Fluorescent Lights Blinking and Going Off

GrowRebel

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I got some Utilitech fluorescent lights ... they are a month old, but I'm having problem with one bulb going out and sometimes both bulbs blink on and off. I had the same problem with the shop lights that I replaced with these. The bulbs are new ... sometimes when I fiddle with them they come back on ... some times not. Is there anything I can do to get these cheap lights to work properly?... don't say go buy some more ... I can't afford it.:ignore: Thank you for reading my post.:cool:
 

pcduck

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Power surges or starter is where I would begin
 
D

dman1234

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are you saying 2 different fixtures did this?

or the same fixture with new bulbs continued to do it?
 

pcduck

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are the bulbs the proper wattage for the fixture?
 

Old_SSSC_Guy

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those Utilitech fixtures are chineese import bargain-basement crap with bad connectors. the last 4 sets of those we got all had contact problems in the fixture where the blub end 'posts' do not seat into the contacts properly. they sell at Lowes for like $15 - and you get what you pay for.

if you can wiggle a fluorescent blub and make it work - its the contacts. sometimes you can unplug them and bend the contacts inwards to make better contact.

we ended up returning them and spending another $10 per fixture to get quality - and not one failure since.
 

GrowRebel

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dman1234 said:
are you saying 2 different fixtures did this?

or the same fixture with new bulbs continued to do it?
I'm saying 4 different fixtures did this ... when I bought two more cheapo fixture they did the same thing:rolleyes:

pcduck said:
are the bulbs the proper wattage for the fixture?
Yes indeed ... I do have the proper wattage ... 40 watts

Old_SSSC_Guy said:
those Utilitech fixtures are chineese import bargain-basement crap with bad connectors. the last 4 sets of those we got all had contact problems in the fixture where the blub end 'posts' do not seat into the contacts properly. they sell at Lowes for like $15 - and you get what you pay for.

if you can wiggle a fluorescent blub and make it work - its the contacts. sometimes you can unplug them and bend the contacts inwards to make better contact.

we ended up returning them and spending another $10 per fixture to get quality - and not one failure since.
You are right about the basement crap, but that was all I could afford in an emergency with two fixture acting up ... I bet you are right about the bulb end don't seat properly ... I will have to check that out and see if I can some how tighten the contacts. I will post the results after I try that ... thanks for posting everyone.:hubba:
 

GrowRebel

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Well ....I tried to see if I could bend the metal that is suppose to make contact with the bulb, but it is flexible ... it pops back. :doh: I tried putting a piece of toothpick behind it, but the gap is so small between the plastic and the contact, that is is difficult to work with ... I was hoping the toothpick would put it closer in, but I think the toothpick just fell out of the way :confused2: ... I'm going to try and see if I can find a way to open the plastic that hold the contacts, maybe that way I can get something to stay in place to keep the contracts close enough to make a good seat for the bulb. If anyone else has any idea of how to get the bulb to seat better please post.:ciao:
 

Mutt

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Are you SURE that you didn't pick up the 32w flo fixture?
Wal-mart lowes and HD have this one fixture thats only 32w and its the cheapest they have. If you could post up the manufacturer and model number so we can double check for you. Those cheap chinese jobs don't make a lot of the specs shown on the box.
 

GrowRebel

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dman1234 said:
Tin foil maybe?
:ciao:I'm afraid that might cause a short :shocked:... I was thinking of cotton or something like that

Mutt said:
Are you SURE that you didn't pick up the 32w flo fixture?
Wal-mart lowes and HD have this one fixture thats only 32w and its the cheapest they have. If you could post up the manufacturer and model number so we can double check for you. Those cheap chinese jobs don't make a lot of the specs shown on the box.
There is nothing in the booklet that came with the lights that states anything about the wattage of the bulbs :doh:... in fact at lowes they had the 40watt with these fixtures. And they were working fine before ... one fixture is working find now ... I didn't do anything to it except move the bulb around, but I still don't think it is seated where there is good contact.:angrywife:
 

Mutt

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Just keep an eye on it. If you can find the model number post it up. You do not want to pull more then those cheap ballasts can handle. I would not trust the Lowes employees for putting the right bulbs with the right fixture.
I had a cheap one burn up and actually melt, luckily I had GFI and it tripped quick before it caught fire. but I don't do cheap ballast for anything any more.

Can you post a pic of the contacts? might be able to unplug the fixture wait an hour or so (let the cap inside fully discharge) then try to adjust the contacts.
 

GrowRebel

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Mutt said:
Just keep an eye on it. If you can find the model number post it up. You do not want to pull more then those cheap ballasts can handle. I would not trust the Lowes employees for putting the right bulbs with the right fixture.
I had a cheap one burn up and actually melt, luckily I had GFI and it tripped quick before it caught fire. but I don't do cheap ballast for anything any more.

Can you post a pic of the contacts? might be able to unplug the fixture wait an hour or so (let the cap inside fully discharge) then try to adjust the contacts.
The model number on the booklet is NXU-6000 ... Item number is 0245536 ... It is a "utilitech" ... I will take some pictures and put them up tomorrow late morning or early afternoon:ciao:
 

Mutt

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it'll handle 25w, 34w, and 40w. ;)
it's the connectors or the ballast.
just wanted to eliminate the possibility.
hXXp://milo.com/utilitech-48l-utility-fluorescent-magnetic-shoplight
 

GrowRebel

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I was thinking of trying to open the plastic casing somehow and put cotton or something behind them so they will make solid contact with the bulb ... the ballast should not be bad ... because it will work sometimes ... so what do you think?

contacts.JPG


contact2.JPG
 

Mutt

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I wouldn't do cotton. to fiberous and can't handle any heat.
Maybe pry them closed a little more with something. so it gets more tension on the contact. I would avoid paper or anything metal. Maybe some high heat rubber maybe?
 

Menimeth

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You can try wrapping some thin gage wire around the contacts on the bulb to make it a little fatter, but make sure to seize it in place, so it will not loosen. It is just a temp fix if it works, until better lights can be acquired. Just don't make it too fat or it will not fit into the groves of the fixture.
 

GrowRebel

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Mutt said:
I wouldn't do cotton. to fiberous and can't handle any heat.
Maybe pry them closed a little more with something. so it gets more tension on the contact. I would avoid paper or anything metal. Maybe some high heat rubber maybe?
:ciao:Gee ... I didn't think of that ... I guess that area could get pretty hot. I don't think I have any kind of high heat rubber ... I can't pry them closed because they are flexible they just pop back:confused2: ... the other fixture that I moved the bulb around started working again ... and is still working so far.:watchplant: The one that won't work had worked when I moved the bulbs around for better contact, but this time it didn't work ... only the one lamp would light and this morning nothing. I guess I better get those toothpick pieces out then:giggle:.
 

GrowRebel

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Menimeth said:
You can try wrapping some thin gage wire around the contacts on the bulb to make it a little fatter, but make sure to seize it in place, so it will not loosen. It is just a temp fix if it works, until better lights can be acquired. Just don't make it too fat or it will not fit into the groves of the fixture.
I think I might have some thin wire floating around somewhere ... I'll check that out and post later.:hubba:
 

Old_SSSC_Guy

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might consider some conductive electrical grease. you can get it at most hardware and auto parts stores. important that it be conductive and not dielectric (non-conductive) grease. called 'electricians grease' in some places. you can coat each side of the contacts. it worked on 2 of the utilitech crap fixtures we got.

but you are still going to be polishing a piece of quartz to make it look like a diamond. best solution is to cut your losses, return anything that says Utilitech on it, spend the extra $10 and get a quality fixture.
 

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