Among a number of fluorescent problems, one issue is common. The users report that their Fluorescent light only comes ON when they touch it.
There is a technical issue behind it. Any of the components of the light or the fixture are bad. You just have to check a few things to know the issue.
Meanwhile, we will apply some troubleshooting steps to fix the problem. So, if you are facing the same problem, follow my guide till the end. Here are explained 7 solutions to try if your fluorescent light only comes ON when you touch it
Table of Contents
1. Install Light Properly
One immediate reason is that your tube light is not installed properly. The pins at the ends are loose or not fitted firmly. Roll the tube around to fit properly.
Uninstall the tube from the fixture and check the ends. Moreover, clean the connection points at the fixture and light. Dust build-up can also lead to this issue. Now, install the light again.
2. Look for Connection Problem
Sometimes, the ballast is not installed properly. It should make steel-to-steel contact with the fixture. Paint, debris, or rust can block the contact. So, loosen the ballast by unscrewing it.
Now, apply sandpaper to remove any debris. Also, make sure the device is grounded correctly.
3. Replace the Starter
When the starter is going bad, your light begins malfunctioning. So, it comes ON only by touching. The starter is a small cylindrical part that is attached to the fixture. It stores and delivers current for initial working.
You cannot fix or identify a bad starter. Installing a new starter is the only solution. However, it is cheap and does not cost you high. Buy here.
4. Test the Ballast
One major reason behind the issue is the defective ballast. It is a rectangular box-like device installed in the fixture. Multiple wires are attached to the ballast.
If it fails, your lights will not work properly. So, detach the ballast by opening up the screws. Inspect, test, and repair it. Watch this video for the complete process.
5. Identify the Bad Filaments
The problem can arise if the filament has gone bad. The tube light has a filament at each end. It burns to light up the whole thing. Likewise, fluorescent bulbs also have filaments.
If it fails, the light will also start malfunctioning. You can confirm this by installing the same light into another fixture or socket. If the light works well in another place for several hours, the filament is intact. In this case, the problem is in the fixture or ballast.
6. Fix the Bad Fixture/Socket
If your light works best in another place, you have to fix the fixture or socket. It is poorly designed, old, or defective. Therefore, the light cannot fit properly.
Your touch applies pressure on the contact points. Hence, it comes ON. The solution is to replace the bad fixture with a more advanced one.
7. Maintain Adequate Voltage
There is a technical reason behind coming ON the lights by touching. The startup requires high voltage. Because the plasma stream inside the bulb or tube has to fill up.
When you touch the light, the plasma stream is triggered. It happens when the fluorescent light is not getting enough voltage or current. So, check the voltage supply from the source.
FAQs Related to Fluorescent Light
For more information, read the following questions commonly asked by users.
Can fluorescent lights work without a ballast?
The ballast is responsible to regulate the current. It provides the initial current and voltage to start the bulb. Without the ballast, the light cannot limit the current. If connected directly to a high voltage source, the light will draw the current uncontrollably. This can result in damage.
How to choose a ballast for my fluorescent light?
All the specifications are written on the ballast. Read the voltage, type, and the number of lamps it can work with. Note these specifications and match them on the new one. It is better to take the old ballast with you when buying a new one.
Can I interchange T8 and T12 Fluorescent bulbs?
Both T8 and T12 bulbs are the same in terms of physical specifications. They use a G13 bi-pin base. So, if both are of the same length, you can interchange them. A T8 bulb can be fitted into a T12 fixture and vice versa.
How to identify if I have an electronic or magnetic ballast?
Turn ON your fluorescent light. Stand in front of the light. Open your smartphone camera and point it to the light. The appearance of strong dark flickering strips in the mobile phone camera indicates a magnetic ballast. If dark strips do not appear, the ballast is an electronic one.
What is better to install in place of fluorescent lights?
LED tube lights or lamps are a better replacement option. They last longer with high efficiency. Moreover, they are energy efficient and reduce your electricity bills. Another advantage of LEDs is that they are environment-friendly.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you a lot. I explained 7 solutions to try if your fluorescent light only comes ON when you touch it. Tell in the comment section which solution worked for you.