Adding Pull switch to Flourescent Light Fixture

Old 12-19-07, 07:48 AM
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Adding Pull switch to Flourescent Light Fixture

I have a two bulb flourescent fixture connected to basement power that is always on (no wall wired switch). To keep the light from being on all the time, I snipped the positive leads to each bulb and added a 2 load toggle switch. So, I pull the switch once one bulb comes on, pull it again, the other bulb only comes on and pull it again and both come on.

My problem is that when the switch is pulled again to switch both bulbs off, there is a very faint glimmer at the positive side of both bulbs. I don't mind the glimmer light, but just want to make sure it's, #1 safe & #2 not going to shorten ballast or bulb life seriously.

Also the pull switch I put in was for cieling fans and rated for 120 Vac. Is it a problem to use in this application?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
Old 12-19-07, 08:02 AM
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All fluorescents glow for a while after they are turned off. Come back 8 hours after you've turned them off and see if the glow is still there.
Old 12-19-07, 08:13 AM
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Pull switch

Hi Iiverson,

Hmmm, do I understand put the switch on the output of the ballast? ( you have the large box type ballast, not the little silver cans) Somehow I don't think this would be the way to do it. I'm no EE guy, But wouldn't it be better to put the switch on the 115v input to the ballast? I know you'd lose the on/off, off/on, on/on capability.

Something about having constant power to the ballast with no path for the output just makes my brain itch. Overheating maybe?

Come on one of you edumacated guys, 'splain the theory for us.
Old 12-19-07, 08:43 AM
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I would switch the INPUT to the ballast, not the output.

By the way, there is no positive (or negative for that matter). 120 volts AC in North America has a hot wire (which is both positive and negative) and a grounded wire (which is called a neutral or return).
Old 12-19-07, 03:55 PM
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If you switched the output of the ballasts, you could be dealing with a high voltage. If the ballasts is still running, it could cause the bulb to glow (for example, when installing a tube they may glow slightly even if only one of the pins is touching). Some glow is normal; CRT TV's glow after they are turned off too because of the phosphorous (used in glow-in-the-dark products too). I am also concerned about how you wired this; are the splices in a box?

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