Fluorescent light problems - no starter/ballast?

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Old 03-19-13, 09:42 AM
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Fluorescent light problems - no starter/ballast?

I have a year old, cheap fluorescent light fixture I purchased from Wal-Mart to hang in my basement. The lights now don't want to start and if they do they flicker and it hums. I've tried replacing the bulbs but that did not help. This is the exact same problem I had last year with the prior cheap, W-M f-light. The thing is that when I took the old light down I could NOT find any starter or ballast to replace. I even took the old light fixture apart and still didn't find anything to replace and I ended up just buying the new one. Well I don't want to go thru this again, There has to be a starter/ballast I can replace isn't there? Is anyone familiar with these cheap fluorescent light fixtures - are they built so you can't replace the starter/ballast?
 
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Old 03-19-13, 09:45 AM
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I don't think any of them have starters anymore, but I don't think I've ever seen one without a ballast. The incoming house wires go directly to the end sockets for the tubes?
 
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Old 03-19-13, 09:53 AM
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On the one I disassembled last year, the incoming wires (from the plug) went to the two ends - where you insert the f-tube. I am looking for a ballast, usually a rectangular block, an inch tall (+/-) by a few inches wide (+/-). Unless there is some sort of "electronic" ballast built into the ends somewhere, I don't see it.
 
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Old 03-19-13, 11:33 AM
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I just came from Wal-Mart for another reason but while there I looked and saw the type of light fixture I had purchased - Lights Over America shop Light. The box did say that it had an "electronic ballast" - so it must be in one of the ends somewhere - but I also saw that the unit was selling for $10.97 (no bulbs) while the ballasts they were selling were for $15-$25 dollars. So even if it had a replaceable ballast, it would be cheaper just to buy another one. That said - I'm going to Sears or HD/Lowes to pay a little more and get one that will last more than a year. I guess you get what you pay for. Lesson learned!
 
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Old 03-19-13, 11:50 AM
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You have discovered a counter-intuitive truth: it is generally cheaper to replace the whole fixture than the ballast.
 
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Old 03-20-13, 11:49 PM
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The box did say that it had an "electronic ballast" - so it must be in one of the ends somewhere
Every fluorescent lamp requires a ballast in order to function. It's there somewhere.
 
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Old 04-05-13, 12:24 PM
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Three Lights of America shop lights were left in my house by the previous owners. I used them until one of them started buzzing and smelling like burning plastic. I bought three Lithonia strip lights from Home Depot and wired them to the cords I had cut off from the old lights. This setup has been working fine. Needless to say, I don't recommend Lights of America fixtures.
 
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