Home Depot Shop Lights

Page 2 of 2  


No no.
The ballasts are rated at 0 degrees C for metric electricity but are good all the way down to 14 degrees F for 'mercan electiricity.
--
FF

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Correct - my mistake. The ballast read -10C, which is 14F.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Marlow wrote:

It sure helps me. I'm north and west of you in Ottawa but I think our temps in winter are comparable. So far it hasn't been testicle-losing weather, but that will come. Even so, my fluorescents are cranky on a cold start. I'll check out HD.ca and see if the same deal is available here.
Thanks.
--
Tanus

This is not really a sig.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Better yet replace those magnetic T12 ballasts (not that bad, actually, for magnetics) with e.g. GE Ultramax T8 ones and use good F32T8 bulbs. It will cost $5-8 per fixture depending on how cheap one was able to get those ballasts off of Ebay and 20 minutes of time. Result is well worth it...
I recently put 18 such fixtures with Ultramax ballasts in my garage. Works like a charm and SLi Lighting F32T8 Excella bulbs with their 91 CRI and 5765K are very very good, it's really like a sunny day... www.1000bulbs.com sells those for $96.92 per box of 30, highly recommended.
--
******************************************************************
* KSI@home KOI8 Net < > The impossible we do immediately. *
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Replacing ballast is much more expensive than replacing fixtures. The HD fixtures I posted about are electronic ballast and to correct my original post, are good to -10C (14F). By the time you pay shipping those $5-$8 ballasts won't be $5-$8.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They are. Sure it's more expensive if you buy ballasts at HD. But if you buy in bulk on Ebay it's much cheaper. I bought 20 GE Ultramax 3/2 bulb T8 ballasts for $100. Shipping was around $20. That makes it $6 per ballast.
And it's not just about saving something like $10 per fixture, that's hardly worth it even if multiplied by 18 fixtures as it was in my case. First of all, my fixtures have a real GE ballasts in them, not el-cheapo chinese mockups. Then, my ballasts are multivoltage so I put 220V on them. And the fixtures are modified anyways--they are mounted permanently so I had to dissasemble them and install conduit fittings to hook them up--so replacing ballasts took almost no additional time.
--
******************************************************************
* KSI@home KOI8 Net < > The impossible we do immediately. *
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's a pretty good deal Sergey. I did some internet searching for ballasts before just buying new fixtures - not a ton of it, but some. Did not look at any of the ebay results. About half of my existing fixtures can be repaired with a replacement ballast and the other half can't. I have 15 of them hanging in my garage and the ones that can't be replaced are the type that have the ballast in each end-cap. I thought that was a novel idea when I bought them, but I'd never recommend them to anyone in the future.
No doubt about it, the ballast in the fixtures I bought at HD have cheap ballasts in them, but I needed new fixtures anyway due to the issue with end-cap ballasts in my old fixtures.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm on 6 figure salary :) Garage/woodworking/machining/etc. is a hobby.
But wait, you don't know the ENTIRE truth... I also built a wall to divide my 3 car garage to 1 car size metallworking and 2 car size woodworking shops, installed 100 Amp subpanels in each part, put 24 outlet boxes with 2x125V 20Amp + 1x250/125V 30Amp outlets, a couple of 50Amp 250/125V outlets for a welder (yes, I have 220V available at every corner of my workshop,) spent more than 200 feet of EMT conduit, a full roll of 10/3 and 8/3 Romex and a lot more... I did even install AC unit there :)
--
******************************************************************
* KSI@home KOI8 Net < > The impossible we do immediately. *
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not sure if the conversion error is yours or theirs, but 0 C = 32 F, and 14 F = -10 C.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

My error. The ballast is rated to -10C, not 0C as I posted.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Dec 30 2007, 4:04 pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Did you ever convert -40 degrees?
--
FF

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Might have to tonight, expected low of -18F; windchill of -40F.
-Brian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

FT8? Anything cheaper than $10 probably has a plastic cased ballast. If the post mortem I performed on the ones that blew out is any indication, plastic cases are heat insulators and allow the circuit boards to overheat, as indicated by the scorched PCBs under the T0-220 power transistors/regulators. It would pay to open the lights in the store and see if you have metal ballasts.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can open one of mine later to confirm, but it looked to me in the store that these were metal ballast. This ballast is a little different than what I've encountered in the past though in that it's quite long and thin. To be sure - you do not want to screw these directly to a ceiling - they have to hang with at least 3" of clearance. I've not found any of the plastic or the metal housed ballast to fail due to temperature problems if they hang. I have on the other hand, proven out the theory that ballast not designed for direct mounting will indeed burn out.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Never had a magnetic ballast fail or had its noise become a "problem" in a machine shop.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Did the "economy" lights really have a ballast or were they the design that has a couple of cheezy little circuit boards in the cavity above the reflector? I haven't ever seen a new shop light with a "real" ballast in it for less than 15$, but that situation may have changed since I last was involved with shop lighting (about 4 months ago...). IF the cheapy ones were the "Non ballast" type (i.e. no ballast "brick", built by a ballast manufacturer.. with real UL approval, noise rating and temperature rating on the ballast..) then there are other potential pitfalls to be aware of as well. First off the 7-9$ cheapies usually have a very primitive start capability, many have the start current on all the time at a lower value. This causes bulbs to "burn out" prematurely, from the start filament always being energized. Second, the light output from these units is simply less than those that use a true ballast, probably due to inadequacies in the voltage being supplied to the bulb. Try setting a cheapy next to the least expensive type with a real ballast and it is immediately obvious, of course use the exact same type of bulbs in each for this test. Home depot used to have a display of all their "generic" type fluorescent fixtures that you could view each with power on side by side, but I guess the cheapy light sales dropped off too much so they discontinued the practice.
I naively went with cheapys a few years back and one day came to the conclusion that hardly anything about them was very well designed. The sockets are so flimsy they don't work half the time as well. I had put up with enough flickering, buzzing, and black banded burnt out tubes that were almost new, so I replaced all (10) double tube 4' units "electronic" circuit boards with replacement rapid start ballasts from Home Depot, the ballasts wouldn't fit inside the lights plastic housing so I mounted them on the outside of the fixture on top of the housing. As I recall the ballasts cost about 10$ each, and resolved the entire problem for me. I discovered an additional side benefit to using a generic replacement ballast also. Since manufacturers want a replacement ballast to be effectively used in as many applications as possible, the "replacement" unit is almost always more robust than the factory installed ones it replaces. This results in an even more quiet fixture that will start reliably in colder environments than they are officially rated for. Got a laundry room or kitchen fixture that seems to buzz a bit too much? A universal replacement ballast will almost always be more quiet used in the same scenario, if the replacement unit has your noisy one on it's replacement list in the box with the ballast. At least that has been my experience in all cases thus far (about 20 ballasts installed for several years...). I just wish I had not wasted my time and money initially trying to get by with the cheapy shop lights that cost 7-10$, I had such a bad experience with them I think it is an insult to even call them light fixtures at all. Home Depot and other outlets should be ashamed for and perhaps even sued for selling the crap in the first place....I hope this at least causes a few buyers to be a little more aware that this stuff barely works at all no matter what the temperature in your shop....regards, Joe.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes - it has a ballast. Be mindful though that most ballast today are electronic. That's how they get the quiet, cold start out of them over the old magnetic ballast.

They are all over.

Yes - they have all of these markings, including the UL approval.

This is an interesting point. I've wondered if the originals in my garage (also economy, but a different brand) suffered from something like this. Instead of getting years out of bulbs, I got (sometimes) only months. American Flueroscent of course, admitted nothing with respect to their fixtures.

You can still see the full line on display in every Home Depot.

I have not suffered flickering or buzzing with any of my units. Some of them did eat bulbs but other than that, they just simply died. Ok - not really that simple - I killed them by screwing them to the ceiling. Now they're all hung from chains.

I'll see how things play out with the new fixtures. If they seem to work better then I'll just go with more of them if I have to replace fixtures. If not, I'll go with ballast.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.