Check your circuit breaker box and confirm that the corresponding breaker is firmly in the "on" position. It's generally easy to tell when an incandescent bulb has burned out. Confirm that its not the circuit breaker that has tripped; 2. Currents travel between both tubes and either could be causing the problem. When all else fails, the ballast should be replaced. Check the main power source for the house and see if the circuit breaker has been tripped or a fuse has blown. When using direct fit LEDs, the ballast is still using energy and eating into your possible energy savings. How to Tell If Fluorescent Bulbs Are Blown? Tubes can fall out of a fixture if not properly installed. wikiHow's. Flip the switch and wait a few seconds. For tips on replacing the starter bulb, read on! Learn more... A flickering or dead fluorescent bulb can be a nuisance and it may be time to replace it. Many of us don’t pay attention to our light bulbs until they burn out and when they do, it can be difficult to know exactly which size, shape or style you need to replace the bulb in your fitting exactly. Remove one of the working tubes from another fixture and replace it with the suspect tube. Bring the bulb vent close to your nose and smell. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Check if the connecting pins are broken or bent; 4. LEDS in and of themselves are much more efficient than fluorescent bulbs. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Flip the switch and wait a few seconds. Using a digital multimeter to test the bulb; 1. Electricians usually refer to a light bulb as a lamp. For retrofit LED tubes, you'll be re-wiring your fixture to bypass the existing ballast, and just how that re- This article has been viewed 52,369 times. Be careful handling a fluorescent tube. Turn the fluorescent bulb clockwise to see if it's firmly seated in the socket. Regardless of whether you're looking to use retrofit or ballast compatible LED tubes in your existing fluorescent fixtures, you'll need to know what kind of ballast your fixture has. Unlike fluorescent tubes, LEDs don’t require a ballast to regulate current. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, The Natural Handyman: Repairing and Troubleshooting Fluorescent Fixtures and Tubes, United Nations Environment Programme: Reducintg RIsk From Mercury. You must test the fluorescent bulb before considering a replacement. Sometimes bulbs "unscrew" themselves or become rotated enough for the electricity not to flow correctly over the end pins. What do you do next? If the breaker has been tripped, push the switch entirely to the off position, and flip the switch back on. Step 2. If darkness forms on one side of the tube, rotate the tube by 180 degrees from how it used to sit. The pieces must be sealed in a plastic bag then thrown away. % of people told us that this article helped them. And just to be thorough, you've also checked the main service panel for a tripped breaker or a blown fuse. Place the probes on both pins of the tube light to get an accurate reading. There are some usual reasons a bulb can go bad, and we can do some quick checks to find out if it’s fixable or a replacement is necessary. For tips on replacing the starter bulb, read on! Replace the ballast cover on the fluorescent light fixture. You can also use a multimeter to determine if the electrodes still hold conductivity. Check the light bulb first to see if it has burned out. And they're just as bright, if not brighter. To test fluorescent bulbs, start by checking your electrical panel box to confirm the circuit isn't broken. Simply look at the filament to see if it is broken, or give the bulb a gentle shake to listen for the familiar "tinkle tinkle" of the broken filament in the bulb. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Identifying the viability of a fluorescent bulb is somewhat more complicated. With a CFL, is there any way to tell if a bulb is bad without plugging it into a socket and trying it out? Install a new ballast, if necessary. Old starters look no different than new starters, so throw away any starters that have gone bad. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Inspect the bulb and replace it if you see burned or blackened spots. CFLs come in a number of shapes, the most common being twin tubes, quads, triples, spirals, F type lamps, 2D lamps and circular lamps. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. You can buy 4-lamp electronic ballasts, and you should be paying well over $15 for a ballast unless you're getting the $2-3 new-stock pulls off ebay, which is my preference. Turn the fluorescent bulb clockwise to see if it's firmly seated in the socket. Step 2. If it does not illuminate, the bulb is burned out. Light bulb manufacturers use the term “lamp” when referring to fluorescent lights. And a burned fluorescent bulb can not light up anymore. In incandescent bulbs, you can shake the bulb or look at the filament to tell if a bulb is dead without having to put it in a socket. Check for power first then the starter (if applicable) and then the bulbs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Luther College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Idaho, both in stage design and painting. Check the ends of the tube. Check for power first then the starter (if applicable) and then the bulbs. Bulbs are the most common problem with a bad fluorescent fixture. When bulbs age and have been used for a long time, brown spots will appear. Well, first you need to find out if power is actually getting to the light socket. If the fluorescent bulb fails to come on, turn the switch off. I just replaced the ceiling lights in our kitchen -- 65W standard bulbs replaced by 9W LEDs. Or in other words, the lifespan of the fluorescent bulb is over. Scrub the rust and the dust at the holders; 6. Replace it with a fresh one. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Other Problems That Can Be Identified and Fixed with The Above Checks I don't have a lot of faith in the $10-tier LED replacement "tubes", and their CRI is not up to where real fluorescent tubes are. Step 1. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Sometimes light bulbs do shatter when they fail. You can easily tell if a fluorescent bulb is burned or not. If there is no reading on the multimeter, the bulbs should be replaced. If your fluorescent tubes have recently fizzled out – don’t panic. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/8\/83\/Test-Fluorescent-Bulbs-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Test-Fluorescent-Bulbs-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/8\/83\/Test-Fluorescent-Bulbs-Step-1.jpg\/aid9822564-v4-728px-Test-Fluorescent-Bulbs-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Visually inspect ; 3. Photo 1 shows how to tell if a fluorescent bulb is bad and how to replace it. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. How to Tell If a Fluorescent Tube Is Bad? Set your multimeter to test the resistance between the two pins If the bulb still does not light, the gas may have leaked out and the bulb will need to be replaced. If there are black rings in the glass nearest the plastic body then the bulb has blown. If testing tube lights, be sure to test both bulbs even if only one is out. What we call a "good burn" for a fluorescent lamp, is one that has lived it's normal life, based on published hours of operation, and is that BOTH ends of the lamp are blackened, or grayed with burn rings.

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