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Fluorescent frustrations


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#1 Phluphy OFFLINE  

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Posted July 04, 2016 - 02:37 PM

Anyone familiar with how fluorescent 2 tube fixtures work?

After rearranging the shop, it was too dark. Decided to move a couple of disused fixtures from the barn breezeway into shop.

Disassembling them revealed mud wasps had been having a field day for the past 20 some years. Long story short, the fixtures no longer worked. Ballasts were hot as heck but tubes wouldn't light. 

I have 1 of the cheapo Wally World plug in types that works, some times. End pieces the tubes twist into are oddly canted out and I cannot figure out how to straighten them. Thinking if I can get it to work every time I'll wire it in direct with the existing fixture wiring so they both operate from the wall switch. But...how do I figure out which wire of the plug is the neutral, wide blade or narrow? Ground is no-brainer.

Transportation limitations are such that I cannot run into town for the sure fix, thus I am here for suggestions.



#2 Bill 76 ONLINE  

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Posted July 04, 2016 - 02:48 PM

Neutral is always the wide blade on 120 volt systems 


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#3 stiemmy ONLINE  

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Posted July 04, 2016 - 08:52 PM

Please, no matter what, the before comments were, and are true however, check the bulb sockets!!!! There IS high voltage there, and if they are arching, they will show signs of black/grey carbon marks, AND ARE AT THAT POINT A FIRE HAZZARD. These are high voltage output ballasts, so be VERY careful!

If you have messed with them before, please disregard, but FYI, LEDs are super cheap, light to install, and take no power plus, NO MERCURY IN them.;)
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#4 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 04, 2016 - 09:06 PM

I had 8ft twin tube fluorescent's in the shop and replaced them with standard screw in LEDs, 60watt equivalent, I found that 3 of the LEDs gave more light than 1 of the 8ft  2 tube fluorescent did and the light comes on instant, winter or summer.

Best thing I did for light in the shop. Each LED burns 8.5 watts.


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#5 jpackard56 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 05, 2016 - 11:47 AM

I had similar frustrations and when compared parts cost and still not 100% would work below about 40degrees F , plus my time wiring new ends in etc vs new LED which use very little power and come on at minus 4 F, I gave up on old units completely. I am so pleased with these new units (been up six months now, was still well below freezing when put in and they worked every time, clear and strong) I'll never fuss with an old florescent again.

 

Seems like some of the distributors will ship to your door free if ordering over $50 around my area, not sure where your at. We are repairing wind/storm damage and Keim Lumber just dropped a $392.00 load of lumber at the farm this morning (no price adjustment for delivery) and it is an hour and a half drive minimum one way for me and I can't haul 16ft lengths currently.

 

Hope you can get things ironed out, but I would weigh heavy on ditching the old hi volt/wattage units in this situation. Good luck !


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#6 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 05, 2016 - 02:40 PM

https://www.earthled...-ballast-rewire

 

we bought those for the shop we redid at the beginning of the year.  It was full of old lights that did not work, the ballast were all mostly bad.  So I ordered a ton of these, around 120 them.

 

Roughly 32 dollars a fixture to install the LED ballastless bulbs vs 50+ to replace with a new light.

 

They are superb.  Come on instantly no matter the temp.  I highly recommend them.


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#7 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted July 05, 2016 - 03:53 PM

I had 8ft twin tube fluorescent's in the shop and replaced them with standard screw in LEDs, 60watt equivalent, I found that 3 of the LEDs gave more light than 1 of the 8ft 2 tube fluorescent did and the light comes on instant, winter or summer.
Best thing I did for light in the shop. Each LED burns 8.5 watts.


I was thinking of doing this myself. We have been replacing all the spiral government bulbs with the 60w led's in the house...very pleased. Which bulb did you use (I'm thinking bright vs daytime or what ever ) & how far apart did you put them.
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#8 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted July 05, 2016 - 03:58 PM

I need to get rid of mine too. I have ten of the old double 4ft tube fixtures & hate them. I salvaged them years ago from a commercial job I was doing. Slow to bright, flickering, energy soaker & I think a bit dangerous as old as they are.

#9 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 05, 2016 - 04:28 PM

Picture of the old 8ft fluorescent and the new led's

 

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#10 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 05, 2016 - 08:35 PM

I put all 4' LED shop light fixtures in my shop.  Got mine for $32 each at Sam's Club and couldn't be happier!  


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#11 ducky ONLINE  

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Posted July 05, 2016 - 09:05 PM

Lot of them going in around here as well.  Nothing but good from those that are installed, and nice 5700k white lite from them.

Will be changing my shop over this winter.


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#12 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2016 - 05:21 AM

I'm also getting frustrated with these fluorescent bulbs , is it me but the new bulbs don't seem to last as long the  ones I used to get . Thinking about taking out the  2 tube 4' fixture and just put a few LED bulb for the laundry room


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#13 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2016 - 05:29 AM

To answer the question, the wide blade is the neutral. You will be better off wiring in an outlet tho, for the next fixture.

I can't tell you how many days I wasted on old fixtures like the one you're talking about in the garage. I even had some with the screw in starters.

One day I decided I would sell a kidney before I got any madder trying to make them work and went to town.
Got two of these http://www.homedepot...03161/205331022. I think they were 29.99 at the time, so on sale or something.
Fantastic improvement. SOOO glad I did it. Flip a switch, light comes on. No issues.
Plan on getting more.

In my outbuilding with no electricity, I use a small inverter I had and a jumper pack with a few screw in Daylight LED bulbs.
Hours on a charged one, probably a lot longer on a regular battery, but haven't tried yet.

I understand repurposing. We all are that way or we wouldn't be playing with old iron. I only bring up the new stuff to try to save you the hours I lost chasing my tail.
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