Replacement ballast vs new fixture or direct wire LED?

JHZR2

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Mentioned in a thread about breaker/fuse behavior thread that one of the big 8’ fluorescent fixtures in the loft of my extra garage shorted out and blew a fuse.

I want light from the fixture.

A replacement Phillips ballast is like $53.

A new 8’ fixture is like $37.

A direct wire LED is like $40.

Why are standalone ballasts so expensive? Or, why are new fixtures relatively cheap? Is there a quality metric that I should be looking for regarding ballasts?





I’m not sure I’m keen on buying ballasts since the future is LED. But this is in an uninsulated loft high up along the roofline, so it will get hot even when turned off.

My gut is that I’m better off gutting it and rewiring for direct wire LED. But I have zero confidence that a $39 set of 8ft LED bulbs will last even if unpowered in that hot environment, nor am I sure that the performance will be great.

Suggestions?
 
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I'd replace the whole fixture with a fixture built LED from the ground up. The Direct wire conversion is sort of like that but you have electronics crammed into the tube instead of in a separate location, and you also have field wiring to the tubes.

The Philips ballast you listed first is part of a High Output system which requires special fluorescent tubes which are also quite expensive. These were mostly found in industrial applications. The end connections to the tubes are also different (2 pin vs single pin for regular 8 foot tubes). If you have a HO fixture you would need to keep it HO or replace entirely.
 

JHZR2

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I'd replace the whole fixture with a fixture built LED from the ground up. The Direct wire conversion is sort of like that but you have electronics crammed into the tube instead of in a separate location, and you also have field wiring to the tubes.

The Philips ballast you listed first is part of a High Output system which requires special fluorescent tubes which are also quite expensive. These were mostly found in industrial applications. The end connections to the tubes are also different (2 pin vs single pin for regular 8 foot tubes). If you have a HO fixture you would need to keep it HO or replace entirely.
Ok I see the HO there. Not what I want.

Any recommendations for good 8’ LED? Is it all Chineseium junk? Am I no better off buying a “high end” fixture vs the 5000 lumen HF units for $19?

Thanks!
 
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Some of the setups are conversions to 4 ft tubes, which are a lot easier to get. I think 4 tubes would be $40, but that would be on top of the $20 for the conversion kit.


I did have problems with my Toggled dimmable tube. One just stopped well, and it seemed as if it was the connection to the AC that was marginal. The pins just starting wobbling around. Toggled sent me a replacement that took about a week and didn't want the old one. I took it apart to see what it was inside. It was basically a strip light circuit board with a transformer at the AC end. But this was the dimmable version, so it was designed only for 110-120V AC.
 
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Ok I see the HO there. Not what I want.

Any recommendations for good 8’ LED? Is it all Chineseium junk? Am I no better off buying a “high end” fixture vs the 5000 lumen HF units for $19?

Thanks!

You might try a conversion kit. I mentioned Toggled. Although they manufacture in China, they design in Michigan and their customer service was really good for me after one failed and was replaced under a supposedly lifetime warranty.
 
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Wire a duplex outlet in the ceiling and hang up two cheap 4 foot LED units. They're easily replaced in case of failure. I'm assuming it's a low duty situation, they will be off most of the time.
 

JHZR2

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Wire a duplex outlet in the ceiling and hang up two cheap 4 foot LED units. They're easily replaced in case of failure. I'm assuming it's a low duty situation, they will be off most of the time.
That’s in the cards. HF has those 5000 lumen lights for $19 sometimes. If it’s all Chinese stuff anyway might as well use those.
 
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Mentioned in a thread about breaker/fuse behavior thread that one of the big 8’ fluorescent fixtures in the loft of my extra garage shorted out and blew a fuse.

I want light from the fixture.

A replacement Phillips ballast is like $53.

A new 8’ fixture is like $37.

A direct wire LED is like $40.

Why are standalone ballasts so expensive? Or, why are new fixtures relatively cheap? Is there a quality metric that I should be looking for regarding ballasts?





I’m not sure I’m keen on buying ballasts since the future is LED. But this is in an uninsulated loft high up along the roofline, so it will get hot even when turned off.

My gut is that I’m better off gutting it and rewiring for direct wire LED. But I have zero confidence that a $39 set of 8ft LED bulbs will last even if unpowered in that hot environment, nor am I sure that the performance will be great.

Suggestions?
If your old fixture is reusable I’d direct wire for LED tubes. LEDS won’t be affected by colder temps in an uninsulated garage loft. Only issue you may run into are the bulb sockets “tombstones” they may crack from age so maybe pick up a pack of bulb sockets. 2nd option replace entire fixture with an LED unit only issue is once the components of the fixture go bad the fixture is junked.
 
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I used the motion sensored koda 46" fixtures in my basement pretty happy with them the motion sensing works good.
very adjustable with remote from 20ft away.
can set to 30s 10min or 30min.
adjust sensitivity
set power level from 10-100%
set a timer for when they go to 50% of the setting.
I have 7 and none have failed in a year. fwiw.
they go on sale around 20-23$ at costco often.

Linkable upto 6 in series.
Aprox 100lumen/watt

They come with direct mount and hanging chain mount.

you need an outlet. can plug 12 lights into a standard 2 socket outlet.

Supposedly the motion sensors can interfere with wifi(1 or 2 channels of the 5ghz band) but that hasnt been the case for me.

I used a killawatt meter and on low 5 were pulling around 43 watts and on high 231 watts iirc.

The motion sensing will work through walls or floors so not ideal for some installations.

Here are the lights at full price.. (2 pack) they go on sale in club for 20.99-23.99 often.
https://www.costco.com/koda-46”-led-linkable-shop-light-with-motion-sensor-and-remote%2c-2-pack.product.100655015.html
 
Last edited:

JTK

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Aug 14, 2003
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14,908
Location
Buffalo, NY
I'll try to grab a pic of the make/model number of the 8 foot ballast bypass lamps we have at work. I think I mentioned them in another thread, but they've been going strong for about 3yrs and are never turned off. High noise and vibration area, but is mostly temperature controlled.
 
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