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Fluorescent Tube Starters

This web page describes:

  • What fluorescent tube starters are.
  • What problems fluorescent tube starters cause.
  • How to fix fluorescent tube starters.

What Fluorescent Tube Starters Are

A fluorescent tube starter is a switch that some fluorescent tubes need to work (light).


At first the switch in the starter is closed, this causes the fluorescent tube to heat up and create mercury vapour in the fluorescent tube.


After a second or so the switch in the starter opens.


The switch opening causes a pulse of electrical energy, an electrical spike, that ignites the mercury vapour in the tube. The mercury vapour gives off light, the fluorescent tube is now lit (giving off light).


Fluorescent tube starter


The starter fits into the fluorescent tube ‘holder’.
Fitting a fluorescent tube starter


What Problems Fluorescent Tube Starters Cause

A fluorescent tube starter causes the following problems:

  • Flickering fluorescent tube.
  • Fluorescent tube does not light.
  • Fluorescent tube lights at one end only.
  • Fluorescent tube lights at the ends only but not in the middle.
  • Fluorescent tube light glows orange.

How To Fix Fluorescent Tube Starters

A fluorescent tube starter cannot be fixed, you must replace the starter.


A fluorescent tube starter is rated by the wattage and voltage of the tube, ensure the rating of the starter is OK for the tube.


Correct wattage – for instance an 80 watt starter for an 80 watt tube and an 50 watt starter for a 50 watt tube.


Correct voltage – for instance a 240 volt starter for a 240 volt tube and a 24 volt starter for a 24 volt tube.


Starters cost about £3 (UK).


To remove a starter turn the starter and pull out.


Judge Electrical Limited
15 Mulberry Court, Huntington, York, YO32 9TU
Telephone 01904 764845 (Landline), 07919 033113 Mobile)
Email info@judgeelectrical.co.uk
VAT No. 852917405. Company Number 6359328