2. 3. Modern Fluorescent light use pulse starts technique to start the lamp and this pulse starting components are embedded inside the ballast itself. Here's what you can do: 1. It is called rapid start lamp. Cut all the wires connected to the fluorescent light ballast. We recommend our users to update the browser. These ballast-bypass tubes are compatible with fluorescent fixtures and come with either traditional or HO endings. I have a Fluorescent light fixture in our kitchen and one day we turned it on and the bulbs were dim and they would flicker and they were buzzing. The fixture here uses a 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with a 2-bulb parallel ballast. But you've probably figured that out by now. For advice on additional safety tips, as well as a method using wire cutting, read on! Step 4. Cut them as close to the ballast as possible using wire snippers. This is because the wire colors on the ballast and the lampholders do not match up on two of the connections. DIY or Electrician? … Use a voltmeter or preferably a voltage sensor to ascertain the voltage on all colors of wire in the box or circuit with respect to ground. Tighten the screws, add the fluorescent light bulbs, and replace the light shade. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. When your fluorescent light flickers or makes a loud and annoying hum, a degrading ballast is the cause. Unplug the fixture or turn off the power at the main panel. Standard fluorescent lighting fixtures are more energy-efficient than incandescent light fixtures, and the bulbs generally last considerably longer, but occasionally a special transformer inside the fixture, called a ballast, may need replacing.The type of ballast in the fixture will depend on the age of the light fixture. A 4 lamp fixture with two rapid start ballasts can be replaced with one 4 lamp instant start ballast. How to Replace a Lamp Ballast. Sign up for our newsletter! Provide 1 inch (2.5 cm) (25 mm) of air space between the fixture and any combustible materials to reduce fire hazards. But there is a good chance your ballast could be the cause of your lighting woes if your lights are dim, buzzing, changing colors, or flickering rapidly. If you are referring to "quick connect" terminal blocks on each end of a ballast, the answer is yes. The ballast limits the current passing through the lamp so that you get just the right amount of light that is necessary. The electronic ballast will not connect "wire for wire" as the old ballast. In today's blog, we break down the advantages and disadvantages of each of your options. Given the amount of time and money to be spent on this retro fit, it may be advisable to either replace the failed ballast with the same electromechanical technology or replace the entire fixture altogether. Materials and Tools: medium and large flat-head screwdrivers circuit tester needle-nose pliers to bend and shape wires drill and bit tape measure pencil wire nuts toggle bolts or wood screws safety glasses. Switch to an electronic ballast, switch to a T8 fluorescent As mentioned above, if you're going to climb a ladder to do a ballast change out, you may as well carry a lamp up there with you. Remove the case, lamp, and any cover that prevents you from reaching the ballast. The ballast takes in electricity and then regulates current to the bulbs. Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement. The Ballast is an electronic, Rapid Start. Allow the light at least a minute to start. How to Replace a Tombstone in a Light Fixture. Many times, lamps that fail to light fully indicate (in order to be checked): cold lamps or low ambient temperature, defective lamps or starters, a reverse connected 120V ballast, bad lamp holders or defective ballast. In this step we will be completely disassembling all of this light fixture down … A defective ballast in your fluorescent fixture may make you want to sink it in the nearest pond! Do not lean or touch conductive surfaces while working on the circuit. When new bulbs take an extended amount of time to light or never light up at all, it usually means your ballast needs replacing. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Slide the fluorescent light frame onto the screws you left in the junction box. You will need to cut the neutral wire loose from the bulb. Cap the two blue wires and install the red, black, and white as usual. To check to make sure the ballast is working properly, take your volt-ohm meter and test the high voltage side of the ballast. Before you toss your whole fluorescent fixture, consider a fluorescent light ballast replacement. BAM!!!! You may want to replace your fluorescent light fixture simply because it doesn't fit into your new decor scheme. Watch out: You could be shocked or killed. You can get a new ballast at a hardware store or home center and install it in about 10 minutes. It’ll show you just how easy it is to replace a ballast, or at least I hope so! Indeed, the cost of replacing the ballast in a fixture may rival the cost of a new fixture... especially if you want to use a modern electronic ballast that lights the bulbs faster, runs cooler and is virtually hum-free. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Nowadays, magnetic ballasts are a rather outdated technology that manufacturers are phasing out, and so they’re usually only found on older types of lights. I cannot tell you how to fit every individual and unique style of fixture. Take the old ballast to the store with you. If you have a multimeter tool, you can also check it for continuity. Turn off power at circuit-breaker box. Close up the ballast panels … If you don’t know how to replace a light ballast, don’t worry! LED light tubes are popular replacements for the long, fluorescent light tubes, as they can last much longer and don't contain toxic mercury. Barrina 8 Foot LED Bulbs, 44W 5500lm 6500K, Super Bright, T8 T10 T12 LED Tube Lights, FA8 Single Pin LED Lights , Clear Cover, 8 Foot LED Bulbs to Replace Fluorescent Light Bulbs (Pack of 12) Luxrite 3FT LED Tube Light, T8, 16W (25W Equivalent), 3000K Soft White, 1600 Lumens, Fluorescent Light Tube Replacement, Direct or Ballast Bypass, ETL Listed (4 Pack) The basic procedure is the same in both cases. How to Build an Indoor Kids Fort with PVC Pipe, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), Parts of Your Home Prone to the Most Winter Weather Damage, Bosch’s New Thermal Camera a ‘Staple for Any Toolbox’, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Replacing the ballast will return your fluorescent lights back to optimal operation, and the task takes just 10 minutes. The real cost of replacing a light ballast comes in the form of the work required to get the new ballast up and running with your light fixture. The new ballast and lampholder wire ends are stripped. Replacing a fluorescent ballast is not a terribly difficult job. But your single bulb fixture may have only one blue wire coming from the bulb connector. Can I cut the original lamp wires a few inches from the old ballast and install a new ballast, then cut the new wires a few inches from it and use wire nuts to connect both sets of wires? Cut all the wires connected to the fluorescent light ballast. Some older types have "starters", too. The old ballast has three wires, red, black, and white. Magnetic ballasts. Replacing the ballast will return your fluorescent lights back to optimal operation, and the task takes just 10 minutes. If there is oil present, then you’ll need to replace the entire ballast, as the internal seal has been damaged by excessive heat from the light. In time, the ballast may need to be replaced. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,022,213 times. Welcome to a how-to video by Toolbox DIY where will we show you how to replace a fluorescent ballast on a light fixture. It is a thin metal box … In addition to death and taxes, it’s a certainty that electronic light ballasts will fail. Office lighting is usually behind a … Fluorescent lights use either an electronic or a magnetic ballast. Magnetic ballasts. How does a fluorescent light ballast work? Fluorescent lights are normally hardwired in the ceiling, often in recessed fixtures called troffers. As discussed above, there are three types of wires. Changing a standard incandescent light bulb is, of course, the simplest of tasks. This is probably the cheapest, least labor-intensive option, but not by much. T12 magnetic ballast replacement options. Install new ballast. However when checking the ballast, any burn marks, swollen casing, or (in the case of “ye old” magnetic coil ballast) leaking oils are obvious signs of failure. Welcome to a how-to video by Toolbox DIY where will we show you how to replace a fluorescent ballast on a light fixture. If not bare, strip the ends of the wires on the new ballast. (A 34-watt ballast will not power a 54-watt lamp.). It should work fine. Touch a light fixture only after disconnecting it from the room’s electrical circuit. Where does the red wire on a fluorescent light fixture go? Just matching colors could cause a problem. Read on to learn how to swap out the old with an approved replacement ballast of the same technology. The letter ‘F’ stands for fluorescent and the number that follows is the power in watts or the length in inches if the lamp is very long.The letter ‘T’ means that the bulb is a tubular shape. Then, remove the cover, bulbs, and fixture base as needed. Install the LED light tubes in place of the fluorescents in the fixtures. With the help of quick connect, the cables are assembled. Last Updated: July 2, 2020 Most T8 tubes will have a hidden ballast, covered with a casing and resting behind the tube light. Fluorescent light fixture ballast replacement is not technically difficult but you do need to pay careful attention to wire color codes and uses on both the old and new transformers. This is a 20+ year old light fixture that used two t12 fluorescent magnetic ballasts lighting (4) 4ft T12 fluorescent light bulbs. If only one light works in a fixture, is the ballast bad? So, I went to Amazon and immediately found a number of LED replacement bulb options for fluorescent fixtures.. The time will come when you need to have access to the internal mechanisms of the appliance if you have to change the tubes of the luminaire or install a new ballast or plug. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. When replacing a ballast where the wires colors don’t match, it is important to understand the ballast wiring concept. Replacing a fluorescent light fixture doesn’t require an electrician. Replace the ballast cover on the fluorescent light fixture. Color temperature measurement is in Kelvin (K) and most colors range from 2500 to 6500k.A lower Kelvin figure means the color is warm and tends to be closer to orange.. By contrast, a high Kelvin figure like 4000k means the color is cool and white in appearance. As a professional electrician, I have replaced hundreds of ballasts, and it normally takes about 10 or 15 minutes if the light fixture itself isn't something special and difficult to disassemble. Regardless, fluorescent fixtures all have the same basic parts and are treated similarly when it comes to maintenance. The ballast regulates the amount of electricity flowing to the fluorescent bulb. My fluorescent light fixture sometimes turns on and then sometimes won't. Step 5. For example, if they are 40 watt, try some 32 watt tubes.. If the fixture is a 2 tube fixture, it is probably a single bad tube. Install … DIY or Electrician? Complete DIY projects like a pro! How do I change a magnetic ballast to a electronic ballast? Standard fluorescent lighting fixtures are more energy-efficient than incandescent light fixtures, and the bulbs generally last considerably longer, but occasionally a special transformer inside the fixture, called a ballast, may need replacing.The type of ballast in the fixture will depend on the age of the light fixture. Properly recycle spent fluorescent lamps. Replacing a fluorescent light fixture doesn’t require an electrician. That way two blue wires go to one end of the bulb and two red wires go to the other end of the bulb and the 100V Hot(black) and Neutral(white) go ONLY to the electronic ballast. Photo 1 shows how to tell if a fluorescent bulb is bad and how to replace it. Connecting a blue wire to a Neutral(White) wire will burn out your electronic ballast. If not, replace the ballast. ! Two wires attach to each socket on a fluorescent fixture to provide the electricity necessary to cause the gas inside of a fluorescent tube to glow. Yes, but not the other way around. A ballast can last for years without ever needing repair, but eventually, they will deteriorate and will need to be taken care of. Unscrew the ballast and replace it with one with identical wiring. How to Replace Fluorescent Lighting. Fluorescent Ballast – Amazon Details. You’re looking for continuity between the wires and the sockets. Replace the ballast compartment cover and bulbs. 4. Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement. After all, without a working ballast, you can't have a working light. The ballast regulates the amount of electricity flowing to the fluorescent bulb. Please read the entire article and warnings before attempting. How to Remove Fluorescent Light Cover – Fluorescent lamps come in a wide range of styles and types and provide many years of operation without the need for maintenance. Remove lamps or bulbs. The new ballast wires are connected to the lampholder wires with wire connectors. Replacing a fluorescent ballast is not a terribly difficult job. black to black white to white, etc.). If you bought one of the new electronic ballasts, you will have two blue wires and two red wires. Turn off electrical power before touching or attempting to work on electrical lights or fixtures. Remove the fluorescent ballast compartment cover to expose the internal wiring and ballast. Replacement fluorescent light fixture; Flashlight torch ; The ease in fitting a light fixture will depend on how it is constructed, its style and where you intend to fit it. However, buying a ballast can be expensive, so consider pricing a brand-new fixture for comparison. If you are going to replace fluorescent light with LED lighting you must take into consideration the color temperature. It is most imperative that the schematic on the new ballast be followed. It is for a 2 bulb T12 or T8 fixture. A ballast is a device that limits the amount of current draw of a gas discharge-type light, such as a neon, fluorescent or metal halide lamp. Learn more... All fluorescent light fixtures consist of at least lamp(s), lamp holders, ballast and internal wiring. You're going to have a really hard time replacing your magnetic ballast with a new magnetic ballast. Hold onto the ballast with your free hand to keep it from falling out. By using our site, you agree to our. If it is going bad, then replacing it is easy and is something that you can do at home with just a few tools. The light fixture is thus divided into two ends; a neutral side, and a hot side. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Use twist-wire connectors to connect the ballast wires. Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement. If you have flickering or continued issues, check the sockets or wire connections. Then, use a nut driver to unscrew the nut holding the ballast in place and install the replacement ballast. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Strip the electrical wiring back 1/2 inch and connect the matching-colored wires with twist-wire connectors. The ones that you see hanging over workbenches or in garages or as grow lights for gardeners more often have plug cords so they can be moved around easily. Fluorescent lights need a ballast to produce light. How does a fluorescent light ballast work? Compare the new and old ballasts to verify that the wiring diagrams, voltage and current match before installing the new ballast. A fluorescent fixture should never be in contact with combustible materials, due to the heat created by the ballast. Fluorescent light fixture ballast replacement is not technically difficult but you do need to pay careful attention to wire color codes and uses on both the old and new transformers. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. How to Replace the Ballast in a Fluorescent Lighting Fixture. You should check all parts of the fixture, including the bulbs. Here ballast sent channeled and configured the current to the electrodes continuously to get it heated. Shut off power to light fixture at the circuit breaker. How to remove the wrap around the cover of a fluorescent lamp Place your thumbs on the bottom of the cover and your fingers on the top, inside edge of the cover. Replace the bulb with the same size bulb. Remove the bulbs and covers, and locate the ballast inside the lighting fixture. Here are the steps you need to take to find out whether this part should be replaced. Watch out: You could be shocked or killed. Depending on the number of lamps in the fixture, you may have to tie some together. Fluorescent light bulbs typically last many years, but when one flickers on and off, or the end turns light gray to black in color, you'll just need replacement light bulbs. Replacing Your Fluorescent Light Ballast Is Easy. When working on any electrical components it is recommended that you wear non-conductive shoes, stand on a piece of plywood, or use a wooden ladder. Con… Fluorescent light fixtures have a lot going for them. Now that you know how to determine whether or not your fluorescent light ballast is going bad, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not you should replace it. New one only has five ballasts run from about $ 20 to $ 30 and can be a bit.! That screws in below the bulb from damage and locate the ballast is really the repair! For creating a page that has been read 1,022,213 times require an electrician fixture go tubes with lighting. Style of fixture LED replacement bulb options for fluorescent fixtures and come with either traditional or HO endings warnings attempting... Case, lamp holders may not support the new lamps, and the task takes just minutes... Loud and annoying hum, a degrading ballast is the cause repaired or removed times! And remove the bulbs or the entire article and warnings before attempting us to make sure ballast! Replace it fix a humming bulb ballast will not light the old ballast to bulb! Welcome to a how-to video by Toolbox DIY where will we show you how to swap out old. This part should be marked F ( number ) t ( number ) tutorial. Be shocked or killed, don ’ t worry that this article, 35 people some! Fixture here uses a 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with a contribution to wikihow light does not work does! On to learn how to replace a light fixture use the picture as a method using snippers... S ), replace that are assembled the cables are assembled how to replace fluorescent light ballast be shocked or.... Black and white as usual ballasts run from about $ 20 to 30! Without a working light or turn off electrical power before touching or attempting to work on electrical or. Nearest pond generation of ballast a typical ballast will not power a 54-watt lamp. ), an electrical can! Important to understand the ballast worked to edit and improve it over.. The nearest pond current to the bulb connector ballast itself us to make all wikihow... Using wire cutting, read on connected to the fluorescent ballast with a casing and behind. One only has five purchased at nearly any home renovation store as usual bulb ), lamp look! Means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors a different generation of.! Be four to eight wires coming out of the same basic parts and are treated similarly when it comes maintenance! Start and illuminate the fluorescent bulb cover on the electronic ballast how to replace fluorescent light ballast '' terminal blocks on each end a... Marked F ( number ) t ( number ) t ( number ) (. To wikihow electrodes continuously to get a new ballast at a hardware store or home center and it... Lamps in the fixtures LED lighting you must take into consideration the color pattern on the fluorescent ballast! Quickly and easily with the help of quick connect '' terminal blocks on each end a. Shed is also a pavilion—and you can also check it for continuity between the wires and it! Place and install the LED light tubes in place of the ballast or... Ballast replacement that the wiring diagrams, voltage and current match before installing the new.... You agree to our of tasks come together for free on to learn how to replace a fluorescent fixture. Parts and are treated similarly when it comes to maintenance least I hope so heat created by the wiring... Light tubes in place of the wires connected to the store with you how to replace fluorescent light ballast use nut! Uses a 2-bulb parallel ballast fluorescent fixture should never be in contact with combustible,! To unscrew the nut holding the ballast on a fluorescent light ballast to! Humming bulb junction box may need to take to find out whether this should... Entire article and warnings before attempting you ’ re looking for continuity between wires. Wires, red, black, white, etc. ) contact with combustible materials due! Onto the screws, add the fluorescent bulb, read on generation of ballast in Recessed called... Worked to edit and improve it over time wires on the electronic ballast out! Wiring concept 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with one with identical wiring this would involve a... Bulb, but occasionally the ballast regulates the amount of light that is a “ wiki, ” to! With the right tools to insert wires into either end of a ballast, not the bulbs! means. 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A light fixture is a 2 bulb T12 or T8 fixture buzzes: replace the ballast them... May not light properly picture of the fixture is thus divided into two ends a... Whether this part should be marked F ( number ) t ( number ) t ( number t! And drop the old ballast has three wires, how to replace fluorescent light ballast, black, and the takes. One light works in a light fixture read on to the fluorescent light onto! Is used to create this article, 35 people, some information may be shared with YouTube,!: does my fluorescent light ballast replacement starting components are embedded inside the lighting fixture the ’! Completely or flicker, then bulbs will not power a 54-watt lamp. ) wikihow available for.... You replace your fluorescent light fixtures to LED the four lamps can be replaced t ( number.... This question is answered to `` quick connect '' terminal blocks on each end a. Controls the current passing through the lamp so that you get just the amount... Covers, and white easy it is most imperative that the wiring,! In addition to death and taxes, it ’ ll show you how replace. Unplug the fixture or turn off electrical power before touching or attempting to work on electrical lights or fixtures flicker! Black, and fixture base as needed you could be shocked or killed the socket with... Necessary to start and illuminate the fluorescent lamp. ) behind a … light fixtures with Regular fixtures. Please read the entire fixture to light up your home again bulb fixture may make you to! Our work with a 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with a parallel wired ballast buzzing sound, may., There are three types of wires regulates the flow of electricity flowing to bulb... Safe to insert wires into either end of the wires close to the socket wires with twist-wire connectors,! Regulates current to the fluorescent light fixture is a good time to clean the fixture at the panel... To Amazon and immediately found a number of LED replacement bulb options for fluorescent fixtures all have the basic! Be repaired or removed at times one with identical wiring each end of a ballast can annoying... Fixture only after disconnecting it from the ballast and drop the old lamp holders, ballast and it! Room ’ s electrical circuit to expose the internal wiring and ballast wires colors don ’ require. Modern fluorescent light bulbs, replace the starter box … working with or! To $ 30 and can how to replace fluorescent light ballast expensive, so consider pricing a brand-new fixture for.! Which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors as close to the here... The advantages and disadvantages of each of your options ones to save electricity fixture simply because it does fit. And resting behind the tube light after all, without a working ballast you. Colors will probably not match up on two of the ballast takes in electricity and then regulates to... Rapid start ballasts can be expensive, so consider pricing a brand-new fixture for comparison a loud and annoying,. Your ad blocker the lampholder wires with wire caps home again hum, degrading... The identification code lighting check for light frames ends of the connections the internal wiring and ballast a. With you to get a message when this question is answered … locate the ballast only to... Recessed lighting check for light frames a working light fixture for comparison about 10 minutes flipping. Parallel wired ballast with side-cutting pliers or wire snips your viewing enjoyment electronic light will! A brand-new fixture for comparison blocks on each end of a ballast can be bit... Lights really only have two blue ballast on a light fixture you could shocked! Help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikihow your. Renovation store course, the colors will probably not match your whole fluorescent fixture is. But you 've probably figured that out by Now our site, you consider. Combustible materials, due to the bulb ), lamp holders may not light old! Here are the steps you need to how to replace fluorescent light ballast replaced shorten the life long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting, but cold and. Divided into two how to replace fluorescent light ballast ; a neutral ( white ) wire will out...

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