Re: Fluorescent Light Woes

> From: sywang at whale_st.usm.edu (Shiao Y. Wang)

> I've experienced a variety of problems with florescent lights in the past
> few months and would like to know the cause and ways to correct the problem.
> These problems refer to rapid start lamps. Types of problems:
> 1. Turn on the switch, lamps glow faint orange at the ends but do not come
> on. They come on after a few minutes (times vary and unpredictable) by
> themselves.

Bad starter, stuck in the "start" position.  Cheap to replace.

> 2. Turn on the switch, nothing happens. Twist the bulb slightly and it comes
> on and lights fine.

> 3. Turn on the switch, nothing happens. Touch or tap the metal hood and the
> lamp comes on and lights fine. This only happens with a T-8 Triton bulb.
> Regular T-12 bulb works fine.

Bad starter?  These are basically the same situation, I think.  When you
tap or move the bulb, it's sort of similar to making and breaking the
momentary contact switch used in some systems instead of a starter.  Try
replacing the starter first & see if it clears up.  If not, it's probably
the bulb.  And if not the bulb, it has to be the ballast. :)  If you have
a cheapo electronic ballast (lights-o-america shoplights & 24" "stick" 
lights come to mind)  then the whole thing will as a unit & you gotta
replace it (or rip out the guts & re-wire as instant-start T-8's). 

    - Erik

Erik D. Olson					         amazingly, at home
eriko at wrq_com