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Old 08-02-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
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Problem with box lights


My mom has two box lights in her kitchen. Each light holds two fluorescent bulbs. In one box the bulb on the right won't light and in the second box it's the one on the left.

We tried replacing the bulbs and that didn't work. Then again, these things had been in the garage for quite a while. To check if that was the problem we took the good ones and switched sides. No bueno.

Where would I start to troubleshoot this problem? I have a very basic understanding of circuits, wiring, and electrical safety so I feel confident I can tackle this problem but I still felt like getting some advice first would be wise.

I've included two pictures. Sorry they are so dark, I didn't feel like waiting for the sun to come up. If necessary tomorrow I can take down the plastic stuff and take a picture of what is actually inside the box.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:51 PM   #2
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Problem with box lights


I will say you have a burnted out ballast some of the luminaires will have one ballast and some will have two ballast in there.

You will have to take the inside center cover off to get into them.

and replace the ballast most will go with electronic verison you may get a old style T-12 but I doubt due most gone with T-8 nowdays so the wiring connection is very specfic by ballast manufacter so when you replace you follow the wiring diagram.

Merci,
Marc

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Old 08-03-2012, 10:21 AM   #3
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Problem with box lights


Thanks for your reply!
So the ballast has the company website on there and I'm going to see if I can order them. Before I do that though, is there a way to be sure that's the problem? I would hate to replace them only to discover that wasn't it.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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Problem with box lights


Btw, I did notice my typo in the title of my own post.
How embarrassing.
:D
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:27 AM   #5
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Problem with box lights


Use a meter to test for 120v going in to the ballast when the switch is on. If you got that, you're now almost positive it's the ballast.

Don't bother calling and ordering a replacement unless there's literally no where to get electrical parts near where you are...that's a very common ballast so it shouldn't be hard to find.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:28 AM   #6
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Problem with box lights


Those are just cheap fixtures. If it was mine I would just replace the whole fixture that's not working, then you would have all new parts, and less wires to mess with.

Why would you order a trasformer? Any Lowes or HD will stock them.
Just write down all the info so you get an exact replacement.
Mark all the wires before removing.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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Problem with box lights


You may not be able to buy magnetic ballasts anymore. I know for sure you cannot buy the magnetic ballasts for the 96" inch lamps.
You may come out better buying new fixtures and not spend $15-$20 or more on each ballast. You will also have to buy electronic ballast's and rewire the fixture. The fixtures (2) can be purchased very inexpensively. Go with T8 and forget those T12 lamps forever.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:38 AM   #8
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Problem with box lights


http://www.homedepot.com/Lighting-Fa...&storeId=10051

Even Wal-Mart carrys some like this.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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Problem with box lights


Me just running on down to lowe's or someplace is easier said than done. I'm big on ordering things.
I wouldn't dare ask my mom to pick it up, there's no telling what she would come home with.

We had talked about replacing the fixtures entirely but decided against it. She's about to sell and just needs them to work. I know box lighting is out-dated but it's a weird setup and we're not sure what she would even replace them with.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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Problem with box lights


Thanks for that link. I may just do that.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #11
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Problem with box lights


You don't have to replace the whole fixture, just the strip light on each one that does not work.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:11 AM   #12
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Problem with box lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan
You don't have to replace the whole fixture, just the strip light on each one that does not work.
By replacing the fixture meant we had talked about getting rid of the outdated box lighting entirely.

Now that I see that the strip light is literally the same cost as the ballast, that's what I'm going to do.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #13
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Problem with box lights


Well I bought two new strip lights and successfully installed them yesterday!
Everything works perfectly! I did get more t12 though because my mom already had the bulbs. :-/

Thanks everyone for the awesome advice!!
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #14
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Problem with box lights


I meant to ask: when it comes to shoving in the end plates and pulling out the little circle for the wire, is there a trick I'm not aware of?? I think I spent more time dealing with those two pieces than any other part of the project!

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