where to buy high frequency fluorescent fittings online/mail order?

I need to get a new fluorescent fitting (or 3) for my mum's kitchen since her ancient 8' or so fitting is on the blink (literally). I want to get high frequency (electronic) fittings since one of my sisters is inclined to complain about flicker (but let's all google 'fluorescent flicker' for previous discussions on this subject rather than start a new one here :-).
Screwfix and Toolstation only seem to offer switch start. TLC offer electronic control gear ('Transtar' ballast) as separate items suggesting that their regular lamps are bog-standard clockwork types. Replacing the innard's of mum's existing fitting is one possibility but I wondered if anone here could suggest a supplier of electronic fittings online (my mum lives 100 miles away so I'd rather have something delivered to her that cart it up in the car).
More generally I'm looking for sources of decent-looking and effective low energy lighting particularly for kitchens: I have to replace a duff halogen track light system in a client's kitchen and don't want to replace it with another energy-guzzling halogen unit if I can help it. I'm also after something for my own kitchen which presently just has 3 CFs in pendants (but SWMBO thinks these are tacky).
Oh, and I did say reasonably priced, didn't I? :-)
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Try an electrical wholsaler close to your mother, ask them to order it in and then pick up on Sunday morning?
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On Sun, 11 Dec 2005 13:09:48 -0000, "James Salisbury"

How many proper wholesalers are open even on a Sat afternoon, never mind a Sunday.?
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Most will deliver.. and could deliver to your mother?
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[copied to sci.engr.lighting, but scope is UK]

They are manufactured, but it seems no one stocks them; they are ordered only as required for installations. If you go into an electrical wholesaler and ask the price for just a few off, make sure you are sitting down. ;-) In my experience, it's cheaper to buy a regular fitting and separate electronic control gear, and swap the guts over. If you wanted 100 of them to refit an office, then the economics probably turn around the other way and you can buy direct from the manufacturers rather than wholesalers. BTW, can anyone think of any use for a pile of unused magnetic ballasts on the shelf in my garage? ;-)

I've done up a few kitchens, and I usually go for concealed lighting. The one I did where lighting couldn't be concealed, I converted the existing downlighters to compact fluorescent ones. For the central lamp, I couldn't find anything energy efficient which was even remotely style acceptable, so it ended up with a fitting which takes 100W filament lamp (and a compact fluorescent retrofit won't even fit in the fitting).
For rooms I've done since then, I've continued making my own low energy lighting, being very disappointed with what's [not] available commercially.
The kitchen downlighting conversion can be seen on the lower half of page http://www.cucumber.demon.co.uk/lights/diy/ and it uses control gear recycled from dead compact fluorescents. This is no longer necessary as the price and availability of electronic control gear has improved considerably since I did this. A more recent luminare conversion using commercial control gear is http://www.cucumber.demon.co.uk/lights/diy2 / (using a Philips "Matchbox" ballast in this case).
--
Andrew Gabriel

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Andrew Gabriel wrote:
---8<---

I like it!
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I note that of all the lamps you had available for cannibalisation you chose the odd one out from an electronic perspective. The Philips ballast is the only one that uses the choke for limiting and feedback. This may be because the Philips was one of the first and therefore the first to fail making it ripe for hacking.
--
Clive Mitchell
http:/www.bigclive.com
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On 11 Dec 2005 04:33:21 -0800, "John Stumbles"

Try WF in Bracknell.
They have a catalogue with a whole variety and will deliver, if need be from another branch.
Of course, you know to ask for discount....... :-)
If you find any low energy fitments that don't look tacky or bulbs that don't create a bilious light, please be sure to say....
--

.andy


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Andy Hall wrote:

I think they must be the place I went into once on my way in to work when I worked in Bracknell (in a previous life :-). They seemed quite good.

Dunno how close their branches get to mid wales - mind I did get a pm in Hereford to deliver a big rad and bundle of 15mm 40 miles to her last xmas. (Yes I know you're thinking what imaginative pressies I get her ;-)

sigh!
I think Andrew G has the right idea.
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On Sun, 11 Dec 2005 23:07:34 GMT, John Stumbles

The Bracknell branch is in Western Road just along from the turning to the tip and at the back of Homebase.
There's one in Reading just off of Richfield Ave.
Other than these, they will deliver nationally by delivery firm...

Must have been a bugger getting it down the chimney.....

Usually does....
--

.andy


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I do kitchens all the time and what you are looking for is an indirect cove effect.
Is there space above the cabinet? Here in the US there is usually a foot or more of "wasted" space between the cabinet tops and the ceiling. It's a great place to plunk a few fluorescent tubes (low profile) and get indirect lighting. Add a couple of standard recessed or track (FL if you can) at the critical work area, switched separately. Then you've got a real winner.
Look around at local suppliers. As for the low energy cans, all the US makers have very good ones that are on the shelf at all electrical dealers. You folks are supposedly way a head of us in design and low energy fixtures. You would never get a US inspector to pass AG's retrofits. (Inventive though they are!)
RickR
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If you plan to install a fluorescent light on top of a length of kitchen cabinets, can I recommend firstly lining the top with old newspapers so that cleaning up there is simply done by discarding such newspapers and replacing them with fresh ones. Also, it would do no harm to lay a width of tinfoil as a makeshift reflector on top of said newspaper.
No warnings about earthing the tinfoil please.
Mungo :-)
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