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Why Is The Fluorescent Lights Ballast So Hot

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A factor that worries many users of fluorescent lights is the ballast getting very hot after a few minutes of use. The temperature of the ballast can reach a level so hot that you cannot even touch it with your naked hands. Thus, lots of house owners worry that the heat generated from the fluorescent light ballast might cause a fire, damaging their homes. This is especially true when the lights are fitted closely against a wooden ceiling. The heat generated by the fluorescent light ballast can actually roast the wooden structure after prolonged use.

Why Is The Fluorescent Light Ballast So Hot

overheated ballast

The ballast gets heated up due the process where the ballast has to generate power to make the light tube lit up. Unlike the incandescent light bulb which gets its light from heating up the filament in the bulb, the light from the fluorescent light tubes comes from the gas that is filled inside the tube. These gases has to be electrically charged to emit the light.

This electrical charges comes from the electrodes present at both ends of the fluorescent tube which is in turn connected to the ballast. The ballast will then have to generate power to electrically charge up the electrodes in the tube. This generation of power is what causes the ballast to heat up and become so hot.

Here is a more detailed explanation as to why the ballast of a florescent light gets so hot.

How To Avoid The Heat From The Fluorescent Light Ballast From Damaging Your House

Wooden houses or houses with a wooden ceiling should best refrain from using lights that needs a ballast. It can be a fire hazard, especially if the houses are old and the wooden structure used are aged and really dried to the core. These wood catches fire quite easily.

However, fluorescent lights are the most popular way of lighting up a house because it is the the most affordable and economical. So most house owners prefers to keep with fluorescent lights even though they might pose a small danger. The are some ways to prevent mishaps from happening.

Use a Spacer When Installing A Fluorescent Light.

Instead of installing the fluorescent light flushed against the wooden ceiling, use a spacer to create a breathing space between the fluorescent light and the ceiling. This method is simple and cost free. All you have to do is to use a longer screws when installing the fluorescent light. You can use any material for the spacers. A thickness of about 1/2 an inch should be more than enough to create the much needed space between the light and the wooden ceiling.

Use Suspension Rods When Installing The Fluorescent Light

suspended-fluorescent-lights

Florescent lights do comes with suspension rods if you ask for them when you are buying your fluorescent lights. These rods are factory made to fit the lights perfectly and it comes in different lengths and looks. Using suspension rods not only makes the fluorescent light more attractive it also makes them safer to use as now the lights are completely suspended away from the ceiling.

Check Your Fluorescent Lights Ballast Periodically To Prevent Damage

It is advisable to open up your fluorescent light to check for any damage caused by the heat of the ballast. A very common problem are the insulation of the wires that runs too close to the ballast getting brittle because of the prolonged heat.

To prevent this from happening again, you can replace the wires and the cover them with a heat resistance sleeve. Some better quality fluorescent lights comes with these sleeves installed by default because they realize the problems which can occur is fluorescent light ballast gets too hot.


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