Discussion:
Is the buzz from fluorescent lighting temperature dependent?
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TimR
2013-10-26 16:37:41 UTC
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We do our music practice in the basement to avoid annoying the neighbors.

The fluorescent lights (4 foot tubes) have an annoying buzz to a musician.

(60 Hz is halfway between Bb at 58 and Bnat at 62)

We don't heat or cool the basement except in extreme temperatures, and I've noticed as the basement cools from the summer heat the buzzing seems to get louder.

Do you think there's anything to it?
Andrew Gabriel
2013-10-26 18:11:07 UTC
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Post by TimR
We do our music practice in the basement to avoid annoying the neighbors.
The fluorescent lights (4 foot tubes) have an annoying buzz to a musician.
(60 Hz is halfway between Bb at 58 and Bnat at 62)
We don't heat or cool the basement except in extreme temperatures, and I've noticed as the basement cools from the summer heat the buzzing seems to get louder.
Do you think there's anything to it?
Sound could well change as parts of the fitting expand or contract
by tiny amounts due to temperature changes, and change the stresses
in parts which are fixed together, and vibrating by miniscule amounts.

Modern electronic control gear is silent, although the possibility
of picking up RF interference by mics and pickups very near it might
be higher.
--
Andrew Gabriel
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]
m***@att.net
2013-10-27 05:08:30 UTC
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TimR <***@aol.com> wrote:
[fluorescent fixtures buzzing when cold]
Post by TimR
(60 Hz is halfway between Bb at 58 and Bnat at 62)
There may also be sound at 120 Hz and other harmonics, too.
Post by TimR
Do you think there's anything to it?
Could be.

You might try pushing or tapping on various parts of the fixture while
it is lit to see if you can change the sound. Some fixtures have sheet
metal panels or diffusers/shades that are just clipped on, and moving
one of these panels just a little might help reduce the noise.

If you feel comfortable working on line-operated equipment, you could
turn off the lights, unplug them (if they plug in), remove the tubes,
and poke around inside the fixture for loose screws, nuts, clips, etc.
In particular, if you can see the ballast (the oblong black thing with
lots of wires coming out of it), check the nuts/screws/clips holding it
in. In a lot of fixtures, the wires from the ballast to the lamp
holders just sort of lay there; they aren't in a bundle or clipped to
anything. The wires themselves are usually not a big source of noise,
though.

Don't leave any any clips, nuts, bolts, etc out of the fixture for
good - some of them are there to ensure that all parts of the fixture
are safely grounded. (This also helps the lamps start.) Be careful of
pinching wires between parts when you put the whole thing back together.

I hope this helps!

Matt Roberds

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