Fluorescent light: ballast ?

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Old 07-23-15, 01:36 PM
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Fluorescent light: ballast ?

My two tube 4' t-12 started blinking between full bright and 70% for half an hour. then settled down to running steadily at 70% percent brightness. Played with the switch no difference. Both bulbs are lit end to end. Everyone agree ballast?
 
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Old 07-23-15, 01:57 PM
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I've been recommending LED fixtures as replacements for fluorescent fixtures. I've installed a few of them & the improvement is unbelievable. Home Depot has them. The word ballast will slowly disappear.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 02:59 PM
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Looking at these bulbs 4 Foot, 20 watt neiLite LED Replacement Bulb for Fluorescent Fixtures - Fluorescent Tubes - Amazon.com, or maybe these at LEDwholesalers UL 20-Watt 4-Foot T8 T12 LED Tube Light with SMD2835, 40W Fluorescent Tube Replacement, Neutral White, 1923NW - - Amazon.com, or http://www.amazon.com/JACKYLED%C2%AE...6GQRATRX182Nat At Amazon. Tempted to go with the cheapest one. Any one see a reason why not the cheapest one?

(Will add a couple of other items to bring it to $35 for free shipping.)
 
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Old 07-23-15, 03:17 PM
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If LED bulbs are used in fluorescent fixtures, isn't the ballast still a problem? I'm suggesting that the entire fixture be replaced.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 04:15 PM
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Some do use the ballast but those are all line voltage driven. You just connect AC to the tombstones on one end or both ends depending on bulb design.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-26-15 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 07-23-15, 04:43 PM
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I haven't tried the LED replacements. I like replacing the ballast and converting to T8's.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 09:23 PM
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This is going to be one expensive month but I doubted the ballast would last long so I bought two of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Figure $15 for T-8 ballast and $25 for two T-8 bulbs the LED will be a bit cheaper.

Amusing side note. Several people in the reviews pointed out if you follow the instructions you will have a dead short. They realized that after the breaker tripped.
 
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Old 07-26-15, 04:08 PM
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It might be a ballast problem or might not. It could also be borderline tubes about to burn out. Sometimes bulbs that are just starting to go bad will flicker intermittently for a time. It could also be a ballast component failing. A bad capacitor is often the culprit in high power factor ballasts when the lamps are running a little dimmer than usual. In normal power factor ballasts, it's typical for the lamps to drop to about half output when a bulb goes bad. That's because they allow the tubes to continue conducting in one direction. I don't remember the exact reason, but HPF rapid start ballasts don't permit this so when the bulb goes bad you get nothing more than a dim glow no brighter than a nightlight.

What you described does match the normal burnout on an NPF shoplite style ballast. Is there any darkening at the ends of the tubes? Note that some manufacturers such as Philips have cathodes guards that prevent the ends from becoming as blackened as you might expect.
 
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Old 08-02-15, 11:28 AM
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Received the bulbs and direct wire installed them. The light isn't quite as much as I expected but that may partly be a fixture construction problem. The bulbs have a reflector blocking out the back half of the tube. This would work well on 90 tombstones but mine are 45 so output is partially obscured. For the price I am happy. Can't really see an advantage in the more expensive tubes.

Interesting to note the manufacturer corrected the incorrect instructions problem mentioned in Amazon Feedback. They did it in the simplest way apparently. They no longer include instructions... or at least mine didn't come with instructions.
 
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Old 08-02-15, 12:29 PM
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Jumping in late. Would the intensity of the 5000K output be sufficient to light a shop with only one bulb, or would you need both bulbs for full spectrum? Thinking of putting them in my shop's T12 fixtures and bypassing the ballast. Ideas, comments?
 
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Old 08-02-15, 01:46 PM
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Not really sure about just one and as I said because of my 45 tombstones I don't have them pointing straight down. Get a little ahead I'm buying two for the kitchen and that is a shop light so I'll know better. I'd suggest get two and test. First with one bulb than use both if one isn't enough. Your perception of adequate light may not be mine.

On a side note I have another place I could use one and just considering buying tombstones and a handy box and building my own fixture.out of wood. But that is the just the way old nail ponders think.
 
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Old 08-02-15, 02:28 PM
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Yeah, 8 fixtures times two bulbs times $18, that's $300. Hoping to do half that. We'll see
 
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Old 08-02-15, 04:24 PM
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Chandler, are your shop lights 8' or 4'? If 8' look into getting some retrofit kits.
 
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Old 08-02-15, 06:59 PM
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No, just 4' fixtures. I was thinking of bypassing the ballasts and using thr LED tubes. Just hoping the temperature and output would work with only bulb.
 
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Old 08-02-15, 07:08 PM
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Larry just for test purposes you could buy one bulb and connect to a cord set by wrapping a wire around the pins at each end. That would give you an idea of the amount of light with out commuting to any thing more then one. (Negative: One tube is less then the $35 minimum for free shipping so might as well buy two since it would be about the same as one with shipping.)
 
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Old 08-02-15, 07:24 PM
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If bypassing the ballast, you need to make sure the sockets are non-shunted. I'm thinking that is the direct short the reviewers were referring to in the directions. I know big orange has some LED tubes that include non shunted sockets which is a good idea IMO.
 
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Old 08-02-15, 07:26 PM
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As you know I haven't tried what Ray is using but I did try another brand. If you look at some You-Tube video of people using just one 5000K LED tube you will see that gives you plenty of light with just one tube depending on what you are doing. If you are using the light for any delicate work that requires more light then I suggest two tubes at 5000K and if not then just one. 4000K would work too it just wouldn't give as much light but it would also be cheaper than the 5000K.
 
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Old 08-03-15, 01:14 PM
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Can operate in very low temperatures (-25F to 140F)

Just what I need for my garage.


If bypassing the ballast, you need to make sure the sockets are non-shunted.
Am I correct that if using one ended power tubes I'd only need to change to non-shunted on the power end and can use the old ones in the other end? I think I read that somewhere today, can't remember for sure.

Thanks
 
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Old 08-03-15, 01:45 PM
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Not an expert but yes if you bought the single end one the pins are dummies on the other end. The ones I bought are both ends so shunted doesn't mater. I would go with ones that use both ends one thing less to fool with. Just connect all the wires on one end to neutral and all the wires on the other end to hot.
 
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Old 08-03-15, 03:30 PM
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That sure would make life easier and I wouldn't have to buy the non-shunted ones. I have 8 fixtures in my garage. $$$

Thanks
 
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Old 08-03-15, 03:43 PM
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If it says it works with are without a ballast the you can be reasonably sure power comes in at both ends because that is how a ballast would power it.
 
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Old 11-09-15, 06:47 PM
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These Lights Are Terrific

Took the ballasts out and wired them up like Ray said and I couldn't be more pleased, they are bright and white!

Over my bench I have two four footers hooked together (little over 5 feet above bench) and all I can say is amazing.





Here's the messy bench without a flash after dark...





Larry, I tried with one tube in each and I'd say it is a toss up. The light is so much whiter it's hard to tell. So, unless you have an operating table in your shop I think one tube would be satisfactory. Then again you are gettin' pretty long in the tooth so....?

Thanks Ray!
 
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Old 11-09-15, 07:20 PM
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Looking nice! .
 
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Old 11-09-15, 07:45 PM
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Looks like Santa's workshop... an awful lot of toys there.
 
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Old 11-09-15, 10:27 PM
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The thing I really like besides the great light that you get out of the LED tubes that need no ballast is the total quiet of the fixture. Not all of my lights are converted yet just too expensive to do everyone at once so I still have that annoying hum with some of my old t-12 lights. I will probably wait now until Spring comes as it just gets too cold in the basement to make changes now.
 
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