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Shop lights or IceCap

At 03:48 AM 10/6/98 -0400, Anthony wrote:
>I have read the APD archives about ballasts, and I'm still not convinced.
>so the little cheap ballasts in the shop lights may fizzle sooner; so
what, the 
>whole light cost $8.  So the bulbs may not last as long; so what, they
cost less 
>than $5. 
>I can replace parts in my current setup for YEARS before it would cost me as 
>much as one electronic ballast

Anthony, your analysis is spot on as far as it goes.  I just finished a
"dream" hood (with bugs, that took some of the gloss off the dream) and it
cost me $40 for the ballast, $55 for the plastic, and $15 for miscellaneous
hardware.  In my case I needed 36" long, so a shop light was out.   And
this is in my dining room too, so a shop light was out.  But it was
expensive.   My analysis was diy was cheaper than prefab ($250+).

My fixture probably draws about 25 watts less than an equivalent shop light
(because of ballast efficiency).  So at 4000 hours a year that's about $10
in electricity saved.

In your case, you spent maybe $30 plus paint, etc.  Your ballasts will
probably last four years, then you are out another $8 each.  So you paid
$30 down and $14 per year (plus tubes).  My ballast will probably go for 20
years without replacement.  I paid $110 down and $2 per year.  Without
interest I break even in about 6.5 years,  with 10% interest I break even
in about 12 years.   

From a purely fiscal point of view, it depends on how long you expect to be
in the hobby.

Dave Gomberg, San Francisco            mailto:gomberg at wcf_com
<a href="http://www.wcf.com/wcf">My home page</a>