A ballast is a device that triggers a florescent light to light up. They are commonly used for the long tube florescent light fixtures, and they are available at any hardware store or electrical shop. You will need some basic electrical do it yourself experience to complete this task, but once done, your florescent fixture will work as good as new.
Things You'll Need
- Correct ballast for your type of light and voltage
- Wire strippers and cutters
- Electrical tape
- Wire nuts
- Needle nose pliers
Turn off the power to the light you are going to be working on. This is very important for your safety. .
Find the ballast. Remove the cover with a screwdriver. Some of them are on top, underneath, inside or off to the side of the light. Make note of which way the ballast is mounted to the light. This is important for installation of a new ballast. Write down which end has what colored wires at each end.
Cut all the wires close to the old ballast. Remove old ballast. Take this ballast to your nearest hardware store and get one that is a match. Most of them are standardized, so make sure the shape and size are correct.
Mount the new ballast in the same spot as the old one. Pay close attention to the color of wires that came out of the old ballast and install the new one the same way.
Strip off about 1/4-inch of insulation from the wires that you cut that are still hanging from the light.
Attach the black to black, white to white, blue to any blue, yellow to yellow if you have yellow and red to red. Twist the same colored wires together and use wire nuts to cap all of the wires. Tug on all wires when capped to be sure they are safe and secure inside the wire nuts with no exposed wires showing. Use electrical tape if you feel the need to.
Tuck all the wires up and install the cover as it was. Plug the fixture in and test the light. If the ballast has been wired up correctly, the florescent tubes will work perfectly.
Tips & Warnings
- Be careful to follow the wiring on the new ballast for safety reasons.
- Call a professional if you are in doubt.
- Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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