Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: How to fix an older 12-v flourescent light?
"I'm sure it must be cheaper to repair than to replace."
Stay out of Vegas and away from the horse tracks.(G)
If it was a top-quality light, it might have had an electronic ballast. Otherwise there's a small metal can (the starter, usually with a pinhole in it so you can see a little purple lamp flickering when that works) and there's a ballast coil somewhere, often oozing black goo by now.
And it is almost always the ballast or the bulb that is bad. Bad bulbs will have blackening at one or both ends. Bad ballasts usually make the lamp flicker before they quit. Either way...
Ballasts often cost more than complete fixtures do, that's just the way it is. Good ballasts are damned expensive and cheap ones are junk. So I'd join the choir and say go looking for LED replacement fixtures. Might cost less, certainly will use much less power and last longer without all the usual problems. Skip the real cheap ones, since cheap is cheap and that's a problem with everything these days.