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Old 08-04-2013, 12:21 PM   #1
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Kitchen Fluorescent Lighting Issues


Hello. We have 3 fluorescent light fixtures in our kitchen that are driving us crazy. From what I can tell, they are Lithonia 391237, C-2-40-120 STD Strips. When we first moved in, they had 32W bulbs in the fixtures, and only 2 were working at the time (2 bulbs were blown in one of the fixtures). We went ahead and replaced all 6 of the bulbs with newer 40W bulbs, and everything seemed to work great. Soon thereafter, the lights started to not immediately come on. It then progressed to the light switches having to be flicked on and off a few times to get them working. Now it's to the point where it sometimes takes 3-5 minutes (or more) of switching the lights on and off to get at least 1 set to light up completely. If they have been on for a while, it does seem that they come on quicker. For example it's much harder to get them to come on after work than it is to get them to come on later that evening. Most of the time when you flip the switch, they don't light up, sometimes they will all come on very dim, sometimes 1 set lights up all the way, sometimes 2 sets do, after a while the third one sometimes decides to light up as well. It's all random. Also note the there are two 3-way switches (1 switch on each side of the kitchen that controls these lights). We replaced these switches initially when we replaced the bulbs, as we're updating all switches with modern switches. I don't think these have anything to do with the issue, but I just thought I'd mention it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.


Last edited by ThatDudeMike; 08-04-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:23 PM   #2
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Kitchen Fluorescent Lighting Issues


Picture of the fixture.
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Kitchen Fluorescent Lighting Issues-image-4102051930.jpg  


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Old 08-04-2013, 12:41 PM   #3
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Kitchen Fluorescent Lighting Issues


The ballasts are going/gone.
I would replace the fixtures with T8 fixtures, rather than trying to repair the T12's.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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Kitchen Fluorescent Lighting Issues


Thanks for the quick response. I was hoping the fixtures didn't need replaced, but I do think they've been up there for quite a while.

I probably wouldn't attempt to fix them period, will just replace them. Why do you suggest replacing with T8 fixtures instead of T12's?
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:42 PM   #5
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Kitchen Fluorescent Lighting Issues


T8 bulbs are more efficient than the T12's.

T12 lamps are being phased out. Since July 2012, they haven't made or imported any into the US, with the exception of the 5000K color temp which is exempt because of a high CRI. So, sometime in the future, your bulb choice will become limited in the T12.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:06 PM   #6
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How old are the fixtures ?
Older fixtures were NOT made for modern rapid start tubes.
Even thou they may sometimes work.
The older style tubes worked on a slightly lower voltage,
The modern rapid start types use a slightly higher voltage,
this is why when you put a modern tube into a older style fixture
the results will be slower starting, and as the unit ages,sometimes
no starting at all !

Replace the ballasts and starters with new rapid style types,
and your problems will be over !

Or find some older style tubes !
You can tell by the diameter of the tubes
Older style ones are larger in diameter.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:10 PM   #7
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Kitchen Fluorescent Lighting Issues


High humidity causes ours to do the same thing.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoleCat View Post
High humidity causes ours to do the same thing.
Some tubes dont work unless the fixture is properly earthed,
There must be some sort of capacitive coupling going on,
High humidity would interfere with this process !

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