Does your fluorescent light flicker when you switch it on?

light bulb - fluorescent light tube
Singapore
June 26, 2007 4:59am CST
My fluorescent bathroom light flickers for at least 5-8 seconds before going on 'full strength'. I find it quite annoying especially when I want to get into the bathroom and start seeing where everything is. Actually, I guess it is annoying mainly because the flickering makes me blink and blink. Any idea why this happens? Is it a fault with the bulb? Or the wiring? I just rewired my home recently, and the bulb as well is less than 6 months old. Is it because the electrician didn't connect it properly? Or I should just change the bulb? thanks in advance for all your advice. This is bugging me.
5 people like this
6 responses
• Singapore
26 Jun 07
I think you might need to change your "starter". If it is not that, then the whole tube.
3 people like this
• Singapore
26 Jun 07
thanks for the speedy response. starter sounds like ballast that grandpa's talking about...
1 person likes this
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
26 Jun 07
starter and ballast are 2 different things. The ballast is the last thing to test. If the ballast is spoilt, there will be no light even after you have changed a new tube and starter.
1 person likes this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
26 Jun 07
You need to get a new ballast for it. The ballast sends the gases through the tube. When it starts not to work as well the gases slowly enter the tube creating the flickering. The ballast is usually silver in color and most times round and about the size of a quarter. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
• Singapore
26 Jun 07
ah - i've heard of this term from my electrician. he said that the ballast didn't meet our regulatory authority's standards, so he changed one for us. perhaps it doesn't fit exactly for the tube... thanks!
1 person likes this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
26 Jun 07
Take the ballast out take it to a hardware store. Tell them the type of bulb you have and the wattage and they will supply you with a new and hopefully correct ballast. HAHA! Hopefully I said. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@applefreak (3131)
• Singapore
16 Jul 08
well i believe it could be your ballast. ballast is the thing that regulates the flow of electricity from the switch to the bulb. at least it's what i think it does. there are two kinds of ballast, electrical and magnetic. i think you are using the magnetic one so the bulb blinks. i'm using the electrical one at home and the lights just comes on immediately after i flick the switch. it's also more energy saving as most of the energy is directed to providing the light instead of heating up the bulb. hopefully this will help you with your flickering-bulb problem. cheers ;p
1 person likes this
@ahgong (10066)
• Singapore
27 Jun 07
Hmm... try changing the starters for the affected lights. The flickering usually occurs due to insufficient sparks from the starter. I had similar problems with my tubes in my MBR and dining room. I changed the starters and the problem is somewhat curbed. Waiting for the tube to wear out before I make a decision to change replace the existing lights to something else or not. Change to a better brand like philips and see if it is better.
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
26 Jun 07
I do not remember having flickering bulbs when I was using bulbs. Will the bulbs of today flicker, I know not as I do not use bulbs at home now.lol. When I get such flickering problem in any of the lights, I discover very soon there will be no light. It is either the tube or the starter that is having some problems. Change the tube and see if the problem goes away.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
26 Jun 07
I really have no idea but you might try a different bulb - may have just gotten a bad one. Funny thing though, reading your discussion I started blinking my eyes - it is annoying and I don't have a light doing it :)