Step 2. Gabrielle Black has been a professional writer, artist and designer since 2002. A bulb/lamp that blows the filament due to a short (such as caused by moisture) will have much more noticeable black scorch inside the quartz lamp near the blown filament. If they appear darkened this indicates the bulb is burned out. When all else fails, the ballast should be replaced. Sometimes bulbs "unscrew" themselves or become rotated enough for the electricity not to flow correctly over the end pins. If there are black rings in the glass nearest the plastic body then the bulb has blown. So, if you see a darker tone on the ends of the bulb or the tube, that means the bulb has been burned off. Another common … How to Tell If a Fluorescent Tube Is Bad? Currents travel between both tubes and either could be causing the problem. The pieces must be sealed in a plastic bag then thrown away. Check for power first then the starter (if applicable) and then the bulbs. Turn the fluorescent bulb clockwise to see if it's firmly seated in the socket. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Look at the end of the bulb for a dark area; if you see one, the bulb is either bad or going bad. All of these lamps use the same technology as linear fluorescent tubes but are wrapped into shapes which make them more suitable for smaller spaces. Replace the bulb with the same size bulb. There are some usual reasons a bulb can go bad, and we can do some quick checks to find out if it’s fixable or a replacement is necessary. Note the wattage of the bulb to ensure the correct starter is purchased. And a burned fluorescent bulb can not light up anymore. If the bulb still does not light, the gas may have leaked out and the bulb will need to be replaced. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. If the darkness only forms on one end of a tube light, flip the tube so the darkened end is on the opposite side of the fixture. If that happens, the Environment Protection Agency recommends airing out the location of the breakage, then picking up the pieces with a damp paper cloth. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. It's generally easy to tell when an incandescent bulb has burned out. Check if the connecting pins are broken or bent; 4. You can easily tell if a fluorescent bulb is burned or not. Step 2. wikiHow's. Bulb vs Lamp. Sometimes light bulbs do shatter when they fail. How do you easily tell if a CFL bulb is bad? The burned fluorescent bulb has a darker end of it. Or in other words, the lifespan of the fluorescent bulb is over. You can also use a multimeter to determine if the electrodes still hold conductivity. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 52,369 times. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. When bulbs age and have been used for a long time, brown spots will appear. Check to see if the bulb is tight in the socket. Check the light bulb first to see if it has burned out. They can be generally divided as compact fluorescents or fluorescent tubes. Other Problems That Can Be Identified and Fixed with The Above Checks For retrofit LED tubes, you'll be re-wiring your fixture to bypass the existing ballast, and just how that re- Testing to see if it is good or bad. Step 3. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Before going out to purchase a new bulb, ensure the bulb is the main problem. I don't have a lot of faith in the $10-tier LED replacement "tubes", and their CRI is not up to where real fluorescent tubes are. With a CFL, is there any way to tell if a bulb is bad without plugging it into a socket and trying it out? While they may still light, they are wearing out and will die soon. If it has a distinct odour of burnt electronics, then the bulb has blown. In some cases, it is possible to "blow" a new bulb/lamp when an older bulb that requires much less energy to fire, does not "blow". In that case it would be more appropriate to say the bulb has blown. Light bulb manufacturers use the term “lamp” when referring to fluorescent lights. Turn the fluorescent bulb clockwise to see if it's firmly seated in the socket. When using direct fit LEDs, the ballast is still using energy and eating into your possible energy savings. If the fluorescent bulb fails to come on, turn the switch off. Old starters look no different than new starters, so throw away any starters that have gone bad. And just to be thorough, you've also checked the main service panel for a tripped breaker or a blown fuse. Before removing a broken bulb from a socket, power to the bulb needs to be turned off. Learn more... A flickering or dead fluorescent bulb can be a nuisance and it may be time to replace it. Loading... Autoplay When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. You can buy 4-lamp electronic ballasts, and you should be paying well over $15 for a ballast unless you're getting the $2-3 new-stock pulls off ebay, which is my preference. Only use lightbulbs that are the proper style and voltage rating for your ballast. Check your circuit breaker box and confirm that the corresponding breaker is firmly in the "on" position. When researching your fluorescent bulbs, pay attention to attributes that will help you narrow your options down. Time will tell. Fluorescent tubes are filled with mercury gas and can shatter into very small pieces. When all else fails, the ballast should be replaced. Make sure the power is turned off to avoid any electrical damage. Step 1. If you are interested I can tell you more about tungsten light bulbs and old style wire fuses. Well, first you need to find out if power is actually getting to the light socket. Change out the fluorescent bulb with a new one. If darkness begins to form at the ends of the tube, the bulb may be near its end. How to Tell If Fluorescent Bulbs Are Blown? And they're supposed to last 22 years or somesuch. If the breaker has been tripped, push the switch entirely to the off position, and flip the switch back on. 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Been read 52,369 times and how to tell if a fluorescent light fixture will die soon divided as compact or... Breaker that has been a professional writer, artist and designer since 2002 outlet and... Rating for your ballast is a good start to your nose and smell used to sit will …. Gas and can shatter into very small pieces source for the house and see if 's. According to our privacy policy contact with the suspect tube and eating into your possible energy savings bulbs pay. It 's firmly seated in the fixture if the bulb vent close your... Continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free new bulb read! See if the bulb is burned or blackened spots tight in the socket burnt electronics, sure...

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