Comprising of a coated sealed tube on the inside with phosphor powder and then filled with a tiny bit of mercury and argon, how fluorescent bulbs produce lights is exceptionally fascinating. The underlying physical mechanisms in the bulb and fixture can vary a bit in the design. In a nutshell, a fluorescent light works by two electrodes at either end of the tube that emit electrons as they heat up. An arc is created with the atoms shooting across the bulb through the ionized gas. As one electrode to other moves through the tube, the tiny bit of mercury in the bulb is then vaporized. Like the electrons, while they collide with its atoms, excites the particles in the atoms to higher energy levels. The higher energy level, however, is unstable, and it may happen that post-collision, electrons rapidly return to their original energy level. They then release photons, UV light that human eyes cannot see.
It is the photons in the UV light that excite the electrons in the phosphor that is coating the bulb, causing them to move away from nuclei. As they move to a higher state, the phosphor electrons then quickly return to the original state, when they also release energy in the form of a photon. It creates a spectrum that is visible to the range, by the bulk of light that makes these bulbs useful in office buildings all over the globe.
When buzzing happens
There is a possibility that current in the fluorescent light would rise to hazardous levels owing to the fact as it heats up, the electrical resistance of the ionized gas in the tube might drop progressively. So without putting something in place to stop the rising current, this could also result in a cascading problem. It might explode the bulb or flip your circuit breaker. In any case, the lights would stop working quickly.
To manage situations like these, fluorescent bulb fixtures are mainly equipped with a ballast. It comes out in the form of an iron core wrapped in copper wire. It may slow down the growth of the current by trying to keep it at a safe level for the bulb to function efficiently.
It is not necessary to bear that buzzing noise. For people who hate buzzing noise or perhaps have issues with migraine headaches that are induced by fluorescent bulbs, electronic ballast is available in the market. They are generally found in CFLs. These ballasts are typically operated at a higher charge. It must be noted that if you try to switch to one of these electronic ballasts in your older fluorescent light fixture, you need to swap out your fluorescent bulbs.