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Steve Maskery

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I installed a fluorescent light in the loft last year. Makes a great difference. Or I should say, made. I went up to get something recently and it doesn't work. Just a faint glow at one end. I've changed the starter. but no joy. This has been on for just a few minutes in its miserable little life. Anyone know what could be wrong. Have I just got a duff one or is there something about the environment (it's cold up there) that would affect it? I don't want to replace it with another if the same thing is going to happen again.
Any ideas please?
Thanks
Steve
 

DaveL

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Steve,

The cold does affect fluorscents. :(
That glow is a heater that the starter runs when its first turned on, there is normally one in each end. Once the tube has been heated for a short time the starter should cut the feed to the heaters and try to strike the discharge in the tube, if the discharge stops the heaters should get another pulse and the tube then restrikes. 8)
Well thats how it should work. :shock:
I don't know how cold it is where you are but I have not had any problem with the cold in my shop yet this year. It could be that one of the heaters in your tube has blown, or the wire has fell off in the fitting, or as its in the loft you have a family of spiders taken up residents and disconnected something in the process.

I would, with the aid of another light, take the tube out and turn it round and try it again. If it doesn't work things the check.

Glows only at the same end of the fitting, wire off in the fitting.
Glow now at other end of fitting, dud tube.

Don't fall while balancing on piles of stored treasure in the loft. :roll: :wink:
 
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Anonymous

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Steve

Cold of that level should not affect very much althoughn damp willl. You may have a duff tube or duff choke. The choke stores energy while the heaters are exciting gas near them until the starter opens the circuit, thus causing the choke to discharge through the gas in the tube. The excited gas glows and emits UV light. The powder on the inside of the tube glows white when hit by this UV

I suspect starter or tube - if it is the choke, then you may struggle to get one

As you have changed the starter, then it is probably the tube.
 

Chris Knight

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Steve,

I had a spate of starters and tubes going in my shop. It started with a number that had been installed at the same time going down within a couple of weeks of each other after several years service (very accurate built-in obsolesence timers!) so they also got replaced at more or less the same time with stuff from the local Focus shed.

These died in short order (a couple of weeks) and to cut a long story short it was both starters and tubes that were to blame. I now get my stuff from a decent electrical trade supplier and it works much better!
 

Losos

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Chris - Who are your 'decent electrical suppliers'? Also, does anyone use lights with electronic ballasts? In FWW they often discuss lighting and some users seem to prefer the electronic ballasts. I think most of the cheaper fluorescents use a transformer type ballast but I'm not certain.
 
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Losos":3v34dipt said:
Chris - Who are your 'decent electrical suppliers'? Also, does anyone use lights with electronic ballasts? In FWW they often discuss lighting and some users seem to prefer the electronic ballasts. I think most of the cheaper fluorescents use a transformer type ballast but I'm not certain.
The original type of flourescent used a choke - similar to one coil of a transformer and cheap modern flouros still do.

There will be very little advantage in using an electronic ballast, particularly in a loft where the light is seldom used
 

Chris Knight

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Losos,

Just a small local firm - no internet presence. They sell what seems to be decent gear- it looks better and costs more but seems to last a lot longer. I am no electrical expert and have accepted what they tell me about the quality differences between their gear and Focus stuff - maybe naive but I have had no cause to doubt them.
 

Steve Maskery

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I went up in the loft again today and tried the turn-the-tube-around-thing-trick. The glow moved to the other end, so, on the assumption that Dave is right :D , I'll get another tube next time I'm out. It's very annoying to have one go after so little use, but better than having to change the entire fitting, I guess.
Thanks to all for your input.
Cheers
Steve
 

Losos

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Tony / Chris - Thanks for your input also I won't bother getting electronic ballast fittings - probably hard to get in CZ anyway :(
 

Steve Maskery

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Crimbo over, decoration box back in the loft, along with a new tube, and hey presto, we have light!
Thank you all for your input.
Cheers
Steve
 

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