I have been looking around on the net for T-8 hanging fluorescent shop
type lights, and am having no luck in finding any. I can find what
things similar to what I am looking for, but they are all T-12 like the
one in the link below. I can also find "high bay" T-8 hanging lights,
also in a link below, but I don't think these are quite right for a
workshop in half of a garage. Does anyone know of any resources for
T-8 shop lights like the one below from the BORG?
Normal T-12 Shop Lights
High Bay T-8 Lights
Could you give me some more details on that, like what ballasts you
used and where you got them? Was it relatively cheap and easy to swap
them out? I'm assuming it would be cheaper than spending the $150 on
the high-bay fixtures....
Joe Wells wrote:
I just swapped in electronic ballasts, new sockets, and new T-8 bulbs into
some T-12 fixtures for about around $25 each fixture. It would have cost
about $5 to $10 more to get new fixtures, but I saw no reason to throw out
all that steel.
I read an interesting thread on a garden forum on overdriving cheap
fluorescent shop lights using two ballasts in one two light fixture. The
bulb life is not significantly shorter and the light output is equal to 3
bulbs. Very long and technical discussion with pictures a ways down the
thread. I did it for my greenhouse and it worked quite well.
My electronically-ballasted, 0 degrees, instant-start, T-8 or T-12,
shop lights came from the local Diamond Home Improvement store (OR.
only) via American Fluorescent. www.lowes.com also carries AF
Another source is:
Gray Davis said "Vote for 'The Governator' or I'll be Back!"
http://diversify.com Terminating the bad websites out there
I have never found any T-8 fixtures that were halfway decent that were not (IMO)
overpriced, so I usually make my own.
Some important lessons I learned in doing so were to make sure and get universal
replacement ballasts, most of these will run either T-8's or T-12's. The reason for this
is that when a manufacturer has to accommodate a broad range of tubes and wattage they
usually build them to the high end of the performance range which translates into less
flicker when cold, faster start etc. These ballasts are usually rated for more quiet class
p operation, no annoying buzzing. Interestingly enough, these ballasts aren't usually any
more expensive than standard replacements. (approx. 12$ @HD). Most building centers also
sell the "tombstone" end pieces for the bulbs as well. For a reflector I use a piece of
single wall furnace duct held at both ends with a wood half circle end piece. I mount
the ballast on top of the metal duct and split a piece of pvc pipe in half and use it to
cover the wires that run out to the ends (still on top of the ducting). A little white or
what ever your choice of color for the assembly, plus a couple of eye bolts about 6" in
from each end, add a cord and you are in business. I have also used the carcasses from
the cheap crap shop lights and added new tombstones and mounted the ballast on top with
good success. It will put an end to flickering, burned out bulbs prematurely, and that
buzzing for good. It seems to take about twice the time to describe how to make one than
it does to actually build one, let me know if you have any questions. I just helped a
friend build a single T-8 into an overhang above his built i9n bench along a wall, he
chose to use copper as a reflector, which also looked good. Hope this helps, Joe.
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