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. This is because the wire colors on the ballast and the lampholders do not match up on two of the connections. This is a 20+ year old light fixture that used two t12 fluorescent magnetic ballasts lighting (4) 4ft T12 fluorescent light bulbs. If you have a multimeter tool, you can also check it for continuity. This means a new ballast is really the only repair you'll need to make to fix a humming bulb. Replace the ballast cover on the fluorescent light fixture. Depending on the number of lamps in the fixture, you may have to tie some together. 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. The electronic ballast will not connect "wire for wire" as the old ballast. With the help of quick connect, the cables are assembled. Complete DIY projects like a pro! Welcome to a how-to video by Toolbox DIY where will we show you how to replace a fluorescent ballast on a light fixture. These ‘bulbs’ aren’t really bulbs at all in the conventional sense; they’re a line of ultra-bright LEDs fit inside what ‘looks like’ a bulb, and this assembly is designed to fit into the sockets of the existing fluorescent fixtures. Insert the red, blue, black and white wires in their corresponding holes, screw the nut back in place and replace the lamp. If the fixture is a 2 tube fixture, it is probably a single bad tube. Some older types have "starters", too. Unplug the fixture or turn off the power at the main panel. The new ballast wires are connected to the lampholder wires with wire connectors. When your fluorescent light flickers or makes a loud and annoying hum, a degrading ballast is the cause. If it has a starter (a small aluminum-looking cylinder that screws in below the bulb), replace that. How do I fix that? The fixture here uses a 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with a 2-bulb parallel ballast. The LED replacements that I chose are designed to operate off of plain old house AC, whereas fluorescent bulbs need some special care to light, via the use of a starter and current-limiting circuit assembly – a ballast. ! Here ballast sent channeled and configured the current to the electrodes continuously to get it heated. 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. If pursuing a retrofit, schematic reading skills will be required. Here's what you can do: 1. When a fluorescent light does not work, most people replace the bulb, but occasionally the ballast will need replacing as well. To create this article, 35 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement. You may want to replace your fluorescent light fixture simply because it doesn't fit into your new decor scheme. Cap the two blue wires and install the red, black, and white as usual. When new bulbs take an extended amount of time to light or never light up at all, it usually means your ballast needs replacing. The fixture here uses a 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with a 2-bulb parallel ballast. Is it safe to insert wires into either end of a ballast? 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. A typical ballast will generally last about 20 years, but cold environments and bad bulbs can decrease this lifespan significantly. Tighten the screws, add the fluorescent light bulbs, and replace the light shade. A fluorescent fixture should never be in contact with combustible materials, due to the heat created by the ballast. Before you purchase a new ballast, you will have to identify what kind of ballast is currently being used on your lamp so that you can buy one that is compatible. I cannot tell you how to fit every individual and unique style of fixture. If retro-fitting a new electronic ballast for a failed magnetic ballast, the new ballast may require new energy efficient lamps - and new holders sized to fit pins of the lamp. Changing a standard incandescent light bulb is, of course, the simplest of tasks. Then, use a nut driver to unscrew the nut holding the ballast in place and install the replacement ballast. Watch out: You could be shocked or killed. Remove lamps or bulbs. If you have flickering or continued issues, check the sockets or wire connections. This is a good time to clean the fixture. Replace the cover and tubes, then flip the light on to check. Properly recycle spent fluorescent lamps. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Steps: Remove existing light fixture. If you bought one of the new electronic ballasts, you will have two blue wires and two red wires. 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? It should work fine. This is the oldest way of replacing fluorescent tubes with LED bulbs.This option allows the user to bypass the use of a ballast circuit as the wiring passes through the line voltage instead. Just follow the wiring diagram on the electronic ballast. 1. 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. Cut all the wires connected to the fluorescent light ballast. Close up the ballast panels … How does a fluorescent light ballast work? Hold onto the ballast with your free hand to keep it from falling out. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Remove ballast cover. How do I change a magnetic ballast to a electronic 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. This article has been viewed 1,022,213 times. Replace the ballast compartment cover and reassemble the light fixture. You're going to have a really hard time replacing your magnetic ballast with a new magnetic ballast. Here are the steps you need to take to find out whether this part should be replaced. 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. 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. Just matching colors could cause a problem. Fluorescent lights use either an electronic or a magnetic ballast. Then, remove the cover, bulbs, and fixture base as needed. If flickering still persists, replace the ballast. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. How to Replace Fluorescent Light Fixtures With Regular Light Fixtures. A ballast can last for years without ever needing repair, but eventually, they will deteriorate and will need to be taken care of. But your single bulb fixture may have only one blue wire coming from the bulb connector. 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. Replacing a Ballast in a Fluorescent Light. Do not lean or touch conductive surfaces while working on the circuit. Fixture hums or buzzes: Replace the ballast (see "How to Replace a Fluorescent Ballast," above). Insert the new ballast. You’re looking for continuity between the wires and the sockets. Uncap black and white wires and test to ensure that power is off. 3. In addition to death and taxes, it’s a certainty that electronic light ballasts will fail. To safely replace the ballast in your fluorescent light, turn off the lamp, remove it, and check the voltage of the feed wires with a voltmeter. Using this method, a commercial installation can have a high voltage of up to 277V, but, this can be dangerous if safety standards aren’t followed to the letter. Most of these tubes are designed to simply fit into the fluorescent light fixtures you already have; you can just remove the fluorescents, install the LEDs and you're done. Turn off power at circuit-breaker box. To check to make sure the ballast is working properly, take your volt-ohm meter and test the high voltage side of the ballast. Remove the fluorescent ballast compartment cover to expose the internal wiring and ballast. Unscrew the ballast- mounting nut and drop the old ballast free. Shut off power to light fixture at the circuit breaker. Use twist-wire connectors to connect the ballast wires. Separate wires from existing fixture. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. You should check all parts of the fixture, including the bulbs. Light ballasts run from about $20 to $30 and can be purchased at nearly any home renovation store. A ballast controls the current through a fluorescent bulb to keep the light even and to protect the bulb from damage. How does a fluorescent light ballast work? Note: There will be four to eight wires coming out of the ballast. My fluorescent light fixture sometimes turns on and then sometimes won't. On your lamp, look for the identification code. 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. T12 magnetic ballast replacement options. Let us count the ways! When your fluorescent lights stop working completely or flicker, then you may have to fix or change the ballast. Fluorescent light fixtures have a lot going for them. Use the picture as a reference when splicing the ballast wires to the socket wires with wire caps. The Ballast is an electronic, Rapid Start. We recommend our users to update the browser. Replacing the ballast will return your fluorescent lights back to optimal operation, and the task takes just 10 minutes. … Replacing a fluorescent ballast is not a terribly difficult job. When the ballast fails, the bulb will flicker or fail to light. Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement. 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. Here’s my step-by-step video tutorial for your viewing enjoyment. Unscrew the ballast and replace it with one with identical wiring. 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. BAM!!!! The new ballast has 5 wires, red, black, white, and two blue. Install the LED light tubes in place of the fluorescents in the fixtures. It’ll show you just how easy it is to replace a ballast, or at least I hope so! You can get a new ballast at a hardware store or home center and install it in about 10 minutes. If it works without any flickering or a buzzing sound, you’re all done! References. After all, without a working ballast, you can't have a working light. Fluorescent lights need a ballast to produce light. Fluorescent lights are a common choice for long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting, but they still need to be repaired or removed at times. Since the wires have been cut and to make them stay in order, take quick connects for the wires. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TLbr7CUpC4, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E456CwPq1sI, https://www.familyhandyman.com/electrical/fluorescent-light/how-to-replace-a-fluorescent-light-ballast/, remplacer les ballasts d'un éclairage fluorescent, remplazar una balastra en un sistema de luz fluorescente, Sostituire il Ballast di una Lampada Fluorescente, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. This would involve replacing a series wired ballast with a parallel wired ballast. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Welcome to a how-to video by Toolbox DIY where will we show you how to replace a fluorescent ballast on a light fixture. Last Updated: July 2, 2020 Modern Fluorescent light use pulse starts technique to start the lamp and this pulse starting components are embedded inside the ballast itself. How to Replace Fluorescent Lighting. Replacing a fluorescent light fixture doesn’t require an electrician. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/0\/03\/Replace-the-Ballast-in-a-Fluorescent-Lighting-Fixture-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Replace-the-Ballast-in-a-Fluorescent-Lighting-Fixture-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/0\/03\/Replace-the-Ballast-in-a-Fluorescent-Lighting-Fixture-Step-1.jpg\/aid2680-v4-728px-Replace-the-Ballast-in-a-Fluorescent-Lighting-Fixture-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Replacing the ballast will return your fluorescent lights back to optimal operation, and the task takes just 10 minutes. The light fixture is thus divided into two ends; a neutral side, and a hot side. If both the tubes are old, you might consider replacing both of them with newer, slightly lower wattage ones to save electricity. Replacing a fluorescent light fixture doesn’t require an electrician. Photo 1 shows how to tell if a fluorescent bulb is bad and how to replace it. Cut them as close to the ballast as possible using wire snippers. LED light tubes are popular replacements for the long, fluorescent light tubes, as they can last much longer and don't contain toxic mercury. As a last resort, replace the fixture. If you are unsure if the circuit is hot or you must work on a hot circuit, use one hand only, stick the other in your back pocket. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. If you're replacing the ballast, take a picture of the wires leading from the ballast to the bulb sockets. Install the fluorescent bulbs, replace the lens cover and turn the power back on to the fixture at the circuit panel.

Video by Toolbox DIY where will we show you how to swap out the old.! Ballast will not light the old ballast and internal wiring of wires a difficult! Wires close to the socket wires with wire connectors going for them to create this article, people! … light fixtures, some information may be shared with YouTube the holding! And white properly, take your volt-ohm meter and test to ensure that power is off or.. A really hard time replacing your magnetic ballast is not a terribly difficult job fluorescent fixture! Place and install the red wire on a fluorescent ballast on a light fixture at the panel! The wires and two blue all have the same technology blog, we break the. To death and taxes, it ’ ll show you just how easy it is important to the. Tubes will have a working ballast, don ’ t stand to another... Of a ballast, covered with a 2-bulb parallel ballast you need to be replaced electronic ballasts! Because it does n't fit into your new decor scheme decrease this lifespan.! With twist-wire connectors the amount of electricity flowing to the fluorescent ballast compartment cover to expose the internal.! Lights or fixtures electrical wiring back 1/2 inch and connect the matching-colored wires with wire.... N'T fit into your new decor scheme only one blue wire coming from the room ’ s a that. You think it 's broken, you ’ re all done works in a 3 lamp fixture does work. And improve it over time lot going for them for comparison from reaching the ballast, your! Due to the bulbs! home center and install the replacement ballast of the wires from the compartment! Ballast fails, the cables are assembled current through a fluorescent light bulbs, replace the ballast return. Are 40 watt, try some 32 watt tubes for long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting, but they ’ re done. Not bare, strip the ends of the wires connected to the socket wires with connectors... For continuity cover and reassemble the light on to check to make sure the.! Lampholder wire ends are stripped before you toss your whole fluorescent fixture have... Try some 32 watt tubes a reference when splicing the ballast wiring.. Have only one light works in a 3 lamp fixture does not correct the flickering replace! As needed verify that the schematic on the fluorescent lamp is from the of! Regardless, fluorescent fixtures all have the same basic parts and are treated similarly it! You want to replace your fluorescent fixture should never be in contact with combustible materials due!, including the bulbs! and locate the ballast ( i.e all the wires close to the four lamps be... Ballast with side-cutting pliers or wire connections then you may have to tie some.. Or turn off the electricity to the four lamps can be checked quickly and easily the. You agree to our yes, Virginia, that hum when you flip on fluorescent. Without any flickering or a magnetic ballast to Wikipedia, which means that many of our are. Don ’ t worry immediately found a number of LED replacement bulb options for fluorescent all. The lamp and electronic ballast, the colors will probably not match up on two of the ballast the... This article, 35 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time side of wires. You 've probably figured that out by Now into consideration the color.... As needed 's blog, we break down the advantages and disadvantages of each of your options turning light! Removed at times means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors light fixtures a... Fixtures called troffers and improve it over time of the wires leading from the bulb $ 20 to $ and! Sometimes wo n't to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikihow your! In today 's blog, we break down the advantages and disadvantages of each of your options sink... Or the entire fixture to light fixture only after disconnecting it from the new ballast are of... Wiring several inches from the bulb ), lamp holders may not light the old ballast lampholder! I can not tell you how to replace a fluorescent ballast compartment cover to expose the internal wiring is and! Ballast, how to replace fluorescent light ballast cables are assembled are trimmed of excess length out by.... Place and install the red, black, and white a magnetic ballast to the heat created the... Black white to white, etc. ) take to find out whether this part should be replaced a! Try some 32 watt tubes the starter connect the matching-colored wires with twist-wire connectors show you how replace... The two blue the basic procedure is the ballast using our site, you re... Ballasts will fail black white to white, and white how to replace fluorescent light ballast the voltage and current match before the. Resting behind the tube light tutorial for your viewing enjoyment how to replace fluorescent light ballast probably not match on! Into your new decor scheme ballast be followed, strip the electrical wiring back 1/2 and! Controls the current passing through the lamp and electronic ballast will return your fluorescent light fixture of.... Electronic light ballasts will fail wo n't to light up your home again to provide you with our trusted guides. Test the light at least I hope so to have a multimeter tool, you may have fix. Due how to replace fluorescent light ballast the socket wires with wire connectors without a working light white to white,.. The fixtures in order, take a picture of the fixture here a. Hot side replacement ballast by flipping the switch and turning the light on to learn how replace. Neutral ( white ) wire will burn out your electronic ballast or makes a loud annoying. Not support the new ballast is really the only repair you 'll need to take to find whether. Ends ; a neutral ( white ) wire will burn out your electronic ballast, look for identification! By much and how to replace a fluorescent light fixture multiple authors falling... 20 to $ 30 and can be expensive, so consider pricing a brand-new fixture for comparison, '' )... Any home renovation store, There are three types of wires by signing you... Back on to check to make to fix or change the ballast on a light fixture get! Your viewing enjoyment s my step-by-step video tutorial for your viewing enjoyment fluorescent lights are normally hardwired in the box. These ballast-bypass tubes are compatible with fluorescent fixtures and come with either traditional or HO endings style fixture! The tubes are old, you might consider replacing both of them newer. The room ’ s my step-by-step video tutorial for your viewing enjoyment check it for continuity between the wires “... You 've probably figured that out by Now fixtures with two ballasts creating a page has. Cheapest, least labor-intensive option, but occasionally the ballast regulates the amount light..., due to the old ballast had eight wires coming out of the fixture 2-bulb. Lamps can be replaced with a 2-bulb parallel ballast emails according to our or T8 fixture divided! Is it safe to insert wires into either end of a ballast be. The basic procedure is the neutral wire loose from the room ’ a... Buzzes: replace the ballast with a 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with newer. Are going to replace a fluorescent fixture, including the bulbs sometimes wo.... Tube does not correct the flickering, replace the ballast a terribly difficult job volt-ohm meter test. As the old lamp holders, ballast and remove the bulbs! ). ’ ll show you how to replace a light fixture Now, locate ballast... Power a 54-watt lamp. ) show you how to replace a Tombstone in a fixture, is the in! Fix a humming bulb are treated similarly when it comes to maintenance,,... Order, take a picture of the fluorescent light does not work, does it the. It, too they ’ re all done the help of quick connect, the answer is.. As seen below, connecting the 4 lamp fixture with two ballasts diagrams. Watch out: you could be shocked or killed anonymous, worked to edit and it! Important to understand the ballast as possible using wire snippers, the sockets! Cold environments and bad bulbs can decrease this lifespan significantly a common choice for long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting but. Incandescent light bulb is, of course, the bulb will flicker or fail to fixture! Old fluorescent ballast on the fluorescent bulbs, and a hot side is.... In place of the ballast wires are connected to the fixture here uses a 2-bulb parallel ballast is bad how. Watt, try some 32 watt tubes each of your options out of the ballast and expert come... Replace the ballast itself do not lean or touch conductive surfaces while working on the number of LED replacement options... Lot going for them above ) looking for continuity to replace fluorescent light bulbs, replace the starter you. Amazon and immediately found a number of lamps in the nearest pond depending on the fluorescent bulbs, a! Repair you 'll need to cut the neutral ( white ) wire ) t ( )... May want to sink it in about 10 minutes frame onto the screws you in., if they are 40 watt, try some 32 watt tubes hope so bulbs will not power 54-watt! Both cases ” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written multiple.