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Electrical Wire and Cable

Fluorescent Lighting Problems and How To Fix Them

How to Fix Fluorescent Lighting Problems: The Most Common Problems with Fluorescent Lighting and How to Fix Them, Troubleshooting Problems with Fluorescent Lighting Fixtures.

Guide to Fluorescent Light Fixtures and How to Fix Them

Electrical Question: My Fluorescent kitchen light was not coming on quickly if at all.

Appreciate your help !
Background: Jim, a Homeowner from Southington, Connecticut.

Additional Comments: Great website.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jim.

How to Fix Your Fluorescent Lighting Problems

Application: Troubleshooting Problems with Fluorescent Light Fixtures.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Hand Tools, a Voltage Tester and Safe Ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal experience, the light fixture and access to the light fixture.
Precaution: Identify the light fixture circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Replacement parts for the light fixture should be compatible with the type of fluorescent lamps that have been installed.

The Most Common Problems with Fluorescent Lighting and How to Fix Them

More about Installing Home Lighting

How to Install Kitchen Electrical Wiring

Kitchen Electrical Wiring

Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.

Using Testers to Identify Electrical Problems

Testers to Help Solve Electrical Problems

Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
Types of Electrical Testers

Circuit Breakers for Light Fixture Circuits

Electrical Codes for Lighting Fixtures

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.

  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

107 Responses to “Fluorescent Lighting Problems and How To Fix Them”
  1. Allen says:

    We replace 2 T8 lights 4 bulbs total, in the kitchen, they are hooked up to to a double switch, wired them just like the old ones, had power, turned on top switch, all 4 lights came on, turn them off, turned on bottom switch, didn’t come on. Turned top back on no bulbs came on. We have power to all wiring, blallests are good. Can’t figure out the problem any help please!

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Allen,
      Here are some items that may help get your fluorescent light fixture working:
      Make sure the lamps are fully compatible with the ballast, and the wiring of the switches should be checked very closely. To remove the fluorescent lights out of the equation, consider wiring up a temporary standard light fixture. This way you will be able to see if the switches are wires correctly. Once the switches have been checked out reconnect the fluorescent light and test it out. Make sure the fluorescent light fixture is properly grounded as well.
      I hope this helps you,

  2. Don Bradman says:

    I have T5 high bay lighting, 4 bulbs in each fixture. The original ballast is a Advance ICN-4S54-2LS-H and I am replacing it with a Osram QTP 4x54T5HO/UNV PSN HT W. both are intellivolt. I have checked and re-checked wire colors and connections but no matter what I do only the two outside bulbs light up on the fixture once the ballast was changed. Both wiring diagrams match as well. Original problem was that all 4 bulbs went out at once. I have tried 4 new bulbs as well as moving current working bulbs from another fixture with no change. I have also tried another Osram ballast with the same results. Any ideas?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Don,
      Double check the wiring from the ballast to the sockets for the inside set of lamps, and that the sockets are not cracked or damaged. If you spliced the wires then make sure the original wires to the sockets are secure and are making a good connection. After checking specs for both ballasts the Osram ballast should work fine if you are using the FP54T5HO lamps. Also, make sure the fixture is well grounded.
      I hope this helps, let us know how what you find,

  3. J. D. Richmond says:

    I wired two 2 tube 36 inch fixtures with new ballasts and new tubes. Only 1 tube will burn in each fixture. I followed the diagram on the new ballast and even took one in to the electrical supply store to let them see that I had wired it properly. Any suggestions on what to try next?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi JD,
      Go through the checklist described in the article above, and make sure the light fixture is well grounded and the metal reflector is in place and within one half inch of the lamps.
      I hope this helps,