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lights not coming on right.

Hi,

I have two 4ft double bulb flouresent light fixtures in my Kitchn. I live right out of New Orleans, LA. When it rains, and it's damp outside we have trouble turning the lights on. Especially in the morning. Sometimes you can flip the switch on and off a few times and get it to come on. But most of the time you just have to wait.

Any idea what could be causing this?

Lee

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I have this problem. . . is there an easy fix short of replacing the fixture? Can I use sandpaper or an eraser to clean off the connections (the round slot where the fluorescent prongs make contact?

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When using fluorescent lighting in wet or very humid areas, it is important to ensure the bulb or ballast is grounded properly. Most modern residential electrical wiring incorporates an electrical ground into the circuitry. Whether using a traditional fluorescent with a ballast or a compact bulb, always ensure the fixture has been installed and grounded properly. Fluorescent bulbs run cooler than incandescents, and water may condense on the exterior of the bulb, presenting a significant shock hazard in an ungrounded fixture.

Corrosion

The prongs on a traditional fluorescent tube are made of metal and are relatively exposed to the surrounding air even when installed in a fixture. Exposing the bulb to moist air will cause these prongs to corrode, reducing the performance and life of the bulb. It is advisable to avoid using fluorescent bulbs in wet or humid areas, opting instead for a sealed incandescent, mercury vapor or LED light source.

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The old style magnetic ballasts can lose voltage in humid environments which can prevent the necessary arc between the ends of the bulb. Either replace with a fixture with an electronic ballast, or alternatively, cut a narrow (1/4”-1/2”) strip of foil and attach it to the back of the bulb from end to end but stopping just short of the metal on each end. This helps a low voltage ballast make the initial arc required to light the bulb.

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Thanks for the detailed post. I am renting an apt with fluorescent fixtures throughout. And the landlord won't be changing them out any time soon. The lighting in the kitchen and bathroom quit working as soon as the humidity levels go up. It is frustrating to say the least. I had read about the foil fix before but it wasn't really clear to me why or how to do it. Your post perfectly explains everything I need to try this trick. Thanks for your help:) I'm going to try it out this weekend.

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I am having the same issue with the lights not turning on in high humidity. I'd like to try the aluminum foil technique but was wondering what is the best way to attach it? What material do use to affix it?

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I'm not quite understanding the foil- where it goes and where it doesn't ? And could this spark a fire?

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Good answers; in wet or humid areas many times florescent fixtures are enclosed. Also, your bulbs may be dirty - when moistened by humidity it can form a short circuit around the bulb and keep it from striking (starting).

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A co-worker told me of this and I'm going to try on some that have this hard start when humid problem. I'm especially hopeful this will work because the bulbs are in a shop where a lot of mower blade sharpening is done so they are probably covered in metal dust!

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Lee さん、ありがとうございました!
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