Old 8’ single pin fluorescent fixtures - noise and start?

JHZR2

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In one of my garages, there are very old 8’ T12 single pin fluorescent lights. When they’re working, they’re really great and put out good light to my liking.

The one main one I use most doesn’t seem to want to start in the cold (it’s like 50 out today for reference), and when it does (multiple tries or long time), it’s very noisy. Like enough buzzing that it vibrates the housing.

I like the fixture, I like the light, I’d rather repair it than swap it for LED or whatnot. I’ve had one in the loft of this building self-destruct this summer, so I’m cautious with these too.

Here is the light:

DAADF267-9657-46F9-AB69-A95A29134D28.jpeg

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The bulb isn’t yellow, they put out nice white light.

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(Yes that’s an old carbon filament bulb, this building is that old).


There are a number of similar fixtures in the garage bay, they all start easier and don’t make noise. If possible I’d like to just install a replacement ballast. Is that possible for these old lights and bulbs?

I know I can get 5000 lumen lights from HF, but really If like to keep what I have and use it since it works for me as is where is.

What are my options?

Here is one that burned…..

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So… recommendations???

Thanks!
 
LED, ballast bypass / direct wire one
I don’t want to get led 8’ bulbs. I got some 4’ led and I wasn’t all that happy with them compared to dedicated led fixtures. I want to keep the lights i have.
 
When someone is happy with a product, blame the product and not the technology. Too many "LED" products are mass produced junk riding on the fad.

Check you local hardware store, truvalue/ace/lowes/homedepō and see if they have replacement parts.

I became tired of replacing lighting internal parts. So the fixtures get replaced.

That ol' incan is also begging for an induction replacement bulb.

 
When someone is happy with a product, blame the product and not the technology. Too many "LED" products are mass produced junk riding on the fad.

Check you local hardware store, truvalue/ace/lowes/homedepō and see if they have replacement parts.

I became tired of replacing lighting internal parts. So the fixtures get replaced.

That ol' incan is also begging for an induction replacement bulb.

I saw the lowes one… the HD one looks like it is for HO bulbs? Mine is a very old single pin T12.
 
the l
When someone is happy with a product, blame the product and not the technology. Too many "LED" products are mass produced junk riding on the fad.

Check you local hardware store, truvalue/ace/lowes/homedepō and see if they have replacement parts.

I became tired of replacing lighting internal parts. So the fixtures get replaced.

That ol' incan is also begging for an induction replacement bulb.


The HD link is for HO bulbs, the lowes link is for t8

you need a t12 8ft ballast?
 
Neat to see. Those 8 footers could be 50yrs old. It's been a long time since you could get a USA made fluorescent lamp.

I think it's cool to try to keep them going. The problem is, any lamps or replacement ballasts you get today are garbage. They'll last a month or could last a few years. I've been down this road for years at work trying to keep ~45yr/old T12 fixtures going. The only reliable fix we found was to retrofit them with LED.
 
keep in mind when you are replacing an ancient ballast you will probably have to rewire for the electronic ballast so grab a box of wago clips

Ps. they have inline ones now .
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I would probably get LED's you can get chainable fixtures (6 per daisy chain) around $20-$22 at costco.

Maybe retire one fixture and see how it does..
 
Those never did start in the cold. Below 50 was iffy. The newer electronic ballasts make them a little better but not much. I have repaired thousands of them in a past life. A proper led fixture is way ahead of the old fluorescents.

LED replacement tubes have gotten much better than the early ones. A dedicated fixture made on the same level as the original light are much better than the cheap ones every discount store sells. Better electronics and leds. Any led takes getting used to. The light is directional. A good fixture helps this issue with optics and light color.
 
Those old ballasts can overheat and catch fire, dripping flaming tar onto anything below. If one has overheated and burned, you're going to want to replace all of them, because they're all going to eventually fail like that.

 
Ballasts older than 1977 or so have PCBs and require special handling. If you find brown syrup oozing out of them, get some gloves and, uh, bury the evidence.

The old bulbs have rare earth phosphors in them you can't find anymore and give off a light that can't really be replicated. I can't fault you for trying to maintain an aesthetic.

Back in the day, flourescent tubes needed starters in addition to magnetic ballasts. If you're willing to give up the 60 Hz flicker, known for inducing headaches, a modern electronic ballast likely exists for your bulbs and fixture.
 
Those old ballasts can overheat and catch fire, dripping flaming tar onto anything below. If one has overheated and burned, you're going to want to replace all of them, because they're all going to eventually fail like that.

Exactly. I only really use one of them. I had one burn up so it was a loss (had county hazmat collect it), and would like to not have the same fate for others both downstairs and upstairs in the garage.
 
Ballasts older than 1977 or so have PCBs and require special handling. If you find brown syrup oozing out of them, get some gloves and, uh, bury the evidence.

The old bulbs have rare earth phosphors in them you can't find anymore and give off a light that can't really be replicated. I can't fault you for trying to maintain an aesthetic.

Back in the day, flourescent tubes needed starters in addition to magnetic ballasts. If you're willing to give up the 60 Hz flicker, known for inducing headaches, a modern electronic ballast likely exists for your bulbs and fixture.
I’m sure this is way older than 1977! It was Union made in Philadelphia…
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I don’t have the wiring diagram on it, and none of the drawings online are anything like it. Strangely, there is no starter under there. It’s directly wired. Maybe the starter is built into the ballast??

It’s white straight from the wall to two lights on one side, black from the wall to the ballast, then two wires to the other two ends.

Looks like it’s super easy to wire up.

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(yes, that’s a cree 200w bulb, needed a bit more light than the old carbon filament)

Seems straightforward to retrofit.

Mains direct to the ballast, red to the side that had the white from the wall, the other two leads to the other end.

AE3859BC-87B6-4A7F-99E8-7C519A94622C.jpeg


Since these
 
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