Ok, went into my shop last week, flicked on the overhead lights
and damn, two of my lights are out.
Changed the bulbs (T8s) and still nothing. I remembered that
one of the fixtures that's hidden behind the overhead door, so
I never see it, had a bad ballast. (I never replaced it because
the door hides the light - I blame the electrician for putting it
so it goes). So, I'm assuming that
I've got 3 lights out because of bad ballasts. I bought some
replacements via eBay on Monday, so I'm planning to swap them out
Friday. But ask, is this normal for those "garage light specials"
sold at local home centers? Anyone else have similar problems?
Or did I have a run of bad luck?
The lights were bought and installed about 7 years ago. They are NOT
used all the much. Not as much as other fluorescent fixtures in the
I too have had bad history with the fixtures from HD and Lowes. I
didn't buy the real cheapies, but the next grade up. I have 20+ of
them, 2 tube with reflectors, going on 3-4 years. Half of them at
least have failed, and there are two dark now.
I read online that there was supposedly a "bad batch" of ballasts but
a couple of the replacement fixtures I bought more recently have also
My big gripe is the fixture manufacturer doesn't typically warrant the
ballast. Dealing with the ballast manufacturer was an exercise in
The other issue is knowing whether a fixture is commercial grade or
just more expensive. For example, looking at grainger or McMaster,
one of them sells Lithonia, the same brand I bought at the Borg. How
do I know it has a better grade of ballast? They are 2-4x the price
but that's not a reliable indicator.
I'm moving my shop to other side of basement and plan to put in new
fixtures. I will be really, really pissed if I pay $80-100+ for 4
tube wrap fixtures and they don't last any longer than the borg
variety at less than half the price.
Anyone bought Lithonia from Mc-Granger and can report?
I'd ask around at some electrical supply shops what they have.
No, not at the Borg or any similar place, there's got to
be an electrical supply center in your city or close to it.
What you probably want are the "factory" or what I would
call "the pro" lights. They would go into a commercial building.
I looked at those lights on-line and found them to be
in the range you're talking about. You might ask around
some places where you know people and ask them about
their lights. Chances are they only have to replace the lights
so often and not the ballasts.
On Saturday, July 28, 2012 4:42:20 PM UTC-7, MJ wrote:
Bingo! The local supply center that sells to electricians is likely
to have more and more current info than we web denizens,
and you'll have a top-notch ballast the same day.
I've liked Motorola ballasts, but brands and models change too
fast for anyone but the pros to have any good handle on quality.
I did a new workshop/garage install about 10 years ago; I bought 4' T8
shop lights from Home Depot with electronic ballasts. All of the
ballasts failed within about 18 months.
I replaced the ballasts with some Internet name brand like GE or
similar and have had no problems since. I think I was in the $12 range
for the new ballasts, so it was cheaper than buying new fixtures.
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