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Self-destructing fluorescent lighting fixtures?

I was trying to replace the fluorescent lamp in my condo living room when the fixture self-destructed. First I was extracting out the starter, but the plastic crumbled to dust between my fingers. :angry: I was then twisting the lamp to get it out of the mostly-plastic terminals but then they too fell apart like they were made from candied sugar. :grrr:

So now I need to buy two new freaking fluorescent fixtures. One to replace the self-destructing one, and another so the other fixture in the room matches. :grrr: :grrr:

Anyone else encounter this problem? Can we deduce that they sub-standard fixtures, and a good-quality one shouldn't do that?

Also, since I'm in the market for lighting fixtures, what are good brands that I can find at the hardware store (True Value, Ace, etc.)?


  • How old was your fluorescent lamp fixture? If the fixture was old enough for some of the parts to crumble then you really have to replace it especially the ones using the non electronic ballasts. One sure sign that it needs to be replaced is when it's generating a humming noise already.

    Without any regard for aesthetic function, I recently replaced the meter long fluorescent lamp fixture with a ringlight type fluorescent that you can screw into a bulb receptacle. It's very practical since you can replace the ringlight if it gets busted or replace it with a cfl bulb altogether.

    Otherwise, the ring lights that can be bought in Ace Hardware and Tru Value are good enough to use for several years.

    When I replaced the humming fluorescent lamp fixture, there was a blackened part of the ceiling where the fixture rested. It turns out the humming noise was generating enough heat to blacken the ceiling under and around it. I had it replaced just in time.
  • KuyaDannyKuyaDanny Moderator PEx Moderator
    I've had plastic parts from all sorts of fluorescent fixtures crumble on me, usually after 3-5 years of use. Using the lights generates heat which eventually breaks the plastic down. Even the best quality ones do not last forever.

    My only consolation is that these parts are cheap, unless the plastic parts are decorative (diffusers/covers, etc), in which case they might be a little harder to find. That's a good excuse to redecorate.
  • Thanks for the input, guys. We've been living in the condo for 3 years, so the fixtures are at least that old.
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