When Should You Repair vs. Replace Your Home Fluorescent Lighting?

Fluorescent light bulbs can last around 20,000 hours, depending on your fixtures and usage. However, when your fluorescent lighting begins to flicker or buzz, it’s important to assess whether it simply needs a repair or if it’s time for a complete replacement. Here’s how to decide whether to repair vs. replace your fluorescent lighting.

Your Lights Feel Hot

It’s common for fluorescent lighting to feel hot when there’s a problem. Hot lighting could indicate a problem with the ballast, which is the component responsible for regulating the electrical current. The ballast may be worn out or damaged, causing it to generate excessive heat.

Repair or replace? Replacing the ballast is usually necessary to prevent the risk of fire or other safety hazards. It’s also typically more cost-effective and safer to replace the ballast than attempting a repair.

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Your Lights Are Buzzing or Flickering

Buzzing noises and flickering lights are other common issues with fluorescent lighting. These issues can be caused by various factors, including a faulty starter or loose wiring.

Starters are inexpensive and easy to replace, so if the buzzing or flickering is coming from the starter, replacing it may resolve the issue. However, if the buzzing or flickering persists, it may indicate a more significant problem that requires professional attention.

Repair or replace? It depends on what’s causing the issue. Replacing the light or starter may be an easy fix for buzzing or flickering lights, but you may also need to replace the ballast or repair another issue to solve the problem.

You Have Older Fluorescent Lights

Before deciding between repairing or replacing your fluorescent lighting, it’s essential to consider the age of the fixtures and the overall condition of the lighting system. Newer lights are less likely to cause problems unless there’s another issue within your electrical system that needs to be fixed.

Repair or replace? A repair may be the most cost-effective solution if the lights are relatively new. However, older fixtures may have worn-out components prone to further failure, making it more practical to replace the entire fixture.

Your Lights Aren’t Energy Efficient

It’s worth evaluating the energy efficiency of your fluorescent lighting. Older fluorescent lights tend to be less efficient compared to newer models that incorporate advancements such as electronic ballasts.

Repair or replace? If your older lights aren’t as efficient and are causing problems, consider replacing them with newer, energy-efficient options to reduce energy consumption and lower your electric bill.

Consider Your Budget

It’s important to consider the long-term maintenance costs associated with repairing vs. replacing fluorescent lighting. Frequent repairs can quickly add up over time, especially for older fixtures. Investing in new, high-quality fluorescent or LED lighting may initially cost more upfront, but it can save you money in the long term by reducing the need for ongoing repairs.

Repair or replace? Talk with a professional electrician about the cost of continuing to repair your fluorescent lights vs. the cost of replacing them, including the repair and energy costs, based on your budget.

Ask a Professional Northern Virginia Electrician

Always consult a professional electrician before attempting to repair or replace your lighting. CoreTrade Electric is a Master Electrician, located in Woodbridge and serving Northern Virginia, with over 40 years of experience. We can evaluate the specific issues with your fluorescent lighting system and provide expert advice on whether repairs or replacements are the best course of action. Contact us today to make the best choice for the safety, functionality, and cost-effectiveness of your lighting system.

Need a Residential Electrician? Contact Us Today

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    1483 Old Bridge Rd., Suite 106

    Woodbridge, VA 22192


    (703) 785-6414

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