Why Fluorescent Light is Not Lighting Fully: 8-Instant and Simple Solutions

Last updated on October 17th, 2023 at 09:08 pm

Fluorescent lights are great for a large area. Because they are bright and big. But, what if your fluorescent light is not lightning fully?

This problem has been reported by many users. I can tell you the right solution to this issue. Because I often deal with the malfunctioning lights. So, if you are facing such a problem, follow this guide till the end.

Solution #1. Check Power Source

One of the major reasons is that your light is not getting the required power. So, check the electric power source. Generally, the lights are linked to the power source via the internal wiring.

You just press the switch to turn them ON. To check the wiring, you have to open up the electric outlet. Then, use a multimeter to check current and voltage. Moreover, check the fuse linked to the light. Replace it if the fuse is blown.

Solution #2. Connect Properly

A loose connection is another reason your bulbs are not lightning fully. As you know, the bulbs have contact pins that fit in the fixture. While the latest versions have a screw-like fitting.

You rotate the bulb in the socket to fit the screws. Similarly, tube lights also need proper fitting. So, make sure that you have followed the correct connection method.

The bulb should be installed firmly. Moreover, straighten the pins with nose pliers if they appear bent.

Fluorescent Light Not Lighting Fully-Instant and Simple Solutions

Solution #3. Clean and Reinstall Light

Wiggle the tube gently in its socket. Rock it back and forth and also sideways. This way you can remove the dirt build-up in the contact points. If this does not help, remove the lights from the fixture.

Now, clean the contact points and pins both in the fixture and on the bulbs. Rub fine-grit sandpaper on the pins to remove corrosion. Clean the whole bulb or tube with a soft cloth. Now, reinstall them and check again.

Solution #4. Test the Light

Fluorescent light can be a tube rod or a bulb. Like other products, they are also prone to failure and malfunctioning. Maybe your light has lived its lifespan and is about to expire. You can do a simple test to confirm.

Remove your light from its fixture and install a new light in its place. If the new one works fine, the old one has gone bad. Likewise, you can do the opposite. Install the bad light into another fixture.

If it glows fully in the new place, its fixture is bad. Another way to test is by observing either end of the tube light. Dark ends indicate your tube light is defective or is about to expire.

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Solution #5. Check the Electrodes

Old-style fluorescent bulbs have two pins. They fit inside the socket or fixture. Electrodes are attached to these pins.

Check the pins with the multimeter to confirm the continuity. If no current is shown, the electrodes have failed.

Solution #6. Check the Ballast

The bad ballast can also lead to low brightness issues. It is a box-like rectangular device made of plastic or metal. You can check it via the multimeter. If the ballast is bad, replacing it will solve the issue.

Turn OFF the power supply to your bulb. Remove the old ballast by unscrewing it. Purchase a new one of the same type, size, and capacity. Replace the new ballast. If you cannot do it yourself, please call an electrician.

Solution #7. Inspect the Fixture

A bad fixture is also a likely cause for half-luminance. Apply the replacement test to check the fixture. Check some new bulbs in the fixture. If they do not work, you have to replace the fixture.

Sometimes, its contact points break, and pins cannot fit properly. So, the bulbs do not light up fully. A buzzing or cracking sound comes from the light or the fixture.

Solution #8. Replace the Starter

A bad or failed starter is one of the major reasons behind this issue. It is a small and cylindrical shape component. It is almost 2 inches long and installed in the middle of the tube light fixture/socket.

The starter stores the electric current for a few moments. It releases the current when the tube is switched ON. You can remove it by pressing inward and twisting counterclockwise. Buy a new starter and replace it. This device is very cheap.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fluorescent Lights

Here are some common questions users ask. The same questions are likely to come to your mind regarding fluorescent bulbs and tubes.

Why my fluorescent light glows orange on the ends?

This happens due to bad filaments that are present at each end of the tube light. These filaments need proper current from the starter to heat up. Moreover, the filaments are coated with lanthanides. When this material dissolves, the ends appear orange.

How to clean fluorescent light contacts?

Uninstall the tubes and bulbs from the fixtures. Use electric contact cleaner and spray it on the contacts. Then, clean with a soft cloth. You can clean dirty fluorescent tubes or bulbs with a damp cloth. Dry them completely before reinstalling.

How long do fluorescent tubes and bulbs last?

Normally, fluorescent lights have 20,000 hours of life. However, they can die prematurely if you switch them on/off frequently. Instead, keep them turned ON for a longer period.

Should I leave the fluorescent lights ON or turn them OFF frequently?

Avoid turning your fluorescent lights ON/OFF frequently. For example, if you going out for 15 minutes, do not turn off the bulb. However, if you do not need light for an hour, you can switch it off. They not only consume high energy to start up but also die prematurely by frequent switching.

Why my fluorescent light requires a long time to come ON?

This happens due to a bad starter. Because the starter is responsible to store and provide the required current for the lights to come ON. A bad starter also causes flickering or unusual noises. The solution is to replace the starter.

Also Read: Best Solutions If Fluorescent Bulb or Ballast Is Bad

Final Thoughts

Be sure to follow all the 8 troubleshooting tips I mentioned in this guide. Hopefully, they will fix your fluorescent light if it is not lightning up fully. If nothing helps, your bulbs or tubes are going bad and need replacement.