Re: Sparking Flourescent Ceiling Fixture
Are you replacing the fixture because "it's bad" or are you replacing it because you don't like fluorescent lights?
Before you throw it out, consider the following:
- You can simply get a new ballast. New, electronic ballasts do not give an annoying flicker. You should get a "T-8" ballast -- these use the 1" diameter tubes which are usually somewhat more efficient. You won't need to change the sockets unless they are damaged. Purchase a ballast according to the number and length of tubes the fixture uses. Note that an electronic ballast will have a different wiring diagram than a magnetic ballast will.
- Try different color temperatures. As Brookworld mentioned, 2700K (warm white) has a very warm, almost pinkish cast; 3500K (soft white) is yellower and closest to incandescent; 4100K (cool white) is a whiter light that is comfortable to work under (and my favorite for task lighting); 5000K (daylight) produces very white, true coloring (best for an art studio) and will take some getting used to indoors; 6500K is a very bluish light.
- You can get different wattages, but do not exceed the wattage labeled on the ballast. If the ballast is not specified "high output" do NOT use high output tubes.
Note that different color temperatures may have different apparent brightnesses, even if the "lumens" rating is the same. For example, I think that 4100K seems brighter than 2700K for the same wattage. It has to do with our eyes' sensitivity to different frequencies of light, compared with the frequencies of light cast by the bulbs.
It sounds like you've got your mind made up on replacing it, but I wanted to post this in case someone lurking here has a similar problem but doesn't want to replace the entire fixture.
Last edited by Fencepost; 10-27-2011 at 01:30 AM.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.