35 year old magnetic lights (north American 110/60Hz) and I'm
wondering how the heck am I supposed to get rid of these and puc in
some new fangled T8's?
I replaced my undercabined lights with no problem. But these, I'm not
so sureof. So I have to take them apapart and find screws inside?
You will be time and money ahead to replace the fixture(s). You
would need to replace the ballast and the lamp sockets to go to
If you are asking how to get the old fixture gone, yes, take out
the lamp, open/remove the cover that is hiding the ballast. You
should see the electrical connection, the ballast, and the screws
holding the fixture at this time.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
As Dan said, remove the lamp, open the fixture, and it will be apparent,
however if these fixtures are hidden from view, and in good shape, you may
just want to install electronic T8 ballasts. Contrary to what Dan said, you
do not have to change the sockets, but the T8 ballast wires completely
differently than the T12, so you will have to follow a wiring diagram
The contacts are deteriorating where the bulb hits the light. These
are nearly 35 years old and its time for them to be recycled.
I would like to keep it simple - so I just want to deal with the
wiring - no internal ballast stuff. I just want to deal with black,
white and green.
You can replace the contacts easily. Commodity items. Bins
of them at hardware stores. At most one screw. Wires are push-in.
Going by the diagrams (in this case because you're changing ballast
technology), or by following existing wiring (if you were replacing
magnetic ballasts with new magnetic ballasts) is just as easy as color
code matching, and easier than trying to come up with 5 or 6 hands
to hold things in place and fasten a new fixture at the same time ;-)
However, it is exceedingly unlikely that a ballast will be cheaper than
a complete fixture of this type. Insane yes, but that's the way it is.
[Homeowner ballasts are low volume items, usually "name" supplier.
Pre-made fixtures are very high volume, with lowest possible bidder ballasts.]
Doing a ballast swap rarely makes sense cost-wise, unless there's
something unusual about the old fixture you need to retain.
If you put them out in the trash with "free" on them, someone will
probably take 'em ;-)
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
Go to a home center and get new fixtures only if they will have
electronic ballasts for T8. If you buy T12 fixtures from a home center,
then all too likely their ballasts will be subpar ones a couple inches
shorter than "full size". Some call those cheap ballasts "residential
grade ballasts". I call them "stool specimens" to put it politely. Those
ballasts often result in reduced light output, sometimes as little as half
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
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