A cheaper way to brighter shop lighting

Here is what I do, but in no means suggesting you do yourself (end disclaimer):
This is a popular method on the aquarium NGs, and is nothing new.
The Problem: I had older 4' 2-tube fixtures that flickered when the shop was chilly and were just plain dim on all other occasions. The ballasts were the old, heavy, inefficient magnetic ones that are so ubiquitous in shops. The fixtures themselves disassemble easily, and have plenty of room for the ballasts inside.
The Solution: Home Depot carries Advance Instant-Start Electronic Ballasts (REL-4P32-SC), This ballast is light as a feather, and designed for (3) or (4) bulbs, However; they will successfully operate (2) bulbs at double the line current, and double the brightness) if wired up so.
How to do: Remove the old ballast, toss in trash. Install the new ballast in place, it should be a direct replacement. Ignore the diagram on the label, take the two blue wires to one lamp socket, the two red wires to the adjacent socket. The two yellow wires go one each of the opposite sockets, with a short jumper wire connected between the two remaining terminals of those sockets. The ballast has thermal protection so will not explode if wired incorrectly. I cut, and splice using barrel connectors and crimp.
Get rid of those old tubes, and install some new T-8's. They are the 1" diameter tubes so popular in Canada, they are more efficient then the 1.5" tubes most of have. HD carries them too.
This works well for me, and thought I would share since I have taken so much helpful info from this NG.
Be careful,
DJ
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OK Great .. so NOW I have a four light fixture One ballast does three bulbs and the other ballast does one bulb..( two Ballast per fixture ) so I should get two of the replacement ballasts for each fixture ( each new ballast running two Light s) Just wire them per your instructions blue to one bulb, red to the other bulb and yellow ( Bridged) for the other end...and I will have light?? OK I'm Heading to HD. thanks

(REL-4P32-SC),
it
much
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So how much does the new ballast and bulbs cost? Probably more that my <$10 fixtures, but anything that adds more light is a plus.
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Any suggestions NOT using Fluorecents??
Call me crazy but I can see the flicker even when new and even when warm. They just plain hurt my eyes. I also do not like the color they give off. While the natural (or daylight) versions are better they are not quite good enough. Currently I am planning (for a 12 x 15 basement shop) on using 4 ceiling 60W incandecents and few task spot lights say at the Table Saw, Router and work bench.
Always open to ideas though.
Daryl

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If your'e able to see the flicker (I can't, but I've heard people can), try the newer electronic flourescents. The electrononics convert the 60Hz signal to a higher frequency (400 Hz I think) - you shouldn't be able to see anything (I believe the hum sound is reduced as well).
Mine are HD cheapos - about $12 each (plus the T8 tubes - which are pricey) for a 2 * 32Watt tube unit.
Ian

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On 9 Feb 2004 18:58:32 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (daryl1138) wrote:

Cannot suggest any reason NOT using fluorescent.
Can give you two reasons why we replace most of the lights in our house with fluorescent's. We use less energy and in the five years since using fluorescent bulbs, we replaced only two fluorescent bulbs and they are the earlier type made by GE.
Buying your spiral fluorescent bulbs from Costco or Walmart is cheaper. For three-ways only HD carries them. Walmart sells up 200 watts (equivalent to 60 watts???).

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On 9 Feb 2004 18:58:32 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (daryl1138) wrote:

right now I'm using about 8 or 10 of those yellow halogen work lights. they run hot, but in the winter that's a good thing.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (daryl1138) wrote in message

What I have is a 24 x 26 shop and I light it with 9 fluorescents with 2 40 watt bulbs each and have 4 65 watt halogen fixtures for the work areas. The halogens are only about 5 feet above the work areas so I use holgen floodlights. The floods are still concentrated in a small well lighted area at that distance for measuring and close work. At 70 I need maybe a little more light than you younger guys. I installed tracks so I can add or move the halogens around as it suits me.
Works for me. Enjoy all the knowledge here and the help you have given me. I build furniture and have been at it since I retired. The "Did you build that" is priceless.
Bill in New Mexico
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You apparently don't know much about electricity. Let's see, that ballast is really a transformer. Have you ever seen a transformer blow up in a rain storm? Yes they are thermal protected if they are hooked up right. If you by-passed a few wires in your TV, do you think the circuit would still be protected. Sometime you should take an 8' two element fluorescent fixture and run it for 3 months without one of the bulbs. Then replace the bulb. Oh, you don't even need to remove a bulb, just let one go out with the end turning black. If you put a new bulb in, it won't light because the ballast burned out that side of the ballast, not some protection popped out.
I'd bet that if I could contact your homeowners insurance company and informed them the danger you have, you'd be without insurance. And if you move, and there is an inspection on the house before it is sold, you'll have to fix it.
Now that we disclosed all of the stupidity that you have, why didn't you go to an electric shop and purchase a ballast that will operate in a lower temperature than what you have. Most home center stores sell their fixtures and ballasts for interior areas where they are heated. You could have also accomplished the same thing by using a transformer and starter, but it may take some time in turning on the lights.
BTW, if you have a fire, the insurance investigation will reveal that the lights were not wired right and they may not pay for your house to be rebuilt. Are you willing to give that up for a little better light?
OTOH, if you were to direct some heat onto the lights or heat the room prior to turning on the lights then maybe that would work for you.
I'd like to know what the NEC code would say about this. I'm sure they ave seen this done and know what the consequences are.
PS. Advance will not warrant the ballasts and will not be returnable to HD.
--
>Stupid wrote (DJ)

>Here is what I do, but in no means suggesting you do yourself (end
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Joe "Woody" Woodpecker) wrote in message

man, take a breath.
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Totally uncalled for rant. A simple explanation of the error to this individual would have sufficed, to say the least... and without the name calling.
John V
Oh, and Yes, I do believe electricity is dangerous and should be treated with respect.

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