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Electrical Wire and Cable

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

Home Electrical Wiring Video

How To Hook Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

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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

More about Home Wiring and Light Fixtures

Installing Recessed Lighting
light fixture

How To Install Recessed Lighting

Installing recessed lighting for your home electrical improvements. Discover how recessed lighting can enhance the mood of any room in your home.

Repairing Electrical Wiring
Repairing Electrical Wiring
Repairing Electrical Wiring

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Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
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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
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Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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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