Had any trouble with your fluorescent fixtures?
I had to fix a fluorescent fixture today. The tubes are T 12's I THINK. Anyway,they have the single fat pins on the ends.
After fruitlessly putting in a new ballast,I looked to the "tomb stones",which are the plastic sockets that the tubes fit into. They are well known for making trouble.
I decided to drill out the rivet,and look inside one. It had a brass sort of spring that had simply the naked end of a wire shoved under it. I just soldered the wire to this brass strip in each tombstone. It worked fine. I replaced the drilled out hollow rivets with small screws and nuts.
It is so stupid that these fixtures are so carelessly made. I'm not going looking for replacement tombstones any more!
Those carelessly made fixtures will last 50 or 6o years. Especially with the old ballasts. Dont knock them. i have worked on thousands of fixtures and the tombstones is usually the last issue. (I worked lighting service)
Look for slimline. Thats the type of tube.
We have a two tube, four foot, fixture in the master bedroom closet that I had a devil of a time diagnosing. Frequently the lamps would not light completely when powered up. They'd just glow dimly or flicker or both.
I went through the regular 'change the ballast, fix the ground wire, change the tubes' routine but no joy.
Long story short, it was those dumb push-the-wire-in contact spring things that were loose! Out of 8 connections, 5 were bad.
I reached in with a little hook I made, bent the contacts so they'd grab the wires tightly and reassembled the fixture.
It's worked fine ever since.
Yesterday during the course of repairing a microwave oven, I found where a wire had been crimped to a spade connector, but not stripped first. The connection was solid, but over the insulation only. Before that I had a unit with a blown fuse- quickly scanned it, replaced the fuse. The control panel lit up, I set the clock, punched in a time then hit start. I always have an ammeter hooked up, and this time it showed 67 amps for about one second, then it was dead. Fuse was still good. Huh? One of the wires to the fan motor was not connected to the motor, but was welded to the case, big splatch of burnt metal surrounding it.
Some of the ones I get a kick out of are when the high voltage has arced through a wire and is shorting to something. It's only about 3 to 4 thousand volts, but there's enough current there to make a pretty good little impromptu bonfire. That usually gets the other techs running over to see what's going on.
Often enough you would just assume that a wire that looks well connected actually is connected. And in some cases that just isn't so. And from what I've seen, you must always make sure you have a good ground wire connection. I know that has saved me from a shock more than once.
It's kind of fun playing with electricity, I like it anyway.
Fluorecent fixtures are on the way out here. I installed the 4 LED 2000 lumen 12 volt fixture in the skylight in the living room. Together with the LED track lights and several other reading lights and one LED in the track lights over the tree the living room is now all LED. Total wattage consumed is about 50.
The interesting thing is that the 2000 lumen 4 emitter unit is much brighter that the lumens rating suggests. I am not sure what to ascribe that to since I am running it below maximum with a 33 watt actual consumption instead of 40.
The light quality is very satisfactory and the level of illumination is completely adequate. This is how it looks on LED only.
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