Checklist when the fluorescent lamp does not ignite or work correctly

Checklist of actions when the fluorescent lamp does not ignite or work correctly in luminaires with HF-ballasts.

1. Voltage supply

Check that there is a voltage supply to the luminaire. Measure the supply voltage to confirm it is at the correct level. On a luminaire with a dimmable HF-ballast, also check the control voltage level, if applicable (analogue 1–10 V DC). Disconnect the control circuit and check whether the lamp ignites (100 %).

Always disconnect the voltage for safety reasons when making the following checks. On a luminaire with a dimmable HF-ballast even the control circuits should be disconnected.

2. Light sources

Check that the fluorescent lamps wattage and type correspond with that on the luminaire label. Check that the HF-ballast type corresponds with the type stated on the luminaire label.

Check that the fluorescent lamp is fitted correctly in the lamp holders (that the fluorescent lamp has been turned and fully inserted in the right position). Check the lamp holders at the same time, making sure that the fluorescent lamp makes good contact (the holders should be well secured to the luminaire). If necessary remove dust, dirt, grease, etc.

Replace a fluorescent lamp that does not ignite with a new lamp that is known to work (even a new fluorescent lamp can be defective) and switch on the voltage. In 2-lamp luminaires both fluorescent lamps should be replaced using fluorescent lamps known to work.

3. Connections

If the fluorescent lamp does not ignite, switch off and check the cables for loose connections. Make sure there is no insulating layer between the connections’ contact surfaces. Loose connections are usually evident through blackening or soot.

4. Ballast

Disconnect the supply voltage to the control gear for about 20 seconds and switch it on again. The HF-ballast is generally designed to disconnect when it senses a defective fluorescent lamp or a break in the fluorescent lamp circuit (point 5). The situation is the same for the HF-ballast, if the fluorescent lamp has not been turned in the lamp holder, to the right position (point 4) or if there is a bad contact in the fluorescent lamp circuit (points 4 and 6). No HF-ballasts from any manufacturer can sense that a fluorescent lamp has been replaced with a new one without the voltage being disconnected and reinstated.