas inside of a fluorescent tube to glow. As seen below, connecting the 4 lamp instant start ballast to the four lamps can be a bit confusing. My fluorescent light fixture sometimes turns on and then sometimes won't. Switch to an electronic ballast, keep lamp. Steps: Remove existing light fixture. Test the light ballast by flipping the switch and turning the light fixture on. If only one light works in a fixture, is the ballast bad? Alternatively, if you want to update the look, location, or number of fixtures, if your fixtures are no longer functioning properly, or if you are beginning a brand-new lighting project, we have many options available for new LED shop light fixtures . 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