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How Can I Stop My Fluorescent Lights From Buzzing?

Electrical & Lighting
By on Nov 12, 2018
How Can I Stop My Fluorescent Lights From Buzzing?

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Editor's Note: A light that makes noise or flickers unexpectedly is annoying. Finding the source of the problem isn't as hard as you might think. In this popular article, we'll help you determine what the next steps are to make sure your fluorescent light is working properly so you don't have to be bothered!

Fluorescent lights sometimes buzz, flicker or hum. This is not something that has to stay the same or be replaced. It just means being careful and finding out what the source of trouble is. Therefore, try the simple tasks below.

If it's still buzzing after, it's time to connect with a local electrician.

Fluorescent Light Buzzing Causes & Solution

Buzzing in fluorescent lights is caused by the ballast, also known as the transformer, in the lighting fixture. Most residential fixtures use magnetic ballasts that operate at 60 hertz, which creates audible humming and flickering. Your solution is to replace the magnetic ballast with electronic ballast, which operates at 20,000 to 40,000 hertz, essentially continuously. This completely eliminates humming and flickering. 

The electronic ballasts only work with the new thinner diameter fluorescent tubes, called T-8s. If you convert your fixture to electronic ballasts and T-8 lamps, you will notice a huge improvement in quality. No more humming and flickering from your light. You'll have much better color rendition from the higher quality T-8s.

Fluorescent Light Flickering Causes & Solution

Flickering fluorescent lights are caused by the starter not being able to fire gas into the tubes. You will need to remove the bulb to get to the starter, which is a round plug sticking out through a hole. It’s either been unseated, or it’s defective. If the first, it will need to be clicked back into place to start working properly again. Otherwise, you need to have it replaced. You can take it to a hardware store and get the exact match in amps. 

Fluorescent Light Humming & Solution

Humming occurs when the prongs of the bulb get dirty or misaligned. To fix this, you will need to remove the bulb and clean the prongs. Also, check to make sure that they’re not curved or otherwise not straight by using pliers to straighten them. If it’s still humming, try switching the ends to see if that fixes the problem. Otherwise, you will need to remove the end casings and the starter and replace it or replace the ballast. 

Cost To Hire An Electrician

If you've tried to find the source of the noise or flickering problem, but can't seem to locate it, it's best to contact an electrician who can help. Working with wires and electricity can be dangerous if not done properly. The average cost to hire an electrician is $302, with most homeowners spending between $180 and $309.


Fluorescent lighting is a great option for the home, but you won't be getting the best use out of it if it is in need of a repair. Try to find a solution to the problem and if not, a pro is always available to help.

Looking for more electrical tips? Read DIY Tips For How To Remove A Stuck & Broken Light Bulb.

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