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RE: Cheap Lighting ?

> 1. T8 fixtures...damaged metal frames but the ballast and wiring were
> perfect , for 4,8,9 foot lights : $20.00 ( fifty sets available )

Not cheap if you can't use the fixture.  We can get T8 ballasts from GE Supply here in Hawaii, including warranty, for around $15 or less, and the ballasts are wired.  I assume you live in the mainland US so it's probably cheaper there.  The only extra you'd be getting with the fixtures that could probably be salvaged would be the sockets (aka tombstones), but even then, they may not be the one's you'd want since they're probably the type made to fit onto a sheet metal fixture rather than screwed into wood, etc.  And they're cheap anyway.

> 2. A case of 40watt T8 bulbs for $20.00...same for T12 bulbs  
> same price ,
> ( 50 cases available )

Did you mean 32W (4') T8s?  Or were these the F40T8s that are 5'?  We can get the 4' ones here for around $2 each, so a case of 24 for $20 is really cheap.  If it's damaged though, be careful with the mercury (and glass, of course.)

> 3. VHO ballast for up to 9 foot twin T12 bulbs...magnetic 
> quick start I
> believe : $25.00

Don't know enough to comment.

>   There were some types I never saw before , such as a FL 
> bulb that had a
> single contact on each end . They seemed to be of the same 
> diameter but of a
> significantly higher wattage . Instead of 40 , they were ,I 
> think , 56 watts

The larger rounded single pins are for instant start _only_ lamps(F48, F72, or F96).

> . And another type that had the 2 pins in a protected covering...that
> wouldn`t fit a regular 2 prong type FL .

These sound like commercial HO or VHO lamps, both of which use the 'recessed double contact' pin configuration. (VHO lamps that I've seen, made for the aq. hobby, use the regular bi-pin config.)

> So...Are T8`s better than T12`s ?

Well, they are more efficient in terms of light output per unit of electricity input.

 Would a magnetic start VHO 
> ballast work OK
> on a unit of 2 (4 FT. ) FL bulbs ?

I don't know.

>   Now the embarassing thing is I can`t remember the 
> manufactor for these
> bulbs...I just tried to call to find out but they were closed 
> already . I
> had never heard of them...it started with an O is all I can recall .

Probably Osram/Sylvania, one of the largest lighting mfrs. in the world (along with GE and Phillips.)

Good luck,
Wade Shimoda
Honolulu, HI