What to Do when Your Flourescent Lamp Goes Bad

Fluorescent lights last much longer than Edison bulbs, but then again we owe a debt of gratitude to the actual greatest inventor to reside in America since Ben Franklin and his name was not Thomas. (Hint: It was Nikola.) Tesla’s fluorescent light bulbs don’t last forever, however, but usually they don’t just pop out of existence like the ones that Mr. Edison stole from his underlings. Most often a fluorescent light bulb will give you some warning that it is going bad, typically beginning with a slowness in the coming on and ending with illumination about one-fourth what you get at full power.

When your fluorescent bulb begins to go south the first thing you will want to do is take a look at your service panel. You may need only to replace a blown fuse or reset the circuit breaker. Should the fluorescent tube still not hope into full illumination at this point or if merely flickers or blinks, go over to the wall and flick off the power. Get yourself a chair or a step ladder or a small husky child to give you enough height to get up to the fluorescent lamp fixture. Gently twist the tube of the fluorescent light lamp back and forth. Very often the problem with a fluorescent light not coming all the way on has to do with the fact that somehow it has come loose from its sockets. Remember the pain in the butt that the light bulb was to perfectly align the tube when you put it into the fixture? If the fluorescent tube even just slightly comes ajar from within those sockets it can result a darkened room. Perhaps good for developing 35mm photographs, but for making sure that steak is not rare? Not so much.

If this process still does not result in enough light by which to cook or clean or make love on the countertop then give the light bulb a one-quarter turn. This will allow you to pull the florescent tube out of its placement within the overhead fixture. Once you’ve got the fluorescent tube in your hand, be sure to be very careful and no matter, don’t let your small husky child suddenly jump up. A fluorescent light bulb that crashes to the ground is much more dangerous than an Edison bulb. Check the fluorescent tube very carefully. You will find small little pins that are the connectors to the flow of electric current. Make sure these pins are straight and not bent. Bent pins can result in a bad flow of electricity. A pair of long nose pliers or tweezers or wire cutters should do the trick. Next clean the tube with a damp cloth, making sure to let it dry before reinstallation. And finally spray those pins with an electric contact cleaner, also making sure that you give it enough time to dry.

After the fluorescent tube has dried, simply reinstall the light bulb. If after all this you are still getting bad light or no light at all, then it’s time to go shopping for a brand new fluorescent tube.

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