Basically I have a basement area / workroom. Two regular edison light
I would like to replace them with three Fluorescent strips like this
Item #: 163719 Model: SS232UNVEB81
So my question is How do I get power to the center one?
Just buy X amount of cable, hard wite those babies where the bulb
sockets are now, and just cap it off from where I connect the
fixture's lights to the house power?
Or can't I do that with Fluorescents?
Yep, can be done. Three lights in parallel. Essentially the flourescents
are wired up just like the existing lights. There won't be any need to "cap
it off" at the end of the line, since those power wires will be connected to
the flourescent light. (if "cap it off" means cut the wire & put wire nuts
on it, connecting to nothing)
No, what imeant was, twist two wires, put a cap on it, electrical
tapeon there, and stick it on a junction box if its outside the
fixture. Which might not be needed actually.
I look at the four footersand they put off enough light at work for
the whole area; this room is smaller but doesn't have as many bright
So I'll start off with two, and if I need more I'll cross that bridge
when I get there... As Ted Kennedy used to say.
I won't do this for a while, hence the otherperson in the other thread
is somewhat overreacting. I want to get all the info before I start
tripping breakers and cutting wires.
Just for the record, I have to report that fluorescent fixtures do not
***ALWAYS*** perform the same as incandescents even if they are wired the
I purchased 24 fluorescent strip lights from Home Depot, each containing an
electronic ballast and sockets for 2 fluorescent T-8/T-12 style 32 watt
bulbs. These fixtures use the newest electronic ballasts, are extremely
efficient, make no hum or other noises like magnetic ballasts, and were on
sale for $6.99 per fixture.
When they were all installed as three sets of 8 fixtures, each set on its'
own circuit/switch, I found that an extremely high rate of failures
occurred, arising from what I subsequently learned is called "ballast
fratricide", a process wherein the switching transients from the ballasts
all being simultaneously switched results in spikes which the ballasts are
unable to dissipate without damage.
It turns out that strip lights especially are not filtered adequately,
neither in terms of the emitted spikes which damage other nearby/connected
loads, nor in terms of rejecting fast transient spikes which arise elsewhere
and need to be dissipated.
I spent some time with an oscilloscope and a lot of measurements before
being able to find where the problems were, and have subsequently learned
that others have reported the same type of problem with the newest
electronic ballasts in some commercial installations.
If one takes an in-depth look at the schematic and waveforms produced by the
electronic ballast during the start-up cycle, and also looks at the chipset
spec sheets from the ballast ICs involved, it becomes apparent that huge
switching transients are typical, and that external filtering is up to the
fixture designer who incorporates these ICs into their ballast.
The bottom line is that some fluorescent fixtures cannot be simply wired as
if they are incandescents, since they will destroy their neighbors and
themselves, in my case over only a few days of normal use.
My solution was ultimately to replace all 24 ballasts with another, better
filtered design which, unlike the Home Deport brand, have a lot of spike
filtering as well as a 5 year warranty.
Here is another example of this type of problem:
You are entirely correct. The fixtures were, as you said, what one might
expect for such a low price. The point of posting this was to illustrate
that all fixtures are NOT created equal and for fluorescent fixtures
specifically, this makes a whole lot of difference when wiring them up in
group as I did.
I learned that lesson as you did many years ago. I bought a cheapo fixture,
and it was terribly noisy and it would not light below 60 degrees. I will
not buy a fluorescent light unless I'm allowed to open a sample and inspect
the ballast. I'm no expert, but the ones with the big, heavy duty ballasts
seen to be the way to go. When the ballast goes bad, time for a new
fixture. It's not the time or expense to replace just the ballast. As far
as my reference to the wiring, Why does it make a difference? Hot to hot,
neutral to neutral, ground to ground. Why does it make a difference when
wiring them in a group? You lost me on that one.
Your wiring approach is correct and I made no earlier comment or reference
to it. The "group" issue is merely that the spikes which travel among
grouped fixtures and cause this failure only occur when more than one
fixture is wired on the same switched (parallel) circuit. The very same
fixtures installed individually do not fail in the manner I described.
Thanks for your posting. Had never heard of this potential for high
incidence of failure with electronic fluorescent ballasts.
Within last year acquired about 7 used (four tube ) fixtures being
taken out of a school being renovated. If I had not taken them the job
foreman said they were on their way to the dump!
I also obtained seven of the T10 type tubes (the thinner one inch
ones) and bought another twenty. Five of the seven are now in service
in our basement workshop; have had one tube failure but no ballast
problems; so far. However also have a bunch of conventional ballasts
and conventional tubes and have often 'rebuilt' older fixtures. So, if
necessary can convert these electronic ballast ones to conventional.
This is in Canada, 115 volt 60 hertz etc. Total load on our string is
5 fixtures, four 34 watt tubes each (total 20 tubes five ballasts) for
approximate wattage (inductive?) of 680 watts.
Maybe the fact that our fluorescents were well used and were working
when removed eliminated any prone to 'early failures'?
However several years ago our local junior school (approx 500 pupils)
did a major conversion (to electronic ballasts and modified many of
the fixtures with better reflectors) and we have not heard of any
problem with frequent failures?
Thanks for the comments.
Thanks for your reply.
I too was surprised to run into this, and the cheaper electronic ballasts
are made with a lot less filters, much smaller filter capacitors, no
inductors / chokes, and no transorbs or other surge protection. The ballasts
used in the portable plug-in fluorescent strips are the least protected for
the ones I have taken apart. I guess the designer / engineers took the
position that these would not be wired in banks of many fixtures being
turned on at exactly the same time.
The electronic ballasts are much more vulnerable than the older magnetic
sty;e which used a big inductor. The cheaper ones from HD are really
marginal. I don't describe my experience as typical in any way........it's
an unusual case but one worth knowing about when a question arises as to how
to hook up banks of fluorescent fixtures.
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