As my 4 foot T12 fluorescent lights in my shoplights fail, can I replace
them with 4' T8 tubes? These shoplights all seem to have electronic
ballasts, consisting of a small, sealed plastic package about 2"x2"x1/2".
I don't dispute the cost of a fixture compared to the cost of a ballast. I
am indicating ANY fluorescent fixture containing tube sockets can be easily
wired into any ballast regardless of the stock wiring layout. A simple
universal T8 ballast contains two blue wires, one red wire and a black and
white (hot and neutral). The wiring diagram is located on the ballast as
As for a slot or fastener for the ballast, I agree most cheap fixtures will
not have a pre-made fastening area for the bigger electronic ballast.
Though, most fixtures (even the cheap ones) have holes on top, one can be
used for a screw, and electronic ballasts are much smaller than their
megnetic parents. Otherwise, it still doesn't mean a simple drill bit and
machine screws can't hold it in place.
I guess 'impractical ' is an objective observation. Worked for me.
In one morning, for about $6 per fixture I converted a pile of junk in
the corner of my garage to 6 functioning T8 lights with electronic
Along with that, I got a bit of an education in the different ways
manufacturer's can come up with to join things together & I learned a
tiny bit about how ballasts are wired.
If I saw a pile of 6 broken lights at a garage sale, I'd be tempted to
do it all over again.
You are obviously not talking about the same $10 shop fixtures. These
fixtures have an integral ballast built into the ends of the fixtures. They
don't even have a ballast chamber running down the center of the fixture or
any other location that a 2/32 ballast can be properly located
Instead of fooling around with potentially incompatible ballasts and tubes,
I will replace all failed fixtures (failed ballasts) with new T-8 shop
lights. They cost only $ 17.98 at Lowes. If a fixture with a failed ballast
has any OK bulbs, I will save them and keep my T-12s going.
"SBH" < email@example.com> wrote in message
An electronic ballast isn't a guaranteed universal lamp ballast, otherwise,
it would most likely have T-8s in them. Double check the ballast to
determine if it's T-8 compatible. If not, then you'll need a T-8 ballast.
No- but if you like the T-8s, keep saving the cheap shoplights as they
fail. When you get 6 of them, check ebay for the deals on T8
ballasts. Buy 6 of them and spend a morning doing ballasts.
I did that a couple years ago & I'm happy with the results.
A T12 ballast may fail to start T8 tubes. If the T8 tubes start on the
T12 ballast, they will very likely be overpowered.
If you are going to use T8 tubes, then you need to replace the ballasts
- or, maybe more easily, the whole fixtures.
Then again, T12 full-40-watt tubes are not being completely banned.
There is an exception for ones with color rendering index above some
The only exempt-on-CRI ones that I know of, without compromise in light
output, are Philips "Ultralume" series. Last time I checked, Home Depot
had those. The 4100 color one is the same color as regular cool white.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
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