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Why Do My Lights Flicker?

Northern Virginia’s Electrical Expert Since 1975

So, your fluorescent lights have started to flicker. This is a major disturbance you want to solve as soon as possible. However, when fluorescent bulbs flicker, the situation is more than just a minor annoyance. If your fluorescent lights flicker, you should fix the problem immediately because flickering can cause the ballast to overheat or fail. We offer electrical services in Northern Virginia, and we can help you if your fluorescent bulbs flicker.

If you need help replacing the flickering fluorescent lights in your home, give the electrical experts at John Nugent & Sons a call! We’ve been helping your Northern Virginia neighbors with electrical installations and repairs since 1987.

Problems With Your Fluorescent Bulbs

If your fluorescent bulbs flicker, most likely the problem is with the bulb itself. If the bulb is very dark on either end, it may be defective and burned out. The best way to test the functionality of a bulb is to put it into a fixture you know works. If the bulb doesn’t work or flickers in a working fixture, you know the problem is with the bulb and not the fixture. The problem could be with the starter in your bulb, but most new bulbs do not have starters. However, if your bulb has a starter, you should be able to see it at the bottom of the bulb! Fluorescent bulb starters generally look like gray metallic cylinders and require a simple replacement!

Flickering fluorescent lights can also be a result of temperature. If the air around the bulb is cold and circulating, the bulb won’t be able to generate enough heat to work properly. The internal temperature of a fluorescent bulb should be about 50 degrees Fahrenheit for it to work properly and optimally. If the air around the bulb is too cold, you can use an enclosed light fixture to help insulate the bulb. It’s also possible that you may be using the wrong type of fluorescent bulb that is simply not compatible with your ballast.

If you need help determining the reason why the fluorescent lights are flickering in your Northern Virginia home, contact John Nugent & Sons today!

Fluorescent Light Fixture Problems

If you’ve determined the reason your fluorescent lights flicker is not a result of any problems with the bulb, the problem is likely with the fixture. If you test your bulb in a known working fixture and it works perfectly, it is probably time for you to replace your ballast.

Issues with the Ballast

In your lighting system, the ballast regulates the current flowing to the fluorescent lights and provides the voltage needed to start the lamps. The ballast takes in electricity and then regulates current throughout the bulbs. Without a properly operating ballast to limit the light’s current, a fluorescent lamp connected to the electrical source would quickly and uncontrollably increase its current flow—causing the lamp to burning out. This is why a degrading ballast will cause the fluorescent lights to flicker.

If you don’t address your flickering fluorescent lights when you first notice the issue, your ballast will continually overheat and eventually fail. A typical ballast will generally last about 20 years, but cold environments and bad bulbs can decrease this lifespan significantly. If your ballast has started to degrade and is impacting how well your fluorescent lights are illuminating your space, don’t worry! Replacing a ballast is quite simple and rather inexpensive.

Schedule an appointment with the electricians at John Nugent & Sons if you need you ballast replaced!

Call John Nugent & Sons for Electrical Services in Northern VA

Not sure if you need to call the professionals at John Nugent & Sons to fix your fluorescent lights? Small issues might not seem like much more than an annoyance, but if you let them sit for too long it might develop into major issues! Whatever electrical problem you’re experiencing, our electricians can solve it! We’ll diagnose the problem and perform electrical repair as quickly as possible so you can have your home back to normal. Our electricians are highly trained so you can rest assured knowing you will have an expert working in your home.

We know how busy you are, that’s why you can schedule your appointment online to fix your fluorescent lights, at any time!

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"John Nugent & Sons, I believe, is a model for a company with excellent management, superior service through cooperative scheduling and excellent service representatives."

J.A. – Leesburg, VA.

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