Older CFL fixture starting troubles

kookoo2April 18, 2013

We have a ceiling fixture, about 18 years old, that uses one CFL. Recently, it has become very temperamental, taking at least several minutes (up to 30) to come on when switched on, and in the past two days, is not coming on at all. I doubt it's just the lamp dying, since I don't know if that would have caused the delayed start. Is it worth investigating replacing the starter? Something else? Or at it's age, would it make more sense to just replace it (hate to do that, though; It was NOT a cheap light fixture then!)

It's like the one in the link, but fluorescent. I couldn't find a link for the fl. one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Progress light fixture

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

The ballast could be the issue.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ionized_gw

What kind of CFL? Replace vs. rehab depends on how much time you have. You can replace the ballast and lamp with like. You can also replace the ballast, lamp and socket with something more modern if you want to fiddle with your favorite lamp.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dodge59

Most of the florescent lamps that I've had, over the years, failed just exactly as yours did. They would take longer and longer to come on, and those I had in the garage might not come on if it was cold. Replacing ONLY the florescent tubes, has always fixed the problem, so I would try that first.

Gary

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 6:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ionized_gw

Yes, that seems to be the standard way to trouble-shoot that kind of problem as opposed to a sudden failure.

1)replace starter if there is one (rare these days)
2)if starter replacement does not work, replace lamp
3))if lamp and starter replacement does not work, replace ballast

The trouble with this is that some of the older systems have lamps that have become very expensive. I have a bunch of ancient preheat luminaires under the cabinets in my kitchen. A bad ballast or starter can take out a lamp in short order and the lamps are about $7. I've stopped working on them and I plan to replace them when I get the time.

In the OP's case, I think that the older two-pin CFL ballasts and bulbs are rapidly becoming obsolete. It might be better to upgrade the luminaire to a 4-pin socket, ballast and lamp if the lamp is good quality and loved providing the owner is handy and has the time.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kookoo2

I just got a new lamp (it's a 2-pin gx23 base lamp). I was able to easily remove the old one, but getting the new one in is another story. I don't want to risk a broken tube, but cannot get the lamp into its socket! Any tips on that?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

"cannot get the lamp into its socket!"

Are you sure it is the correct lamp?

The manufacturers used to use different bases to prevent the wrong lamp form being installed in the wrong fixture (and thus not correctly matching the ballast).

Little things like plastic tabs on different positions on lamps that otherwise appeared identical.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kookoo2

I am positive it's the correct lamp. Everything lines up,and it looks exactly like the one I removed (different brand, but otherwise identical).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 1:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dodge59

Try putting the old lamp back in a time or 2, and see if it goes back in easy, that way you don't break your new light, and you will now whether the problem is the fixture or the new light.

Gary

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kookoo2

I will try that,though it may also be that the old one is "broken in" or loosened from getting it in. We think it was hard to get inserted last time we had to change it, too, though it's been so many years, we don't recall how we finally solved it!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

Hold old and new side by side as they would instal and look at the pins and all the plastic tabs that are there.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kookoo2

I did it! After putting the old one in and out, and looking very carefully, I noticed that both pins were smooth on one side, a bit indented on the other. After looking at the new one, (not exactly the same, since one pin is indented on both sides), I worked carefully to align the pins with the holes, with the lamp facing the same direction as the old one, and it went in with just a little push. I don't know if the indents actually matter, or I was just being more careful with lining up holes and pins, but at least it worked. (If the indents are, indeed, relevant, they should say so on the package!). Thanks for all the guidance.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:27PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Artwork lighting with recessed cans
I have 6" recessed can lights throughout my house....
sch9171
T24 compliant, 4" LED recessed light options
We are looking for a sub $100 4" LED recessed...
pinkybee83
MR16 vs GU10
What is the difference between MR16 and GU10 halogen...
mtvhike
how many lamps in a bathroom heat lamp?
Bathroom is about 140sq5 ft. What do you'll think?...
growingadvice
thoughts on WAC Lighting LEDme Pro Light Bars
title says it all - any feedback on this brand and...
lmgch
Sponsored Products
Divi Chrome One-Light Halogen Square Canopy Wall Sconce with Blue Cloud Glass
$153.00 | Bellacor
New Century Four-Light Rubbed Oil Bronze Bath Fixture
$169.10 | Bellacor
Besa 1SW-1779GF-SN Gold Foil Mia Wall Light - 1SW-1779GF-SN
$180.00 | Hayneedle
Talista Wall Mounted 1-Light Outdoor River Rock Lantern with White Acrylic
$27.11 | Home Depot
Energy Efficient White Fabric 14" Wide Ceiling Light
Lamps Plus
IC Floor Lamp by Flos Lighting
$895.00 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™