Re: Converting to T-8's

Subject: Converting to T-8's

Carol Darnell writes:

> You said it was a fairly simple job to convert a shoplight to a 
> Please tell me how, and please keep in mind I am SEVERELY electr
> challenged (Mechanically also :*( ) 

I get my husband to do it for me.<g> (but he's an accountant and 
not known for his mechanical aptitude either<g>)

> All you have to do is remove the ballast and replace it with the 
> new one? 


The ballast is a black round plastic thing right? (See, I told 

No, it is a black oblong metal thing that is heavier than you'd 
think it was.

> How do you get to it? 

Gee, even _I_ could do that part!<VBG>  The fixtures I have are 
held together with screws.  Just remove the screws.  The ballast 
is in the space above the bulbs if the fixture is right side up.  
When you have it upside down to work on it, the ballast is under 
the reflector.

The part that I worry about is wiring the new ballast in.  There 
_is_ a schematic drawing right on the ballast, and the wires are 
_usually_ the same on the old ballast as on the new one.  I just 
got thrown off the first time I tried it because my first fixture 
had 2 small ballasts instead of a single ballast... that meant 
twice as many wires, and just blew my brain.  Once I talked Dave 
into doing that one, I've "let" him do all the others. (since he 
already knows how!) ;-)

> And the new bulbs is ~ $40 or less? 

I think I've paid about $16 for each of mine.

> And can you buy these at lighting supply places?

I have been told that they are only available regularly through 
_commercial_ lighting suppliers.  But maybe you can have a 
residential lighting supplier order them for you. 

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA