lamppost hps light turns on and off

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  #1  
Old 04-02-11, 01:11 PM
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lamppost hps light turns on and off

At dusk the high pressure sodium light in our lamppost turns on and off for about an hour until it's pitch black dark. Could this be the photocell sensor? I don't think it's the ignitor or the ballast because it wouldn't turn on at all unless I am wrong. Any help is appreciated.
 
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Old 04-02-11, 02:30 PM
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It does sound as if the sensor is faulty. Either that or it is getting reflected light early in the evening that is "tricking" the photocel. I am understanding it stays on later on in the night.
 
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Old 04-02-11, 02:59 PM
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The photocell is always the first place to look, its also the easiest to replace. A bad ballast can cause the light to cycle on and off. That would be my second item to check. A ballast is much more expensive than a photo cell as well.

 
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Old 04-02-11, 03:30 PM
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If the photo cell is good, the next thing I suggest doing is replacing the lamp. They fail more then a ballast would. Last option would be the ballast.
 
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Old 04-02-11, 04:46 PM
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What if I test out a 100 watt fluorescent bulb?
 
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Old 04-02-11, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
What if I test out a 100 watt fluorescent bulb?
A fluorescent lamp will likely not work in a HPS fixture.
 
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Old 04-02-11, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
At dusk the high pressure sodium light in our lamppost turns on and off for about an hour until it's pitch black dark. Could this be the photocell sensor? I don't think it's the ignitor or the ballast because it wouldn't turn on at all unless I am wrong. Any help is appreciated.
A cycling HPS lamp is almost always a sign of the lamp nearing it's end of life and drawing high voltage causing the ballast to shut down by it's thermal protector. That being said, if the lamp stays on once it gets really dark, I'd replace the photocell first as was already suggested. If the lamp is 3 to 4 years old or older, I'd also replace the lamp at the same time.
 
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Old 04-02-11, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
At dusk the high pressure sodium light in our lamppost turns on and off for about an hour until it's pitch black dark. Could this be the photocell sensor? I don't think it's the ignitor or the ballast because it wouldn't turn on at all unless I am wrong. Any help is appreciated.
What if I just bought the hps bulb and its doing this?
 
  #9  
Old 04-02-11, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
What if I just bought the hps bulb and its doing this?
Then I'd suspect the photocell first.
 
  #10  
Old 04-02-11, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Then I'd suspect the photocell first.
I installed a 100 watt fluorescent bulb. Seems to be working fine although I prefer the brighter hps bulb instead. I also noticed that the hps bulb was silver on the exterior-side bottom and black on the interior side bottom. Either that's how it was manufacturers or something is causing it to overheat and get burnt. Since I am not a pro at this stuff is it worth calling an electrical contractor?
 
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Old 04-03-11, 04:36 AM
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No, you are concentrating on the bulb, and we have mentioned a few times the photocell is probably the culprit. Let go of the bulb and change the photocell.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
No, you are concentrating on the bulb, and we have mentioned a few times the photocell is probably the culprit. Let go of the bulb and change the photocell.
IfI am not comfortable changing out the PC who is the best type of contractor to call? I tried unscrewing the plate that the PC ison, but it looks like I am going to have to change it by taking the entire top off of the lamppost off. I just don't have the means of doing that by myself unfortunately.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 10:30 AM
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You then need to call an electrician.

As I mentioned, a fluorescent bulb might or might not work. Installing the incorrect bulb will likely cause premature bulb or ballast failure.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
You then need to call an electrician.

As I mentioned, a fluorescent bulb might or might not work. Installing the incorrect bulb will likely cause premature bulb or ballast failure.
My neighbor installed a 100 watt fluorescent bulb 2 yrs ago and no problem so far. So I don't know ......
 
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Old 04-03-11, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
My neighbor installed a 100 watt fluorescent bulb 2 yrs ago and no problem so far. So I don't know ......
Ok, go ahead and do what you want, but I wouldn't do it. It's obvious advice isn't what you seek here so go ahead and do what you want, you will anyway. Just keep in mind that several people who follow this forum tried to guide you with good advice.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
Ok, go ahead and do what you want, but I wouldn't do it. It's obvious advice isn't what you seek here so go ahead and do what you want, you will anyway. Just keep in mind that several people who follow this forum tried to guide you with good advice.
I will change the PC 100%. I am just wondering how much an electrician will cost me.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 05:21 PM
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Usually the photocell is plugged in. Just twist and pull. There is a bit of a "L" shape to each prong so you need to twist just a bit so it lines up with the slots.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Usually the photocell is plugged in. Just twist and pull. There is a bit of a "L" shape to each prong so you need to twist just a bit so it lines up with the slots.
I didn't take off the luminaire top. I just unscrewed the plate that the PC was on. Thennit looked like the PC was connected through this square plastic piece which then went into another similar piece. I just couldn't get to it.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 08:56 PM
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Electrician rates vary greatly in the US but for something simple like a photocell replacement would be around $125 + material.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Electrician rates vary greatly in the US but for something simple like a photocell replacement would be around $125 + material.
Time to break out the ladder and spend Sat afternoon installing it w/ some needed help.
 
  #21  
Old 04-05-11, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
Ok, go ahead and do what you want, but I wouldn't do it. It's obvious advice isn't what you seek here so go ahead and do what you want, you will anyway. Just keep in mind that several people who follow this forum tried to guide you with good advice.
Day 3 with the 100 watt fluorescent bulb. I don't have the issue of the light turning on and off at dusk. So now can I rule out the PC?
 
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Old 04-05-11, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
Day 3 with the 100 watt fluorescent bulb. I don't have the issue of the light turning on and off at dusk. So now can I rule out the PC?
Sure, if you want to. It's your light, do as you please.
 
  #23  
Old 04-05-11, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
Sure, if you want to. It's your light, do as you please.
So why would the bulb go on and off at dusk with the hps bulb and not with the fluorescent. I don't get it.
 
  #24  
Old 04-05-11, 10:12 PM
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Normally I don't useally step in here but as I did discuss with ya on other fourm and I will make it clear here it is your luminaire however once we give you a safe advise that is far we can do with it.

Now for speaking of the ballast I am suprised that the HPS ingitor did not kill the CFL allready majorty of the HPS postline ballast the HPS ingitor will be incluided for other type of ballast it will typically a seperated peice of gear { ballast works or parts }

The only way you can get the HPS cycle if you used wrong bulb or bad photocell that is the two most common curpit. { the HPS cycleing will cause if the voltage get too high for keeping the arc estabshed or stay on it will go out until cool off and repeat the cycle ditto with too low a voltage it may come on but cycle as well }

If you using 70 watts HPS you should see the ballast number and the stamping or info to tell you what bulb wattage to use they are very specfic on which size of bulb to use so if you stuck in a 50 watter it will cycle a bit the 100 watter it may not always cycle but it willbe dim.

If you want a full CFL set up then you will have to unhook the ballast and bypass it and hook up direct to the socket. that is the only way to prevent the CFL get destoryed quick.

Merci,
Marc
 
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Old 04-05-11, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
Normally I don't useally step in here but as I did discuss with ya on other fourm and I will make it clear here it is your luminaire however once we give you a safe advise that is far we can do with it.

Now for speaking of the ballast I am suprised that the HPS ingitor did not kill the CFL allready majorty of the HPS postline ballast the HPS ingitor will be incluided for other type of ballast it will typically a seperated peice of gear { ballast works or parts }

The only way you can get the HPS cycle if you used wrong bulb or bad photocell that is the two most common curpit. { the HPS cycleing will cause if the voltage get too high for keeping the arc estabshed or stay on it will go out until cool off and repeat the cycle ditto with too low a voltage it may come on but cycle as well }

If you using 70 watts HPS you should see the ballast number and the stamping or info to tell you what bulb wattage to use they are very specfic on which size of bulb to use so if you stuck in a 50 watter it will cycle a bit the 100 watter it may not always cycle but it willbe dim.

If you want a full CFL set up then you will have to unhook the ballast and bypass it and hook up direct to the socket. that is the only way to prevent the CFL get destoryed quick.

Merci,
Marc
4 of my neighbors have been using same fluorescent bulb for well over a year. Nothing has happened yet. So I don't get it.....
 
  #26  
Old 04-05-11, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
4 of my neighbors have been using same fluorescent bulb for well over a year. Nothing has happened yet. So I don't get it.....
Our local hardware store sold us hps bulb which is used for our subdivision. I noticed bottom exterior section of bulb has mirrored sort of burnt look.
 
  #27  
Old 04-05-11, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
4 of my neighbors have been using same fluorescent bulb for well over a year. Nothing has happened yet. So I don't get it.....
I have no idea what they did to the luminaires but for my past experince the safest way to do this is disconnect the HPS ballast before you use the screw in CFL bulbs I have few service call related to this and this year I have got 3 service call from this matter in France when someone stuck in CFL in the HPS luminaire and the ingitor kill them first and couple peoples remove the ingitor but fail to remove or disconnect the ballast the result was dim CFL { the smaller HPS under 100 watts typically have 120 to 140 volt open lamp voltage rating so that why it can able use the 120 volt screw in CFL without issue.
but not for European verison they just don't either come on or they burn out quick.

Hope that clear up that question.

Merci,
Marc
 
  #28  
Old 04-05-11, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
I have no idea what they did to the luminaires but for my past experince the safest way to do this is disconnect the HPS ballast before you use the screw in CFL bulbs I have few service call related to this and this year I have got 3 service call from this matter in France when someone stuck in CFL in the HPS luminaire and the ingitor kill them first and couple peoples remove the ingitor but fail to remove or disconnect the ballast the result was dim CFL { the smaller HPS under 100 watts typically have 120 to 140 volt open lamp voltage rating so that why it can able use the 120 volt screw in CFL without issue.
but not for European verison they just don't either come on or they burn out quick.

Hope that clear up that question.

Merci,
Marc
This one is 70 watt hps bulb.
 
  #29  
Old 04-05-11, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
Our local hardware store sold us hps bulb which is used for our subdivision. I noticed bottom exterior section of bulb has mirrored sort of burnt look.
If really burnted out the whole glass evlope willbe brown or hevey tinted and for mirrored burnt look that is pretty common with HPS even with one year old HPS bulbs look that way as well.

Some case some manufacter may have non standard batch of bulbs which it do happend so my suggest that try diffrent namebrand bulbs that useally clear up.

there are few luminiarés have to use the specfic manufacter bulbs to work properly which I have ran into more than once.

Merci,
Marc
 
  #30  
Old 04-05-11, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
If really burnted out the whole glass evlope willbe brown or hevey tinted and for mirrored burnt look that is pretty common with HPS even with one year old HPS bulbs look that way as well.

Some case some manufacter may have non standard batch of bulbs which it do happend so my suggest that try diffrent namebrand bulbs that useally clear up.

there are few luminiarés have to use the specfic manufacter bulbs to work properly which I have ran into more than once.

Merci,
Marc
I just don't know why hps bulb had issue turning on and off at dusk and fluorescent doesn't shut on and off.
 
  #31  
Old 04-05-11, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
This one is 70 watt hps bulb.

Ok I know that bulb very well the open circuit voltage is 120 so that why few people can able use the CFL without issue as long the ingitor is disabled or disconnected.

The actual running voltage { on lamp side } is 55 volts if the voltage is too high the HPS bulb will cycle so you should not get over 65 volts during normal mode.

I have see you say100 watt eqvent CFL bulb in there that bulb more like actaully 23 or 26 watts CFL that why the Ballast did not regulate it at all.

Merci.
Marc
 
  #32  
Old 04-05-11, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
I just don't know why hps bulb had issue turning on and off at dusk and fluorescent doesn't shut on and off.
Ok the short and sweet answer the ballast is going bad.
That why it can not able support the 70 watts HPS as I mention the voltage rating during normal lamp running mode.

To get simauir brightenss the other good choice is go with MH { metal Halide } ballast the 70 watt verison is simauir brightness to the 70 W HPS but nice white colour instead of yellow colour.

I haven not check the price of the postline ballast for MH verison but I know they do make them.

Merci.
Marc
 
  #33  
Old 04-05-11, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
Ok I know that bulb very well the open circuit voltage is 120 so that why few people can able use the CFL without issue as long the ingitor is disabled or disconnected.

The actual running voltage { on lamp side } is 55 volts if the voltage is too high the HPS bulb will cycle so you should not get over 65 volts during normal mode.

I have see you say100 watt eqvent CFL bulb in there that bulb more like actaully 23 or 26 watts CFL that why the Ballast did not regulate it at all.

Merci.
Marc
So I am safe with cfl bulb just like my neighbors plus it saves some cash on my electric bill vs 70 watt hps bulb?
 
  #34  
Old 04-05-11, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
So I am safe with cfl bulb just like my neighbors plus it saves some cash on my electric bill vs 70 watt hps bulb?
as long the ballast is disconnected and yes you can use them but the 23 or 26 watt CFL will not be bright as 70 watts HPS will be so just keep it in your mind with that.

Merci.
Marc
 
  #35  
Old 04-05-11, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
Ok the short and sweet answer the ballast is going bad.
That why it can not able support the 70 watts HPS as I mention the voltage rating during normal lamp running mode.

To get simauir brightenss the other good choice is go with MH { metal Halide } ballast the 70 watt verison is simauir brightness to the 70 W HPS but nice white colour instead of yellow colour.

I haven not check the price of the postline ballast for MH verison but I know they do make them.

Merci.
Marc
So keeping cfl in there as ballast goes bad does what exactly? Prolongs its life actually?
 
  #36  
Old 04-05-11, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
So I am safe with cfl bulb just like my neighbors plus it saves some cash on my electric bill vs 70 watt hps bulb?
So if i don't disconnect ballast it would kill cfl bulb faster? How much is average ballast in my case?
 
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Old 04-05-11, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
as long the ballast is disconnected and yes you can use them but the 23 or 26 watt CFL will not be bright as 70 watts HPS will be so just keep it in your mind with that.

Merci.
Marc
Hps might be a bit brighter but its still a 100 watt cfl bulb. It wastes 23 watts only.
 
  #38  
Old 04-05-11, 11:04 PM
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So keeping cfl in there as ballast goes bad does what exactly? Prolongs its life actually?
So if i don't disconnect ballast it would kill cfl bulb faster? How much is average ballast in my case?
Hps might be a bit brighter but its still a 100 watt cfl bulb. It wastes 23 watts only.
Instead of make a bunch of quotes I will get all of this in one shot here.

First thing first when the HPS ballast go bad it will cause the bulb to speed up burn out or damage or will not come one any one of the three modes it will do with bad ballast.

Second thing if you do not disconnect the HPS ballast some of the HPS ballast espcally true with postline ballast they will have interal HPS starter the high voltage spikes can kill the CFL electronique ballast which I have see it happend before.

The cost of the slimline ballast in European side they are useally 125 Euros { it will cheaper just get the whole new HID luminaire than try to fool around with repairs } but if the ballast is in the luminaire itself then it will only about 60 Euros or less depending on where you snag. and for postline ballast that is not a common item for any store or electrical supply centre will stock it it can be order but the cost in your state I do not know if they will be simair to my prices { my prices are in Euros }

The typical 23 watts CFL { it will have same brightness as 100 watts indentscent bulb } life typically will be anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 hours the HPS typically run about 24,000 hours before they burn out.

For luminies { brightness } the 23 watts CFL useally run about 1800 luminres while 70 Watts HPS will dish out about 6800 to 7200 lumines so you can see how bright they are. the Metal Halide veirson is about right on par with 70 watts HPS.

The only weakness with CFL is very cold weather operation they don't like super cold weather they may come on and some don't come on in sub zero tempture while HPS or MH they can lit up low as -40°C

hope that clear up the details what you looking for.

Merci.
Marc
 
  #39  
Old 04-06-11, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
Instead of make a bunch of quotes I will get all of this in one shot here.

First thing first when the HPS ballast go bad it will cause the bulb to speed up burn out or damage or will not come one any one of the three modes it will do with bad ballast.

Second thing if you do not disconnect the HPS ballast some of the HPS ballast espcally true with postline ballast they will have interal HPS starter the high voltage spikes can kill the CFL electronique ballast which I have see it happend before.

The cost of the slimline ballast in European side they are useally 125 Euros { it will cheaper just get the whole new HID luminaire than try to fool around with repairs } but if the ballast is in the luminaire itself then it will only about 60 Euros or less depending on where you snag. and for postline ballast that is not a common item for any store or electrical supply centre will stock it it can be order but the cost in your state I do not know if they will be simair to my prices { my prices are in Euros }

The typical 23 watts CFL { it will have same brightness as 100 watts indentscent bulb } life typically will be anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 hours the HPS typically run about 24,000 hours before they burn out.

For luminies { brightness } the 23 watts CFL useally run about 1800 luminres while 70 Watts HPS will dish out about 6800 to 7200 lumines so you can see how bright they are. the Metal Halide veirson is about right on par with 70 watts HPS.

The only weakness with CFL is very cold weather operation they don't like super cold weather they may come on and some don't come on in sub zero tempture while HPS or MH they can lit up low as -40°C

hope that clear up the details what you looking for.

Merci.
Marc
I am not following you. If I disconnect my ballast then my cfl bulb will not turn on.
 
  #40  
Old 04-07-11, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dinosaur1 View Post
I am not following you. If I disconnect my ballast then my cfl bulb will not turn on.
that correct and what you do is disconnect it and bypass it and wire it in normal fashon without ballast in there.

Just make sure the power source is turned off first before you bypass it.

Merci,
Marc
 
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