flourescent light

bjb

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I want to change my garage light fitting from ordinary bulb to flourescent light.
Problem is that light fitting wires are live and neutral with no earth and the flourescent tube holder seems to insist on an earth connection. I don't know if I'm inviting problems by wiring it with no earth.
 
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breezer

all metal lights must have an earth (unless double isulated) as yours does need an earth, i suggest you run in a new cable with an earth and connect the earth at both ends.

it should be easy, just replace the existing cable with a 1mm twin and earth, connect it as it is now and also connect the earth
 
B

Big_Spark

I echo Breezer's comments above but would also add that the vast bulk of fittings that are clasified as discharge lighting, of which Fluorescents are but one variety, require an Earth to be present not only for the safety aspect, but also for correct operation of the control gear as they tend to use the Earth as the negative for the electronics inside them.

This is not to say they won't work, but they may not work as well or last as long.
 
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A 'choke' inside the fitting will also leak inherently to earth, causing the metal case to pose a serious shock risk ALL of the time.

Replacing the cable is the best bet, but ensure that where this cable comes from also has an earth - just because the terminal is there doesn't mean it is connected!
 
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If you were to run it without earth, you could find that the lamp was slow to strike - the capacative coupling between the gas in the tube, and the metal work around it will initiate 'streamer' discharge.
In some developing countries where non-earthed strip lighting is common, it is often necessary to run a finger along the tube to draw the discharge, if starting is unreliable. (it is also necessary to put up with a much higher accident rate, as in stead of waiting for a double fault to become lethal, only a single fault is required...)

If you have no earth on the lighting circuit, given that its a garage, is there a socket with an earth from which a length of green and yellow might be run to 'borrow' an earth.
 

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