Dimming Fluorescent Fixtures
I have a light box that my customer wants to put a dimmer switch on. The fixture is fluorescent. I have questioned the manufacturer about the kind of ballast inside the light box, so I can order the correct dimmer.
Before I take the next step and take apart the light box (to get the information that I need), is it possible to put a dimmer on a fluorescent fixture?
DL from Orlando, FL
Dimming fluorescent fixtures have special ballasts designed to work with special dimmer switches. The ballast of the fixture must be compatible with the dimmer or they will not work together.
Standard fluorescent fixtures will not fire properly with a dimmer switch installed, so I wouldn't waste your time unless you know for a fact that the fixture is designed to dim. Very few fluorescents are designed to dim.
If you remove the ballast cover on the fixture, it will be prominently labeled as "dimming." If not, you may be able to purchase a dimming ballast, though the cost of the ballast (around $50 for a two-40 watt bulb fixture) plus installation may be more than a new fixture, unless the fixture is very classy (or has sentimental value).
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here NaturalHandyman.com/aitikia. For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links NaturalHandyman.com. If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page NaturalHandyman.com/Friends.
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at NaturalHandyman.com/Contest. Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information located at NaturalHandyman.com/Copyright.
More Money-Saving Tips for Your Home
- Should I use a HELOC for home remodeling and repairs
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?