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I've got a few ceiling lighting 'boxes' that have one capacitor, two ballast, two starters, and two fluorescent lamps in each. Everything seems to be nicely wired up internally and I just need to connect the L and N wire to the corner of the box. I think that these are 'standard' boxes that people just stick onto a false ceiling in an office.

I'd like to check to see if it is okay for me to wire these light 'boxes' in parallel? They seem to be working fine at the moment but I sort of remember reading somewhere that fluorescent lighting wiring is a bit tricky.

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migrated from electronics.stackexchange.com Jun 8 '11 at 17:58

This question came from our site for electronics and electrical engineering professionals, students, and enthusiasts.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

What do you want to connect in parallel?

The Live and Neutral?

That is the correct way to do it.

Each 'L','N' must be connected to each next 'L','N' in parallel from your main power source. Also it is a good idea to earth all your florescent lights to a earth leakage breaker or something similar as they can sometimes develop high voltage leaks and cause undesired effects..(smoke/fire,etc)

Do not exceed by 1200Watts on a 5AMP Breaker in 240Volts

You cannot connect the florescent tubes in parallel or in fact any other way than the ballast was designed to handle it. You can get double/triple ballasts too and the internal wiring can get somewhat 'spaghetti' like.

Each tube needs to be handled by 1 ballast as it 'starts' the tube then 'sustains' the voltage for it.

There are new electronic ballasts that do not require starter caps and 'start' the tubes quicker with less stress extending the life of the tube up to 25%.

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I meant that the L of each box is connected to the Live wire from the mains and N of each box is connected to the Neutral from the mains. – sybreon Jun 8 '11 at 15:14
Yip- That is how it should be. NEVER connect it in series or things will start to go wrong! Just do not exceed a cummulitive constant wattage of 1200Watts. Which is the combined amount wattage rating of your tubes minus a bit for saftey. – ppumkin Jun 8 '11 at 15:17

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