San Francisco Flickering Light Repair
Question - My florescent light fixture flickers, and sometimes it doesn't start even though I replaced the tubes. What should I do?
Replace The Fixture
If the flickering fixture is a florescent lamp and you have replaced the fluorescent tubes and it still flickers and the ends of the tubes have turned a dark color within a few days or weeks, then the ballast has gone bad. Now is the time to convert the fixture to self-driven 48 inch LED tubes. If the fixture is an incandescent light fixture then it could be a loose connection. If you’re using compact florescent bulbs and a dimmer they do not work well together and often there is lots of flickering at the dim setting. Replace the CFL’s with LED’s that are marked dimmable.
A fixture with several light bulbs is 50% less efficient than one large higher wattage lamp. A chandelier with six 40 Watt lamps uses 240W, whereas a single lamp fixture with one 100W lamp will be almost equal in brightness. Multi-arm chandelier fixtures are decorative. When you change the incandescent candelabrum bulbs to LEDs that use about 8 W per bulb you will cut your power down to only 48W from the original 240W. LEDs are recommended any place that you use a light fixture more than three hours a day.
Light Emitting Diode fixtures are the best long range energy-efficient solution. The prices have come down enough to make them practical in most every situation. I recommend MR-16 LEDs to replace the 2 inch diameter MR-16 halogen lamps. Halogen lamps run very hot and tend to burn out the sockets where the lamp plugs in. The halogen lamps use 8-10 times as much electricity as an LED lamp. The new LEDs are plug-and-play. If the MR16s are up high and you have to use a ladder, you might consider replacing them with LEDs and be done with replacing burned out halogen lamps for quite a while.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps are quickly losing favor. They are the corkscrew shaped lamps that PG&E promotes. These CFLs are a stopgap until the LED prices come down. CFL lamps have mercury inside and they're not really that efficient.
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