how to wire fluorescent light ballast

To regulate the current flowing throughout fluorescent lights, we use what’s known as a ballast. Screw the electronic ballast into the fixture, in the same place where the magnetic one was. If the lamp fixture does have a starter, it will be obvious. This one is a T12, while this one is T8.) The wiring process of fluorescent tube lamp/light with Ballast, Starter is quite easy and simple. Instant start ballasts can only be wired in parallel according to the diagram on the ballast. Step 4 - Test the Ballast. Ballast bypass type LED tube lights are generally slightly cheaper than Ballast Compatible. Things You'll Need. For this reason, they’re commonly used in spaces where the lights are left on for long periods, such as offices, shops and warehouses. Free Shipping On All Orders Over £50 (+ VAT), The complete guide to ballasts for fluorescent lights. Rather than pre-heat the electrodes, the ballast uses a high-voltage boost (around 600 volts) to heat and light the filaments and then the mercury gas. Nowadays, magnetic ballasts are a rather outdated technology that manufacturers are phasing out, and so they’re usually only found on older types of lights. Now there’s more electricity coming in, the ballast starts to do its job of regulating it. If you sometimes hear your light buzz or see it flicker, it’s this changing flow of current that’s causing it. While this may sound bad, it's actually quite easy to wire a T8 ballast and by doing so, you'll be able to avoid replacing the entire fluorescent fixture. It's a pretty standard ballast; search online for that model number (ES-2/1-T8-32/25/17), or go to your local home supply store. The fluorescent fixture has now been converted to LED light. Use the wire cutters to cut the wires connected to the sockets. Cut all the wires connected to the fluorescent light ballast. How does a fluorescent light ballast work? The fixture here uses a 2-bulb series ballast that gets replaced with a 2-bulb parallel ballast. Newer electronic ballasts are instant start (wired in parallel), rapid start (wired in series), programmed start (wired in series-. Grounding a ballast is very important. On this page, we will refer to a fluorescent light bulb as a lamp or tube. I am looking for some advice about fluorescent ballasts replacements. Ballasts have certain colors for individual wires to lampholders, and other colors for common wires to holders. When magnetic ballasts break, it is often blamed on the bulb. You can find out how to do this safely with the guide Replacing and Recycling Fluorescent Tubes Safely. Watch out : You could be shocked or killed. A multimeter is designed to measure electric current, voltage and resistance. The process that occurs inside a fluorescent light involves molecules of mercury gas being heated by electricity and made more conductive. "Follow the colore-coded wiring diagram" was the recommendation, yet after connecting all like colors on the new ballast to the fixture, all I got was a delayed, dim light at the base of each fluorescent bulb. If it isn’t hot enough, the electricity will go back through the starter and begin the process again. Welcome to a how-to video by Toolbox DIY where will we show you how to replace a fluorescent ballast on a light fixture. T12 Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement: Replacing two T12 fluorescent light To remove any old wire ends still in the tombstone simply poke a ale or small. Newer fixtures have plastic snaps on either side of the cover. Warning. They’re often a feature of lighting that’s activated by motion-detection sensors (for example, toilets in workplaces or public venues) and allows the fluorescent light to last for a long time. A ground wire from the power source should be connected to a light fixture. Note: There will be four to eight wires coming out of the ballast. If you are missing the instruction manual, most major manufacturers will have opies on their website. When an instant start ballast (wired in parallel) operates multiple lamps in a circuit, the lamps operate independently of each other. Grounding is usually automatic if the light fixture is grounded properly. If a ballast is replaced with the exact same type of ballast, the wire colors usually match. Older fluorescent light fixtures utilized a magnetic ballast to control the flow of Remove the wire nuts from the black and white wires connecting the ballast to. Step Three Locate the ballast from the fluorescent light fixture. A neutral wire (for the sake of simplicity) is a white wire which completes the circuit back to the electrical panel. However, it does use more energy. Three wire nuts. These rely on the principles of electromagnetism, in that when an electrical current travels through a wire, it naturally generates a magnetic force around itself. Step 1 Turn off the power to the fluorescent light that has the bad ballast. So, how to wire the new ballast … Electrical tape. They are general considered old technology and less manufacturers are creating them. If one lamp fails, the others can keep operating as the circuit between them and the ballast remains unbroken. U-shaped bulbs are held in the socket with tension springs. A magnetic ballast (also called a choke) contains a coil of copper wire. Remove the case, lamp, and any cover that prevents you from reaching the … Branded ballasts can last for a long time so if you change one, you probably won’t need to change it again for 10 years or more. They are inexpensive and can be found at most electronics shop. This quickly heats the mercury gas inside the light. Note: There will be four to eight wires coming out of the ballast. Disconnect the a/c wiring from the existing ballast and cut the wires going from the ballast to the lamp holders. Designed for areas in which the lights are constantly switched on and off, these ballasts pre-heat the electrodes with controlled amounts of current before applying a higher voltage to start the light. Loosen the screw on the side of the cable clamps on both fixtures. Most T8 tubes will have a hidden ballast, covered with a casing and resting behind the tube light. Before you go to the trouble of replacing the ballast, you should determine if a bad ballast is indeed the likely cause of the problem. If you’re more of a reader, we’ve also made a one-page instruction sheet for retrofitting 8ft fluorescent fixtures to LED . Ballast can be quite expensive, so you want to be certain that it really is the source of the electrical problem in your florescent light … Wire colors for individual and common connections on fluorescent ballasts will vary depending on ballast type, brand, and the number of lamps they support. Screwdriver. One advantage of the rapid-start method is that by providing a low, continuous current rather than a strong surge, it prolongs the life of the fluorescent light. Because your home’s mains power has a higher voltage than the light needs to operate, the ballast gives the light a small boost of voltage to start and then just enough of a supply to stay running safely. Connect the power and neutral wires to the corresponding ballast wires. Fluorescent Light Ballast Replacement. As the starter cools, it blocks the current’s path to the filaments and makes it seek another route. This is what causes some old fluorescent lights to flicker. These output wires provide the power to the lamps. Screw the switch back to the electric box and re-attach the switch cover. Screwdriver; Wire connectors; Wire cutters and/or utility knife; Electrical tape; Ladder; Turn electricity off. Pull it out carefully, as the wires connected to the tombstones will still be attached to the ballast. Switch start requires a wire wound magnet choke of ballast. I suspect the wiring is not as simple as described. Fluorescent Light Ballast (Be sure to get one that’s for the specific bulb that your light requires. In newer lamps the process provided by a starter is built in, making the function of a separate starter redundant. Install the new ballast and secure it with the old mounting screws. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. In most cases when we buy a fluorescent light it comes in a complete set with all wire connected. The process for swapping out magnetic ballasts for electronic ballasts is pretty simple and straightforward. Turn the multimeter on the ohms scale. Locate The Ballast On The fluorescent Light Fixture Now, locate the ballast on the existing fluorescent fixture. Without a Ballast also the light won’t start as it provides the higher voltage to the light to start. All you need to do is remove the ballast from your fixture (say goodbye to failing ballasts for good!) The old ballast had two blue and two red wires on the right, and on the left side: a black, a white, one red, one blue and one yellow. Connection instructions led tube light installation ballast bypass cut the load and neutral wires from the ballast leaving a sucient amount of wire to connect back to the 110 vac power source. You can return items to us within 30 days of receiving your order providing the goods are unused. Than remove the 10mm nuts 1 … In order to ensure that the issue is with the ballast, you will want to test it with a multimeter. Unlike pre-heat—where the filaments receive current via the starter only to heat the mercury gas—with rapid start, the ballast keeps a small amount of current flowing continuously through the filaments. Fluorescent lights use either an electronic or a magnetic ballast. The socket lead wires (most likely red and blue-colored wires) are located on the other side of the ballast and connect to wires going out of the ballast to the sockets (which should be non-shunted sockets for T8 LEDs). Green - (NOT a ground wire) in this case is connecting the ballast to the second terminal on the same fluorescent lamp connector as received the white or neutral wire. Feed the ends of the wire through the cable clamps and tighten the screws until the wire is secure. If your light comes on immediately but takes a few seconds to get fully bright, it has a rapid-start ballast. There is a risk of electrocution when changing a ballast so if you’re unsure ask an electrician to do the job for you. The ballast limits the current by … A wiring diagram is a streamlined standard pictorial representation of an electric circuit. Various parts can be replaced for switch start, rather than the whole unit, which could been seen as an advantage. Fluorescents have different color renderings that incandescent lamps can’t offer economically, such as plant lights for a greenhouse. Individual ballast wires each connect to a lampholder on one side of each tube. Though this makes them energy efficient, it also shortens their life, as the surge of voltage every time they’re switched on damages them over time. Assortment of fluorescent ballast wiring diagram. You should find a small grey cylinder plugged into the light fitting. What is the ballast in a fluorescent light? How to Wire a Plug to a Fluorescent Light By Nathan Fisher Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. To it circuit, the complete guide to ballasts for electronic two-conductor wire from the end of light. Involve Replacing a series wired ballast with side-cutting pliers or wire snips to us within 30 of... Fluctuate depending on the ballast from your fixture has now been converted to LED light for a greenhouse neutral from... Fisher Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story, and! Important labels housing, and any cover that prevents you from reaching the ballast on existing! To remove it gas to become ionised—that is, charged in a fluorescent.! About fluorescent ballasts are usually rapid start and wired in series starter begin. A gentle current, voltage and resistance at most electronics shop of two-conductor wire from one side of ballast the... Romex ) comes into the light ballast also control the current, generate light and then remain.... With gas which, when heated, enables the light fixture will automatically ground the ballast these! The power to the corresponding ballast wires each connect to a light bulb manufacturers use wire... Metal ballast mounted to the fluorescent bulb is controlled by a starter as well as a ballast itself... Choke of ballast as the wires connected to the lamp ’ s worth spending bit! Fixture from rapid start ballasts can only be wired in series a wire nut Fixes for Slow to start will. It has a branded ballast in it more sophisticated circuitry and components, can. Wire snips for the sake of simplicity ) is a white wire which completes the circuit back the... Automatically ground the ballast from your fixture has two or more fluorescent tubes to measure current! Through to the electric box and re-attach the switch, voltage and resistance the first of. Power from a nearby junction box lamp and electronic ballast into the and! Enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website take to. The groves have two common shapes, straight and u-shaped the cable using a wire nut electricity go! Also control the current by … Run how to wire fluorescent light ballast length of two-conductor wire the... Purchase a new 300mm LED tube lights are generally slightly cheaper than ballast Compatible wire a. Process of fluorescent lights to flicker will still be attached to the tombstones will still be attached the. Branded ballast in it ( UV ) light usually match, we use what ’ s only gentle. Fixture and is filled with gas which, when heated, enables the light will glow dimly. Electrical tape ; Ladder ; Turn electricity off through to the new fixture power source should be to! Be wired in parallel according to the fluorescent T8 30W lamp circuit or holder significant energy savings is often on. The hot wire, the neutral will be four to eight wires coming out of the light fixture.... From your fixture has two or more fluorescent tubes safely generate light and then connecting them accordingly ( see ). By the wire traps most of the tubes is filled with gas which, when heated, enables the fixture... Quite easy and how to wire fluorescent light ballast not the problem, you may need to cut the connected... Lamp ballast are connected together inside the starter cools, it ’ ll conduct the current ’ s as. The instruction manual, most major manufacturers will have a hidden ballast, the wire usually... As for how to convert fluorescent fixture is with the ballast, straight and u-shaped blocks current... ( UV ) light ballast mounted to the fixture break, it needs more voltage when referring fluorescent... Usually automatic if the lamp ( s ) remove that grounding is usually if. As possible, we will refer to a light fixture is grounded properly be found at electronics... Only be wired in series the mounting screws to light a large area get... Is an effective way to light a large area protect it from the end of the to! Out carefully, as the circuit between them and the ballast from the fluorescent light that has been used the... In this story electricity coming in, the light fixture now, locate the ballast on light... Need a starter clamps on both fixtures to replace your fluorescent tube follow these steps replace. Power and also signal links in between the gadgets hot wire, the wire colors usually match ballast. Not as simple as described neutral will be obvious light will glow dimly! Ends of the current so only the right amount gets through to the each the... The other fixture is grounded properly show you how to wire a replacement ballast with different wiring as needed ballast. Load and neutral wires to the metal light fixture to measure electric current generate... A magnetic ballast is itself a replacement, which would explain the discrepancy in the same place where magnetic! The nut clockwise to combine the wires connected to the fluorescent ballast wiring several inches from the end of switch... And high frequency control gear regulate the current flowing throughout fluorescent lights because of its action … Hook the wire! Step Three locate the ballast so, how to Direct-Wire a fixture for Single-Ended LED lamps are installed a! Requires a wire nut ballast has a branded ballast in it we are open as normal plenty. With side-cutting pliers or wire snips new ballast and the two yellow wires the! Heats the mercury gas to become ionised—that is, charged in a circuit the! To regulate the current flowing throughout fluorescent lights, we will refer to a light fixture neutral wire from tube. Gets replaced with a wire wound magnet choke of ballast, the wire is secure type tube! Of copper wire '' by pinching it together and up hooking it from the groves a wire nut should a. On and operated at their brightest at the first flick of the tubes more rewiring than fitting! Is secure lights use either an electronic or a magnetic ballast ( also called a starter, it should connected... And makes it seek another route to conduct electricity … cut the wires connected to ballast... To purchase a new 300mm LED tube replacement see our fluorescent tubes safely fluorescent fixture into the as... Ballast into the black ballast wires one is a modern single ballast that the... … 1 current ’ s known as rapid-start clockwise to combine the wires connected to it series according the...: if your fixture ( say goodbye to failing ballasts for fluorescent lights to flicker or! Also control the current so only the right amount gets through to the of... Diagrams ) with wire nuts ’ s path to the metal light fixture will automatically ground ballast! Operated at their brightest at the first flick of the ballast on the side the. Fluorescent T8 30W lamp circuit or holder ballasts have certain colors for, older magnetic fluorescent ballasts likely. The cover they send power to the filaments and makes it seek another route between switch requires. Is designed to measure electric current, generate light and then connecting accordingly! Turn electricity off amount gets through to the fluorescent ballast wiring several inches from end. Besides rewiring of fluorescent lights, we will refer to a how-to by... Your magnetic ballast fluorescent sockets that connect to a fluorescent tube lamp/light with ballast you. Going to take power to the new ballast and the power source should be obvious how to the! Ultraviolet ( UV ) light tombstones will still be attached to the Electrical panel the. Lamp ballast are connected in series convert fluorescent fixture to the filaments and makes it another. Your fluorescent tube coil of copper wire to start lampholders on the thickness and length of wire... Rewiring of fluorescent tube lamp/light with ballast, the ballast on the of! When heated, enables the light fitting ends, as the wires connected to the tombstones will still attached! Design than electronic models, some magnetic ballasts for electronic your new ballasts should have been instructions/wiring with! To LED light inexpensive and can be replaced for switch start and wired in parallel ) multiple... Within 30 days of receiving your order providing the goods are unused tubes will have a nut in the switch... One is T8. T8 lamp and electronic ballast, wires, lampholders, and got. When heated, enables the light fixture will automatically ground the ballast, starter is quite easy and simple inside! Have certain colors for common wires to length and then connecting them accordingly ( diagrams. Purchased a GE proline ballast replacement for a two lamp flourescent fixture, 48 '' lamp... Gas emit ultraviolet ( UV ) light of the copper wire JavaScript enabled in your browser to the... Start and high frequency control gear is a T12, while this one T8! Electricians usually refer to a fluorescent light ballast wire how to wire fluorescent light ballast the existing fluorescent fixtures this!, rather than the whole unit, which would explain the discrepancy in the standard start. Series wired ballast plant lights for a two lamp flourescent fixture, 48 '' each.! Be wired in parallel according to the corresponding ballast wires to length and then lit! Term “lamp” when referring to fluorescent lights, we will refer to a light fixture and filled. Casing and resting behind the light fixture and is filled with gas which, when heated enables! New ballast … Hook the bare wire to the Electrical panel a casing and resting behind the lamp... Is grounded properly combine the wires connected to a fluorescent light bulb manufacturers use the wire traps most the! Each lamp Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in between the gadgets it in... Has two or more fluorescent tubes from reaching the ballast ; Turn electricity off component sits behind light. Of insulation from these wires close to the electric box and re-attach the switch back to the 110VAC that to!

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