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Thread: Need help to fix light

  1. #1
    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    Need help to fix light

    I have a hand held 'stick' light to plug in 220V which stopped working. As an ex engineer I always try to fix things and failing this I want to know why it failed. Either the unusual 'tube' is blown or something else. I stripped it and found this little component which looks black/blown. It almost looks like mini bulb, but could be something else.
    I do not know what it is. Can that prevent the bulb to work? Can you help?
    Is there any way to check the bulb?
    There is no switch, wiring looks intact.Click image for larger version. 

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    Houses4Rent
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    It looks like the inside of a fluorescent starter.
    It may seem that there is an element in the tube to heat the gas in order to get the tube lit.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar pumping, Solar Geyser & Solar Security lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  3. #3
    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    Yes, I would expect something like a starter. The ones I know from normal light fittings look different though hence my question. Since its so dark/black I assume it blown. Where can one typically get those? I am in Southern Subs of Cape Town.
    Houses4Rent
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Take any florescence starter in the white tube and break it open and remove the glass tube and replace your one. Check if it works. Sometimes the starter contacts get burnt and do not work. In most cases the element is open circuit and hence does not work.

    Fluorescent starters are used in several types of fluorescent lights. The starter is there to help the lamp light. When voltage is applied to the fluorescent lamp, here's what happens:


    1. The starter (which is simply a timed switch) allows current to flow through the filaments at the ends of the tube.
    2. The current causes the starter's contacts to heat up and open, thus interrupting the flow of current. The tube lights.
    3. Since the lighted fluorescent tube has a low resistance, the ballast now serves as a current limiter.

    When you turn on a fluorescent tube, the starter is a closed switch. The filaments at the ends of the tube are heated by electricity, and they create a cloud of electrons inside the tube. The fluorescent starter is a time-delay switch that opens after a second or two. When it opens, the voltage across the tube allows a stream of electrons to flow across the tube and ionize the mercury vapor.

    Without the starter, a steady stream of electrons is never created between the two filaments, and the lamp flickers. Without the ballast, the arc is a short circuit between the filaments, and this short circuit contains a lot of current. The current either vaporizes the filaments or causes the bulb to explode.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar pumping, Solar Geyser & Solar Security lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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  6. #5
    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    Thanks Justloadit, I thought the starter in a normal 1.2m or 1.5m light fitting is a separate component, but I will try to find an old tube and open it up and look for that little thing.

    I never really knew how a fluorescent works until now, i do not fully get above, but I have a better idea now.
    Houses4Rent
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Pop into this page How Fluorescent light works
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar pumping, Solar Geyser & Solar Security lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  8. #7
    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    Great, some weekend reading....
    Houses4Rent
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    marc@houses4rent.co.za www.houses4rent.co.za
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