I have 6 dual fluorescent shoplights in my garage. They are 30 years old and
one by one they stopped working. Probably due to cheap electronic ballasts
which are not available any more. The ballasts consist of a small plastic
box about 1"x 1"x3", one box per lightbulb (two per fixture). Therefore I
cannot replace the ballasts in these antediluvian fixtures and have to
replace the fixtures.
When looking for new dual fixtures at the Big Box I noticed that they are
all designed to be hung from the ceiling, using 2 short chains.
My old fixtures are attached directly to the ceiling with Molly bolts, no
Is the chain arrangement due to a new code requirement (in case the ballasts
ignite in the fixture), or do I need to look at more expensive shoplights?
It sounds as though you have been looking at the cheap shop lights with the
short cord on them. What you see is what you get. For ceiling mounted yo
u can get some wraparounds. If you want shop lights that you can mount on
a ceiling, go to an electrical supply.
On Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 8:44:59 PM UTC-4, Walter E. wrote:
I don't know about the code, but the shop lights I bought 30 years ago came with short chains. I screwed them to the joists in my shop and they've been absolutely fine.
I opened the case and used the chain slots as screw holes. While I was in there I removed the short cord and hard wired them to a switch.
Know? No. I suggest you talk to your local code enforcement people who
are the only ones who really know. However I noticed the problem and
I'll guess that it's because being hung from chains with a plug
instead of direct wire allows the HO to claim that it's a stand alone
lamp like a regular table lamp and therefore doesn't need the
installation services of a licenced cardiologist ... oops, I mean
electrician but the costs are similar. Also doesn't require a permit
so no money for those useless civil servants.
Put in the new ones with Molly bolts. The worst that is likely to
happen is that some time way in the future they might make you take
On Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 10:44:36 PM UTC-4, email@example.com wro
And I'd guess the chains and plugs are there to make them easy to install f
or just about anybody.
Of course, in order to use them, there has to be an outlet in the ceiling w
hich may require that licensed electrician anyway. I mean come on, no one w
ould use a $6 extension cord to power a $15 shop light, would they? Surely
they'd pay to have the outlet installed properly.
This will not be a code issue but it could be a listing issue. (U/L
testing condition) The answer will usually be in the installation
If you are just going to wing it, first plug them in and see if the
top of the fixture gets hot. That will be the main issue.
The reality is these cheap fixtures are usually junk. I am really
looking at the $40 LED 2 tube at Costco. It is supposed to last for
decades. I am going to start swapping the shop lights as they go bad.
Plan B might be to go to Dale-electric.com and buy the $11 T-8 ballast
and use the more efficient lamp. I think that still works with the
T12s too. The problem may be the cheap keystones tho and at that
point, you are just saving the can.
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