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Bad Ballast?

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  • Bad Ballast?

    I have a fluorescent fixture in a closet that just started to hummmmm. It is 5+ years old and was installed by the builder. Could it be the ballast already?


  • #2
    Re: Bad Ballast?

    Yes , it could be the ballast. Typically builders don't install the best light fixtures, especially in closets. It could be a T12 ballast, they are cheaper than a T8 is, are magnetic rather than electronic and can hum as a precursor to failure. Do yourself a favor and buy a new T8 fixture and replace the whole thing. It will be cheaper to run as it uses a little less electricity and a new fixture is about the price of just the replacement ballast. If you're comfortable around electricity you can do it yourself, if not, hire a pro.


    • #3
      Re: Bad Ballast?

      Thank you Killavolt. I was just at the box store looking at the prices. You're correct, might as well install a new one. The helpful person at the store said the same thing (she was actually very helpful).

      I haven't looked at the fixture yet to see if it's T8 or T12. I will definitely go the T8 route.

      Thanks again


      • #4
        Re: Bad Ballast?

        A good fixture with ELECTRONIC ballast and that uses T8 tubes is a great improvement over any fixture with the older magnetic type ballast. You should find the light quality of most T8 tubes to be better than most T12 tubes. A T8 tube is 1 inch diameter and a T12 is 1-1/2 inches diameter. When you get tubes, you may want to check out color temperature.

        Examples: 2700K or 3000K = Warm light which brings out red and orange
        3500K = Mid range and brighter. This brings out most colors and they look somewhat brighter. 4100 or 4200K = Cool White but much nicer than what was called "Cool White" in the past. These are what's used in most commercial settings now. 5000K = Bright Sunshine and are kind of ghastly for inside, but in a garage they really light things up. 6500K is like blue sky lighting. This will make things seem too blue in many cases.

        In a closet the $$$ factor is hardly worth bothering with, but say you have a workshop or office with several fixtures that run long hours every day. In that case electronic ballasts and T8 tubes do pay back in energy savings and improved light quality. In addition they are silent and feature instant on. You can buy them with 0F cold start ballasts which are grand for garages or cold room use.
        Last edited by Woussko; 02-27-2009, 06:17 PM.