Brian N asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 decade ago

Why do CFL lights buzz?

Also does it make a difference what orientation the bulbs are in ie upsidedown on there side, stright up and down.

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  • Peace
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Audible noise from a fluorescent light is likely due to a loose or faulty ballast. The ballast is an electrical device inside the lighting fixture that supplies the proper starting and operating power to the bulb.

    Sometimes, changing a bulb loosens the ballast mounting or other parts of the fixture and the slight vibration from the ballast during normal operation causes a buzzing or hum. The volume of the sound may change - louder or softer - as the fixture warms up. You might try tightening any screws or loose fixture parts to see if this alleviates the noise problem. Checking the ballast mounting screws is a little more complicated since the fixture has to be opened, but that would be the next step.

    Noise can also be an indication that the ballast is about to fail. Ballasts normally last 10-20 years, but often become noisy just before they fail. If the light goes out and then comes back on unexpectedly after initially operating for a while, it means that a thermal switch inside the ballast has opened and closed - another indication that the ballast is at its end-of-life.

    Source(s): www.gelighting.com
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  • 1 decade ago

    You may hear a buzzing sound if you are using CFLs that do not have a globe, but it shouldn't be anything too distracting. IKEA offers some great bulbs that come with a rubber/glass globe (at half the parice of 1 bulb w/o at home depot). It evens out the light and would definitely cut down on any noises. As for orientation, that shouldn't matter.

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  • 4 years ago

    The CFLs in both of my bathrooms buzzed. The buzz in the master bath was louder, and would become more noticeable after the the lights had been on for 5 or 10 minutes. The fixtures in both bathroom had used 4 bulbs. I replaced all 8 bulbs with LEDs and the buzz is completely gone. I took the old CFLs to Home Depot for recycling (because they have mercury in them).

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  • 1 decade ago

    Mine don't buzz. Are you using a dimmer? That might make it buzz. But it is very bad for CFLs. Never use a dimmer on a CFL. They can be used in any orientation, but if you use them pointing down, heat from the light will drift up and warm up the electronics in the base, possibly shortening the life of the bulb.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Mine don't buzz.

    Also, in response to a previous answer, I think that the new CFLs have a higher frequency than 60 Hz. The ballast in the bulb bumps up the AC line frequency so the bulb is actually operating at something like 20 to 60 kHz.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because they are actually turning on and off 60 times each second. But the human eye can't notice anything more than 20 times a second. Your TV has 29 frames per second and looks like fluid motion, although it is a bunch of still pictures. A CFL is a miniature flourescent tube that has been coiled over itself. Just like the big shop lights buzz a little, the CFL has a baby ballast to cycle the electricity back and forth.

    btw - it's too quiet in your house, or your ear is too close to your lamp. J/J :)

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  • 4 years ago

    We have been using these globes for many years now. In the last 12 months we have had 3 go on us not bursting just popping like a normal globe I would be getting the wiring checked I don't know how old it is but its better to Better safe than sorry. We have never has a buzzing or half on state just sounds odd that your having so many problems. We use the long tube ones in garage (workshop) (shed) as you don't need so many. I also thing Price does have some influence so cheap ones from china would more that likely break down than the dearer ones

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  • 1 decade ago

    either you are using the bulb with a dimmer (which is not recommended by the manufacturers, and will kill the bulb), or you are using the wrong wattage bulbs for the lamps you are using them in. under optimal usage they do not buzz. the orientation of the bulbs has nothing to do with the problem.

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  • the ones in my kitchen buzz, but thats because they are on a dimmer... none of the others (and my entire house has CFL's) make any noise whatsoever.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Mine don't make any noise? You maybe need to see if someone else hears the noise. Call the manufacturer on pack and ask them about this issue. Do all of them buzz?

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