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Re: Lighting problem

Hello All:

Whoa! Deja-vu
> At the moment, I have 10 four foot (40W) (T12) fluorescent 
> light fixtures, each driving 2 fluourescent lamps.
> Yesterday evening when I arrived home, I discovered that
> 9 of the 10 fixtures where damaged in some fashion. 2 units
> appear to be completely dead. 2 units appear to only be
> driving the lamps at about 25%. The remainder are in some
> bizarre state in which the lamps illuminate for about half
> a second and then go off. These cycle constantly on and off.
> I replaced lamps with new ones, but the behavior persists.
> The fixtures are on 3 different electrical circuits within
> my house. The only other electrical device in my house that
> is exhibiting unusual behaviour is my telephone answering
> machine, which appears to be in a completely reset mode.
> This should never happen, as it has a battery backup to
> carry it over in case of a power outage, and I know the
> battery is fresh.

We had a sub-station fire wednesday night here at Rhodes Botany Dept. 
One of the Master students came in around 9pm and found all the 
lights phazing and switching on and off. Even the ConVirons were 
going through a startup cycle every few seconds. Anyway my 
plant-tank's light was on, and the ballast burned out competely. The 
insulation and glue has baked and bubbled out of the casing, and the 
week old tubes are noticable blackend. Busy rebuilding it at the 

> This is not the result of a power outage, as I have 
> numerous electronic clocks (clock radios/microwave/VCR/etc)
> that reset if the power goes out, but none of them were
> out. Could my house have experienced some kind of a power
> surge that somehow knocked out all of these devices? Was/Is
> there anything I can do to prevent this? Does anyone have
> any idea what might have happened?

Could be....
> Additional, possibly useful information: The only 40W
> fixture that didn't suffer was an older, very heavy,
> tar ballast based fixture. Further, I have five small
> 18W "Lights of America" fixtures (el cheapo) that are
> working fine. All other electrical appliances appear to
> be functioning normally, including my home computer,
> which is always on.

Hmmm....dunno then. Is your tank on a different circuit to the other 



Jacques Gerber
Botany Department
Rhodes University
South Africa

Dept Tel#: 046 6038596
Dept Fax#: 046 6225524
Home Tel#: 046 6225000