Electronic ballast.

Today repaired a couple of two tube fluorescent fixtures for neighbour. Along with some physical items, missing ground screw, improper cable anchor and a couple of loose and/or broken fluorescent lamp sockets, one fixture required a new ballast. Neighbour proffered two unused ballasts that someone had given them. (Both 120 volt 60 hz.) One was a 'conventional' two 40 watt tube ballast, which worked fine. The numbers of recognizable 40 watt and similar tubes were listed on the replacement ballast. Both fixtures worked fine and neighbour took them away to install in his garage. The other ballast is marked electronic and lists tubes that I do not recognise. All my spare bits and pieces and a stock of used 48 inch fluorescent tubes are for conventional non-electronic ballasted fixtures. And not that I'm short of spare used ballasts and even a few new ones; but for practical information and as a general question? Must that electronic ballast only be used with special tubes etc. and/or any use to me? In any case I'll keep it around cos. with my luck, if I chuck it out, three weeks later someone will ask me to repair a fixture that will turn out to be electronic! Isn't that always the way? BTW my neighbours son came home for a visit and "helped his dad clean up the garage". Neighbour now can't find anything useful including the spare gas tank he had to put in his old truck! Lucky he had those ballasts!
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electronic ballasts for four foot fluorescent lamps commonly are made to control up to four F32 T8 lamps. The newest generation of these ballasts works much better than old magnetic ballasts

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Several follow up Qs, if I may? So, with an electronic ballast I would need to buy F32 lamps and use them instead of F40s? Do F32s use the same 'end sockets' as conventional tubes? I ask is because many of my 'spare' parts (and tubes) were free, thrown out following a local school lighting renovation job and several hundred perfectly good traditional two contact (mainly white plastic) sockets, still with wires attached were thrown out. Gave me a big box of em, wire nuts and all! This made me wonder if an 'electronic' tube use a different socket; or maybe was it something to do with the spacing/clearance of the slimmer? 'electronic' tube requiring sockets of a different height? Because I also noticed that doing the renovation job, while basically retaining the fixtures themselves a chrome reflector was added 'behind' the new tubes, for greater efficiency I guess? BTW the electronic ballast is much the same weight as a conventional one; but if the electronics work at a higher frequency? than the 60 hertz line they presumably wouldn't need as much metal in the core and should be not as heavy? Except for our bought new conventional two tube fluorescent in the kitchen all our 'renovated/rejuvenated/mainly got for free' fluorescents are used in our workshop and garage and therefore not used every day or continuously for long periods as they would be in store, s.market or school etc. Electricity consumption is not a major factor given that fluorescents are more light efficient than incandescent bulbs. At this time of year we heat with electricity so any 'wasted' heat, from lighting, particularly incandescents, merely offsets electric baseboard heating! Your comment and input is much appreciated. Terry. PS. It's about mid 40s Fahrenheit and damp today, with three days til Christmas! Small amount of snow we've had is all gone. Last week I planted about 60 spring bulbs! So much for "The Great White North" eh? Christmas day forecasted to be +9 degrees Celsius which equals (2 x 9) + 32 = 50 degrees Fahrenheit! Yup it's green one! From the most easterly point in North America, Seasons Greetings.
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Terry, these ballasts have gone through several generations already. They have gotten skinnier and lighter. Yes, you must use F32 T8 lamps with them. They use the same white socket as the standard T12 lamp. Often when they did refurbs of old florescent fixtures, they used fewer lamps in the retrofit and screwed in the reflectors to make up the difference. The electronic ballasts wire completely different in the fixture, but actually much simpler, and you can also buy one ballast to use for one two three or four lamps

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