These days places like Dale electric will sell you a good T-8 ballast
for about $12.
It is worth simply chucking the cheap ballast in your bad shop light
and going with a better one.
The T-8 lamps will save you some money
It wasn't heated, and they were dim in winter. I put them in
transparent plastic tubes that were required in kitchens. By keeping the
bulbs a little warmer, the tubes made them brighter in cold weather. The
tubes also provided some protection against breakage.
If I were getting lights for a shop that wasn't kept at room
temperature, I'd look into their performance over my expected
As the CW tubes aged, I replaced them with CWX. There weren't as many
lumens, but I could see colors better. Depending on what you do in a
shop, good color rendition can be an advantage.
I don't know the strengths and weaknesses of T12s, T8s, T5s,various
CFLs, and LEDs.
I installed four fixtures in my garage/shop back in 2001. Each fixture
holds two T8 bulbs and has electronic ballast.
T8 bulbs are thinner and work better in cold temperatures.
The electronic ballast eliminates flickering and lets the light turn on
I chose lights with covers in case I hit the fixture with a board or
something. I've only done it once or twice, but I'm glad the bulbs weren't
Thirteen years later and I'm still on the original bulbs.
I bought mine from Home Depot back in 2001. I'm pretty sure they were GE
brand, but I don't see them listed on their web site anymore. I'm sure they
would sell something similar today. The good fixtures will cost about $50
As you read, the gist of the fixture is the ballast. You can purchase a
fairly cheap fixture from the big home stores but swapping with a good
Advance, GE, Philips electronic ballast will do wonders and last for
The difference between T8 and T12 is wattage, mercury, efficiency,
longer lasting and light output all favoring the T8, though, light
output isn't extremely noticeable.
The first thing I did with the HD fixture was replaced the ballast. That
was many years ago and the lamps are still doing well.
Ballasts costs were higher years ago prior to the universal ballasts of
today. Retailers and distributors had to maintain more shelf space for
voltage specific magnetic ballasts. Since universal ballasts offer the
voltage range 110 to 277, also enabling them to handle several
configurations, it's more efficient for retailer's shelf space. Though,
you can still find voltage specific ballast, they will disappear soon
That's based on price, warranty, convenience,
skill set. And the condition of the old fixtures.
If you're a skilled electrician, and if the
ballasts are 2/3 the price of a whole fixture,
and if there is a warranty on the ballasts, and
if, if, if....
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
On Saturday, November 1, 2014 11:37:18 PM UTC-4, Davej wrote:
Why not, if the structure of them is sturdy and unrusted?
Really, all there is to the things functionally is the ballast, some wiring, and the keystones. If everything else is good a new ballast and possibly new tubes should fix you up for a while. Replacement keystones are also available.
That is what I do, just replace the ballast in my $ 10 shop lights with
some $ 10 or $ 12 ballasts. Beats hanging new ones. I have also bought
some inexpensive shop lights , taken the ballasts out and put them in the
old ones that are already in place in places that I don't use the lights
About all that can go wrong is the ballast and maybe the keystones unless
you pench the wiring while puting the covers back on.
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On Monday, November 3, 2014 4:20:17 AM UTC-6, Qwerty Uiop wrote:
With 60 Watt LEDS at $20 +, it is not worth it.
You can get 10 CFLs for that price.
Most are rated for 5 + years.
One problem with CFL's is that they don't last in humid environments or in enclosed spaces where heat is not disappated.
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