Happy with HD (sort of)

I don't take kindly to crappy service and shoddy merchandise. As a consequence, I bitch a lot and write complaint letters, etc.
On the other hand, if I get good service I'm a big tipper and I'll write the occasional letter of thanks.
In this vein, here is my latest experience with the Borg.
Since I've decided that I want to do some more serious woodworking, I'm rearranging my garage/workshop to make this easier. On serious deficiency was the lighting. The existing lighting consisted of a few Lights of America two-tube fluorescents whose output was 1/3 light, 1/3 heat and 1/3 noise. These were plugged into duplex sockets in boxes attached to the open roof I-joists.
I went shopping at the Borg and came home with a Lithonia 4-tuber with electronic ballast. I mounted it, wired it up temporarily and took an old time light meter and did a little survey. It looked like I could get by with three fixtures over the work area with the old fixtures moved to augment the ones over the parking area.
So back to the Borg, buy two more lights, wire, 4x4 conduit boxes, clamps, etc. Come home, rip out old wiring and boxes, install new boxes, wire them up and mount fixtures. This last part ain't easy single-handed. Whew, I'm done. Retire to the living room to watch some toob. Get thirsty, go out to the beer fridge in the garage for a cupla cold ones. Flip on new lights. Wife says @*^*)+% what did you do to the TV?
Son of a bitch! As radio amateur for almost fifty years and an engineer who has done a lot of radio-frequency interferencem (RFI) testing, I know exactly what is going on. It turns out that the lights use a "high-frequency" electronic ballast. Without proper suppression (filtering) these things generate a bunch of RFI.
The following day I tear into a fixture and determine that it has a ballast made (in Mexico) by Advance Transformer Co. On their web site I locate the data sheet for the ballast and see that it complies with FCC Part 18 Class A incidental radiation limits for non-consumer devices. A trip to the FCC's web site (what a horrible site) and a lot of digging and I find Part 18 and look at the limits. Awful.
I'm pretty committed to using these fixtures so I figure a call to Advance tech support is in order. Maybe I can add my own filtering if I learn a little about the circuitry. I get a guy on the phone, explain the problem and he says, "Hell yes you're going to have problems with RFI, those are commercial ballasts and shouldn't be used in a residential setting. You need P/N so and so, which is a Class B residential device.
So my thinking is that the real name of the Borg is "Home" Depot and it is a "home" improvement center so things they sell me ought to be useful in my "home."
Back to the Borg where I connect with Assistant Manager, Rich. I relate my sad tale to him and after some bewilderment over what the hell *I'm* talking about and several phone calls to his supplier who doesn't know what *he* is talking about, I have on special order the new ballasts (at Borg expense). It remains to be seen how this will all work out but at least I got some decent service and I thought it was worthy of mention.
Also a word to the wise about using these fixtures in an area where your off-the-air TV signals might not be the greatest.
Wes Stewart
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Wes Stewart writes:
snip of lead in

more snip

Some fun.

Seems to me the least they could have done. The most would be to have someone come by and install the damned ballast since they sold you the improper fixtures/ballast for the job andyou already worked your buns off finding the problem. Doesn't reflect well on Lithonia either, IMO.
Charlie Self "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." Mark Twain
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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I tried Lithonia fixtures last year. they suck. Took back the 3 that I got at HD. they didn't drive the bulbs as brightly as ANY other fixtures I've tried. I settled for some brand with American in the name, but made in China! They work quietly and are very bright. Plus they come on instantly.
dave
Wes Stewart wrote:

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|I tried Lithonia fixtures last year. they suck. Took back the 3 that I |got at HD. they didn't drive the bulbs as brightly as ANY other |fixtures I've tried. I settled for some brand with American in the |name, but made in China! They work quietly and are very bright. Plus |they come on instantly.
Musta been different fixtures. These come on instantly, are inaudible and very bright.
The "shop lights" that I replaced (Lights of America) were two 40W tubes, the Lithonias are four 32W tubes. Some crude meassurements of light output with a 50 year old GE light meter at the same distance showed about 30 candlepower from the shop lights and over 75 from the Lithonias. So 2 1/2 times the output for 1.6 times the power consumption. Plus the shop lights moan and groan trying to start when it's cold in the shop. Cold being a relative term, 47 degrees is the lowest I've seen this winter in my unheated, uninsulated garage .
Wes Stewart
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Wes Stewart wrote:

Nice drive-by there. You SUCK!
I can barely even get to my shop right now. Every footprint anyone has made in the last two weeks is still there, and the entire yard is an unbroken sheet of thick glaze ice. The path from here to the shop can barely be negotiated without old fashioned metal cleats. (Anybody got a pair of those in a closet somewhere I can borrow until this crap melts?)
It's the weirdest thing I can ever remember seeing. I went walking around in my yard, and it took me a full half an hour to make it around my little 0.40 acre yard. Every step was an exercise in balance management.
Bet the hospital gets to do a lot of hip replacements this week. :(
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Put a pair of wool (or other hairy-like stuff) socks over your shoes, then walk in your yard.
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Best regards
Han
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