Fluorescent light problem:
July 16, 2004 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Fluorescent light problem:

I have a fluorescent light fixture in my bathroom using two, different-sized, doughnut-shaped bulbs. Lately it's been taking a long time to turn on (15-30 minutes) after I throw the switch in the morning. If the fixture has been running for a while, this warm-up time seems to go down. Does this sound like a ballast problem (and thus my landlord's problem), or a light-bulb problem (mine)? I'm leaning to ballast because the lights look fine once they start, but I haven't been able to find the same symptoms on the half dozen fluorescent lighting websites I've looked at so far.
posted by cardboard to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Does it make any noise if you flip the switch?
posted by SpecialK at 9:04 AM on July 16, 2004

Response by poster: When I flip the switch there's usually a bit of a click and the ends of the bulbs glow a very faint orange. Sometimes the lights flash on for a split-second if I move the switch up and down repeatedly.
posted by cardboard at 9:09 AM on July 16, 2004

Hard to tell from that. Could be either. Replace one of the bulbs and you'll know for sure.
See, it could either be that the diodes at the ends of the bulb aren't providing enough charge for the gas to ignite. Otherwise, it's the ballast that's not providing enough charge to the bulbs.
posted by SpecialK at 9:17 AM on July 16, 2004

Ballast. In my experience, non-crappy-cheap bulbs rarely fail this way but ballast gives up the ghost all the time.
posted by majick at 1:57 PM on July 16, 2004

Couldn't this be the starter? It's usually what causes these things in my experience.
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:29 PM on July 16, 2004

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