Lighting system upgrade
The department of energy mandated that the production of fluorescent fixtures with magnetic ballast for use with the trusty T12 lamps be terminated by July 2010. and by July 2012 fluorescent lamp with the T12 designation will also be terminated. Now is already april. In 3 months time the availability of the familliar 40 watt T12 fluorescent lamp will gradually get harder to find and gets more costly as the supply dwindles. I am not here to discuss how much money you will save or how much better is the light with the new T8 or the high output T5 lighting system. We have no choice in this matter. I wanted to talk about how simple and how inexpensive to upgrade. If you are not comfortable with wiring , please ask someone who knows their way around electricity for help. You can't just just replace the T12 lamps with T8 lamps . The pin spacing is compatible, but don't do it. We have to replace the magnetic ballast that operates on line frequency with an electronic T8 ballast that oprates up to 20 khz. The one I choose is a Sylvania QHE 2K32T8/UNV ISN-SC. this unit will power 1 or 2 lamps from Fo17T8 to FO32T8. This is a universal ballast. It has a black and a white wire for the AC power. a red wire for one end of both lamps and two blue wire, one for each lamp. cap one off if you only needed one. but wait, don't we always neded two lamps, one lead and one lags to improve power factor? No. the lectronics took care of that. Before starting, turn off power to the fixture, remove the T12 lamp, remove the screws holding the cover of the wirings, remove the nut securing the old ballast , undo the connectors that connects the ballast to the AC power lines and the end connectors. remove the ballast. install the new ballast. secure it with the original nuts securing the old ballast. connect the black wire to the black wire of the supply line, the white wire to the other white wire, use the same twist connecter removed earlier. on a two tube system connect the red wire to all the wires coming from the two sockets of one end of the fixture, the blue wires are for the other end, one blue wire per socket. I have to mention that there is no heater element and both pins of the socket are connected together and to the blue wire. replace the metal cover , install the T8 tube and we are done. Rstore the power and see how much brighter the room is!. no hum, no flicker, and a lots of daylight. I got 10 ballast from the wholesaler. I have 10 fixtures in my kitchen. they cost $12.50 each. the 6500 degree K lamps are from Home dpot at 10 for $33.00. My retrofit cost me $12.00 + lamps per fixture. It is pointless to talk about payback time. I did try to acquire the ballasts from Rona and Home depot, they don't have the model I wantd and besides they wanted too much mony. FYI any electrical wholsaler will sell you the products if you ask for the product and show them that you know what to do. They just will not help you like Rona and Home Depot will. I will post the supplier if any one needs it.