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How to Stop Fluorescent Lights from Flickering

Solving the Problem of Flickering Light Fixtures: How to Stop Those Annoying Flickering Fluorescent Lights, The Main Causes of Flickering Fluorescent Lights and How to Fix Them

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Guide to Solving the Problem of Flickering Light Fixtures
Electrical Question: Is it normal for a fluorescent light fixture to constantly flicker during a brief time when in use?

Should we just install a different type of fixture better suited to this short time use application?
We are both baffled, can you offer some advice?
Thanks in advance for your help!

This electrical wiring question came from: Mark, from Denver, Colorado.

Background-Facility general maintenance & repair technician for a group of physician offices.

NOTE: Mark’s  Electrical Skill Level is Novice, with the ability to do minor service, test circuits, replace tubes and ballasts, switches, receptacles, dimming fluorescent systems. The facility extensively uses 277 volt, as well as 120volt systems. He has no certifications, but he uses a proven licensed electrical subcontractor for tasks beyond my capability.

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

How to Stop Flickering Fluorescent Lights

Application: Fluorescent Light Fixture
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and access to the light fixture(s).
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional fixture wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

The Main Causes of Flickering Fluorescent Lights and How to Fix Them

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

3 Responses to “How to Stop Fluorescent Lights from Flickering”
  1. Dennis Baker says:

    I have 15 year old 48 inch fluorescent light fixtures in our walk-in closets. The lights in one closet are very dim and flickering. One of them has a 3 inch dark spot on one end. I replaced both lights and only one will come on very dimly. Also, it’s flashing on one end. Since this fixture has no apparent starters, would this indicate a bad ballast or some other problem?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Dennis,
    Make sure the pins of the lamps are set all the way up into the sockets. If the lamps are properly installed and they will not light up all the way then the ballast will most likely need to be replaced.
    I hope this helps,

  3. Eric says:

    I have just replaced my two florescent bulbs, being 48″ 34 watts and 1 1/2 inch width. They seem to run fine until about ten minutes, then they begin to flicker really bad.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Eric