Fluorescent lighting problem


  #1  
Old 10-08-16, 07:10 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Canada eh
Posts: 98
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Fluorescent lighting problem

Hello I hope someone is able to help or enlighten me. I went to replace my florescent tubes in the kitchen and the new ones turn on but flicker badly and i didnt leave them on for fear of wrecking anything. They are T12 style (yes very outdated I will consider replacing) and the old tubes were t12, one was a 34 watt and the other 25 watt. I took pictures of the tubes and bought a 2 pack from box store. The new ones were 40 watts as i like to see in kitchen. My question is what could be the problem? And down the road would it be hard to replace with normal fixture. Ive already installed a fixture and light switch where none are so I'm comfortable doing it just never replaced a tube fixture. Thanks alot!
 

Last edited by Christopher1976; 10-08-16 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Including info
  #2  
Old 10-08-16, 07:18 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,401
Received 4,047 Upvotes on 3,631 Posts
The manufacturers are in the process of phasing out lamps that use mercury. Fluorescent tubes use mercury to help start the arc inside the tube.

With the reduction in mercury a higher starting voltage is required to start the arc. The old style magnetic ballasts don't have that necessary higher voltage so the tubes flicker when trying to arc.

You can replace the tubes with 32w T-8 tubes and a new electronic ballast. This is called retrofitting the fixture. The same tube sockets are used for T-12's and T-8's. You will use less energy and actually get more light from the T-8's over the T-12's.

Now with mercury elimination the manufacturers have come out with LED tubes that can be used directly in your fixture with no changes OR you can get LED tubes where the ballast is removed.
 
  #3  
Old 10-08-16, 08:04 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Canada eh
Posts: 98
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Well the fixture has to stay for now. Im aware of the phasing out of T12. I already bought these lights I have. Should I check what kind of ballast I even have first or what they are recommended for? I kinda new something about the T8 and T12 being similar but not light output. My problem is I'd like to use the lights I have and see if there's any other problems or solutions first. Kinda need this kitchen light on...
 
  #4  
Old 10-08-16, 08:38 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,401
Received 4,047 Upvotes on 3,631 Posts
You can replace the existing ballast to an electronic one and it will operate the new tubes.
A typical replacement ballast is GE240RS120-DIY. You'll find it in most home improvement stores.

One thing you can check with your current installation is to make sure the fixture is grounded.
The grounded metal case will help start the arc.
 
  #5  
Old 10-08-16, 09:30 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Canada eh
Posts: 98
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Its kinda funny that when i put the old working one in and the new 40 watt they both power up quick and work just fine. Not sure why though. And thanks for the info about ballast. Part of me thinks i should just replace whole fixture but i like the brightness when im in kitchen
 
  #6  
Old 10-08-16, 11:16 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
I went to no ballast LEDs in a T-12 and found it to be just as bright. The LED retrofits from Amazon were only $17 each so it probably cost less than a T-8 ballast and two T-8 tubes. The LEDs may last longer and I'll never have to replace the ballast because, hey, there isn't one anymore.
 
  #7  
Old 10-09-16, 12:02 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,401
Received 4,047 Upvotes on 3,631 Posts
i put the old working one in and the new 40 watt they both power up quick and work just fine. Not sure why though
The lamps are placed in series to start the arc. The old tube allows more current to flow thru it to get the new one going.
 
  #8  
Old 10-09-16, 02:35 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Canada eh
Posts: 98
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
That may explain also why there was a 25w and a 34w in fixture. So i guess my options are replace ballast, try the leds or completely remove it. I do like how bright it is and since I'm repainting whole kitchen and house maybe its time to change. If I'm not mistaken it shouldn't be hard to remove and replace the whole fixture right? Just like any other ceiling light fixture?
 
  #9  
Old 10-10-16, 02:25 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Canada eh
Posts: 98
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
It isn't hard to remove this fixture right? Also what would be a good alternative for brightness factor. The window is very small and the room is about 12x12 feet or so. Thanks
 
  #10  
Old 10-10-16, 11:25 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,401
Received 4,047 Upvotes on 3,631 Posts
If it's a light strip it will be mounted with several screws into the ceiling joists or possibly mollys or toggles.

You liked the fixture...... replace it with something similar.
 
  #11  
Old 10-16-16, 02:52 PM
P
Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 58
Upvotes: 0
Received 5 Upvotes on 5 Posts
FYI, new lamps flickering is not always a sign of a problem. It's common for new lamps to flicker, be dimmer in the center, have rings or striations, or a snaking arc effect. Even T8 lamps on electronic ballasts can do it, although it tends to be more pronounced with magnetic ballasts. The new lamps need time to warm up and for the mercury to vaporize. I'd give new tubes a good 20 minutes to stabilize. If they still flicker, switch them off for a few minutes and back on again. Any T12 ballast should support 40W if it works with other wattages, but sometimes a faulty ballast might work better with some wattages than others, so if it is a ballast problem, it is possible that wattage is related.
 
  #12  
Old 10-20-16, 11:36 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,880
Received 187 Upvotes on 168 Posts
Im aware of the phasing out of T12.
From what I recall, both the manufacture of and import of specific T-12 lamps had to cease in early 2013. The common 4 foot T-12 lamps that many of us used for years (F40T12 and F34T12) were on the list. However, they will be available for many years yet and you can still even but new fixtures that take those lamps. The price on them is high now and will go higher in years to come, but they are still available. By the way, ALL fluorescent lamps contain mercury.
 
  #13  
Old 10-21-16, 04:05 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Canada eh
Posts: 98
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Okay so I removed old fixture. There is 4 sets of wires in the ceiling box. 3 black and white the other is 2 black wires. I believe the 2 blacks are running the direction where the switch is about 8 feet away. How should i hook up the new fixture. Dont mind the colored wire caps its what i had handy. Here is pic of old box and wiresName:  tmp_26344-20161021_165904-1419526511.jpg
Views: 143
Size:  37.0 KB
Both my new fixtures have the standard black white and green. What should i do or check first with this abundance of wires in box? I restored power and neither of the blue or orange capped wires have any signal or power to them. Name:  tmp_31797-20161021_1709031434731367.jpg
Views: 97
Size:  26.6 KBt
 

Last edited by Christopher1976; 10-21-16 at 04:22 PM.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: