My daughter has had a horse since college, and boarded in
several different barns. She feels the safety issue is your
best bet to get them to work with you. (Although it's obvious
they already ARE, to some extent, or you wouldn't have had the
opportunity to play with the ring lights.)
Horse owners and barn owners tend to be reasonable folk, particularly
where the safety of their animals is concerned. Barn fires are no fun,
and horses can be very expensive critters.
Tom is right in his suggestion...internal arc'ing. Since those
lamps were probably installed at the same time, all ballasts are
likely the same age. If one is bad, they may all be.
But consider as well the possibility that the problem is in the
wiring, or the box servicing the barn. It is very common for these
to be sub-boxes, and not to have a local ground, for one thing.
It is common for the wiring to be done by a barn hand, and not an
electrician. I wouldn't be surprised to find a reversed hot and
common, or common tied to ground somewhere in the system.
You might try a portable radio near the distribution panel, to see if
the noise is louder there...or perhaps can be heard there whenever ANY
of the barn circuits is turned on. If not, try running the radio along
the length of the lighting circuit in question, to see if it localizes.
Um, and oh, yeah. Be sure to wear your boots and watch where you step.
(Have mucked out my share of stalls, and fixed my share of crappy barn
Presently occupied fixing the 'homeowner' wiring in this old house! You
believe some of it.)
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