Problems with Fluorescent Strip Lights Overheating

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Problems with Fluorescent Strip Lights Overheating
Fluorescent strip lights are used in large-scale institutional applications. (Fluorescent overhead lamp in office image by Alexey Kuznetsov from

Fluorescent lighting is a highly efficient way to light a home, office or a classroom. Due to the cost and energy savings over incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent strip lighting is often part of institutional lighting. In fluorescent strip lighting, long lighting tubes are attached by the prongs to the tube socket. A ballast starts and controls the current to the fluorescent lamp, and this is where many overheating problems begin.

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Ballast Failure

Fluorescent lamp ballasts can fail. When the part of the lamp that controls the current fails, this can lead to overheating. A modern magnetic ballast will generally have a sensor that will automatically turn the ballast off if it overheats. However, older fluorescent strip lights may not have a sensor. Also, there are a few instances in which any strip light will fail.

An overheated lamp can pose a fire danger.
An overheated lamp can pose a fire danger. (Front view of an old fire truck in front of a fire station image by Alexey Stiop from

Overheating of Lights With No Sensor

An older fluorescent light has many chances to overheat, because these lights may not have sensors. By using the wrong tubes, by operating the light at a very high or low temperature, or simply by leaving a burnt-out lamp in the tube, you can cause the ballast to overheat. If you have a fluorescent light that turns off and on regularly, the ballast may be failing and you should examine it.

Causes of Overheating of Any Fluorescent Light

A modern fluorescent light should have a mechanism that prevents fires from overheating. However, if there is a wiring problem coming in to the light, the light can still fail and overheat. A power surge can also lead to failure and overheating. Incorrect wiring in the ballast due to a defective part can also cause the ballast to overheat.

Problems with Fluorescent Strip Lights Overheating
Poor house or light wiring can cause overheating. (ready to play image by .shock from

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