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Caught in the act! Fluorescent shop fixture WARNING!

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Blog entry by woodshaver Tony C posted 05-23-2017 12:36 PM 3581 reads 2 times favorited 43 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I HAVE NEVER SEEN A FLUORESCENT FIXTURE DO THIS IN MY 70 + YEARS!!!

I was out in the shop doing my thing when my wife called me on for lunch. I closed the garage door and enjoyed my lunch with her. About 15 minutes later I went back out into the shop and smelled something strange! I noticed one of my fluorescent fixture lamps were flickering and buzzing. (Yah..what’s new!!!). I got on my folding step stool for a closer look and HOLY SMOKES! the transformer was melting straight through the plastic housing. I could feel the heat and I believe it would have caused a fire if I hadn’t noticed it.

Maybe someone can tell me why the Circuit breaker didn’t trip. I’m not feeling comfortable having 4 more of these fixtures hanging in my shop. I’m thinking of replacing them all with fixtures that except LED bulb’s…..


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Update!
Got my new light’s installed; what a difference. Scroll down to see the lights that I bought a Sams club.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!



43 comments so far

View steliart's profile

steliart

2473 posts in 2444 days


#1 posted 05-23-2017 12:45 PM

All my life I have fluorescent lights everywhere and never once had the transformer melting. Flickering was almost an indication of an end of the bulb or a choke issue … that it’s so weird Tony !!!
I would probably blame the quality of the fixture and if I was in your shoes I would just replace them with a better quality brand/make… thank God tho you didn’t had any fire there… someone is looking after you buddy !!!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View hunter71's profile

hunter71

2979 posts in 2942 days


#2 posted 05-23-2017 12:56 PM

Not at all unusual Tony. Switch to LED’s Better light, never change a lamp again. Master electrician 30++ years.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5367 posts in 3109 days


#3 posted 05-23-2017 01:07 PM


All my life I have fluorescent lights everywhere and never once had the transformer melting. Flickering was almost an indication of an end of the bulb or a choke issue … that it s so weird Tony !!!
I would probably blame the quality of the fixture and if I was in your shoes I would just replace them with a better quality brand/make… thank God tho you didn t had any fire there… someone is looking after you buddy !!!

- steliart


Thanks Stelios, I’m definitely going to replace all of them!


Not at all unusual Tony. Switch to LED s Better light, never change a lamp again. Master electrician 30++ years.

- hunter71


Thanks Doug, So it’s not unusual for the breaker to not trip? I found some 3 and 4 socket fixtures at Home Depot for around $16.00 that will except LED bulbs. I’ve got some bright white bulbs now and may need a few more.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View BenDupre's profile

BenDupre

498 posts in 244 days


#4 posted 05-23-2017 01:12 PM

Tome to upgrade to leds Tony. You can get a shop light with comparable lumen output for about $20-30.

You can generate a lot of heat with less than 15 amps. Surely enough to start fire without tripping breakers.

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5367 posts in 3109 days


#5 posted 05-23-2017 01:48 PM



Tome to upgrade to leds Tony. You can get a shop light with comparable lumen output for about $20-30.

You can generate a lot of heat with less than 15 amps. Surely enough to start fire without tripping breakers.

- BenDupre


Ah-ha! That makes lots of sense Ben! Thanks for chiming in!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Rich's profile

Rich

1552 posts in 345 days


#6 posted 05-23-2017 02:28 PM

One big advantage of LEDs is that they are directional. The bulbs I bought at HD point down right out of the box, but you can turn the ends so that the light goes out at an angle. It really helped get some light into spots that weren’t well lit with fluorescent tubes.

I don’t know if they all have that feature, but these stated it on the box.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2641 posts in 2059 days


#7 posted 05-23-2017 03:02 PM

Hi Tony, a friend of mine installed these LED fixtures from Costco in his shop and is really pleased with them. Glad you caught the melting transformer in time.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

311 posts in 1756 days


#8 posted 05-23-2017 04:30 PM

I’m all for LED’s It’s what I have in my house. I have had one LED bulb, the kind that goes into a regular light bulb socket melt it’s plastic on me once. Remember they have to convert the AC to DC and the electronics doing that are as cheaply made and assembled as possible and sometimes things go wrong.

Also last time I went to buy a fluorescent fixture, a few years back, I noticed the price of the cheap ones wasn’t quite so cheap and they had been. The clerk told me a lot of them had been recalled. Might be worth looking into if your still using fluorescent tubes.

-- Ted

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19102 posts in 2861 days


#9 posted 05-23-2017 05:17 PM

Menards often has LED fixtures for $15 on sale!!. I bought 4 last year and need 5 more. I sold all the old fluorescent fixtures cheap on Craigslist. LED’s are nice because they give off brighter light ( that I need in my old age) and they come on right away in cold weather.

Tony, it is a good thing you caught the light before it got hot next to something to catch on fire. The circuit breaker will only trip if there is a direct short and high AC current is sensed. The transformer my have shorted out on the secondary side and just kept heating.

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5568 posts in 2903 days


#10 posted 05-23-2017 05:37 PM

Hey Tony, sorry to hear about your partial meltdown, but it could be Someone tapping you on the shoulder and saying it’s time to replace those old fixtures before they burn the house down.

I agree with the others about the LED bulbs. They don’t use a lot of juice, and they come in different color temperatures, so you can get ones in the correct temperature for a woodshop. Additionally, they last about 50,000 hours, so you’ll never have to replace them again.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9892 posts in 3808 days


#11 posted 05-23-2017 06:42 PM

YES!

It’s time to go to LED fixtures…

This is the best source I have found for LED bulbs, etc. etc.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

6495 posts in 1799 days


#12 posted 05-23-2017 06:57 PM

Sounds like your getting some good advise Tony. I replaced two fixtures over a year ago with LED and had big light improvement. Still have three more to replace when I see them on sale. My reason was they wouldn’t turn on all the time in damp conditions They still work well so no reason for me to rush out, only there are times they have their own mind.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

5472 posts in 2423 days


#13 posted 05-23-2017 07:49 PM

Change to LED you won’t regret it I have 4 LED flood light on the ceiling and will be installing a new fixture above the TS and workbench .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View drbyte's profile

drbyte

760 posts in 3818 days


#14 posted 05-23-2017 08:35 PM

LEDs absolutely! I’ve installed about a hundred of them in the past year and have only had one go out, pretty good rate of failure!

-- Dennis, WV

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5367 posts in 3109 days


#15 posted 05-23-2017 08:51 PM

Thanks everyone for chiming in here! I guess it’s time to catch up with the times!
I just wanted to mention that Dave (double DD) suggested that I post this warning here in a blog; and I’m glad I did I got lots of good info about LED lighting from everyone. I’m doing my homework on line now to learn about these LED’s and the best place to buy them. Tanks for the link Joe L and Lee I’ll check them out.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

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