How to Replace the Starter for a Fluorescent Light

By Hunker Editor

Fluorescent light fixtures sold in hardware stores as of 2010 are a little different than the ones sold a decade ago. Today's fluorescent fixtures feature electronic starting ballasts, while older versions used an independent starter to kick-start the light. In these older fixtures, a non-working light could often be repaired by simply replacing the starter instead of the ballast. You can easily tell if your fluorescent fixture has a starter as it will have a small silver (or white) cylinder directly behind the tube.


Step 1

Turn off the power to the fluorescent light by turning off the circuit breaker or the light switch.


Step 2

Remove the fluorescent light's cover lens if it has one, using the screwdriver if necessary.


Step 3

Remove the fluorescent tube by giving it a half-turn until its pins align with the slots in the sockets. When the pins are aligned, pull the tube straight down, releasing the tube from the sockets.


Step 4

Grasp the starter with your fingers and give it a 1/4 clockwise turn. Once it unseats, you can pull it straight out.


Step 5

Plug in the new starter and give it a 1/4 counterclockwise turn. It will snap in place.


Step 6

Replace the fluorescent tube by sliding the pins straight up into the socket's slots and giving the tube 1/2 turn.

Step 7

Replace the fixture's cover lens if it has one and turn the power back on to the light.