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Old 02-08-14, 09:55 PM   #1
mejunkhound
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Default re-use 'burnt out' T12 bulbs

Scored a score of 3 lamp electronic ballasts on ebay a few months back, for 3ea 32W T8 bulbs. About $4 ea ballast.


Have noticed that the 'burnt out' 40W T12 fluorescent tubes waiting to go to recycle will work just fine with electronic ballasts (assume that just the preheat filament gone which is why they would not start with the old mag ballasts) so as I get to it I replace the shop and shed mag ballasts with the electronic ones and put in the old tubes - 100 % success rate so far. 3*32=86W, 2*40 = 80W, so have seen no overheating of any of the electronic ballasts.

Thought maybe some of you other cheap folks would like to know, no need to recycle 'perfectly good' T-12 bulbs.

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Old 02-09-14, 11:12 AM   #2
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I'm waiting for my T12s(kitchen has 3 of the 2 lamp fixtures) to burn out but when I bought the house it came with a 2 pack unopened in the basement and I've only had one bulb have a sketchy start. It would be nice to have more efficient ballasts that don't buzz. If I go this route, I'll hang on to the mag ballasts(after finding out which one is quietest and marking it), in case they have a short life. Thank you.
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Old 02-13-14, 12:21 AM   #3
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unlike older style mag ballast, which requires proper hookup on the fluorsecent tube filament section (pre-heating required) in order to strike and start the lighting process, electronic ballast uses high frequency and higher startup voltage to excite the tube to start the process....

Because of that (no preheating required), electronic ballast works out to be a little better in my case.

My 2c's worth.


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Old 02-13-14, 01:02 AM   #4
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Linear has a few interesting app notes on the inner workings of inverter fluorescent lamp ballasts.
http://www.linear.com/docs/4154
In particular, spacing the lamp wiring and the bulb itself away from metal boosts efficiency.
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Old 02-15-14, 02:58 PM   #5
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It seems like the T8 lamps hooked to electronic ballasts never burn out. I've had some of mine for a decade, never had one burn out. T12's last a long time also.
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Old 02-15-14, 03:46 PM   #6
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T8 or not: my experiences with electronic ballasts has been extremely positive so far (been using them for over 15yrs now). This is mainly due to the following reasons:

(1) the lack of /need of pre-heater hookups. Electronic ballasts do not need pre-heating set up to create the pre-heating to prepare for the striking of the ionisation stage.

(2) no striker needed (usually comes as a form of a capacitor (round aluminium can with 2 legs, which creates a blue/purple arcing look inside the can when "striking" happens).

(3) more precise control of the current used than mag ballasts.

Because of all of these, electronic ballasts (run on high frequency), when done right, can make those tubes lasts extremely long...

It is not impossible for those typical T8 tubes to last >10,000hrs or more under average operational conditions.

Oh BTW: mag ballasts relies extensively on pre-heater hookups. If any of the pre-heater wiring inside the tube becomes open, the tube is essentially "toast" and cannot be used.
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Old 02-15-14, 03:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quest View Post
T8 or not: my experiences with electronic ballasts has been extremely positive so far (been using them for over 15yrs now). This is mainly due to the following reasons:

(1) the lack of /need of pre-heater hookups. Electronic ballasts do not need pre-heating set up to create the pre-heating to prepare for the striking of the ionisation stage.

(2) no striker needed (usually comes as a form of a capacitor (round aluminium can with 2 legs, which creates a blue/purple arcing look inside the can when "striking" happens).

(3) more precise control of the current used than mag ballasts.

Because of all of these, electronic ballasts (run on high frequency), when done right, can make those tubes lasts extremely long...

It is not impossible for those typical T8 tubes to last >10,000hrs or more under average operational conditions.

Oh BTW: mag ballasts relies extensively on pre-heater hookups. If any of the pre-heater wiring inside the tube becomes open, the tube is essentially "toast" and cannot be used.
Electronic ballasts also eliminate the 60hz flicker which has been claimed to give some people headaches. The buzzing associated with magnetic ballast is gon also. I don't think even make the magnetic ballast anymore, raw material costs more than the boards in the electronic ballasts. Manufacturers are always trying to reduce the amout of raw material in thier products, have you noticed just about everything is lighter than it used to be?
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Old 02-15-14, 04:28 PM   #8
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my observation (from local retail perspectives) is that mag ballasts still cheaper to purchase than that of electronic ones (averaged 10bux less per 2x 4ft T8 style), which to me is a farce.

Like you said: electronic ballasts cost less to manufacturer than iron lams and copper windings, so theoretically speaking: retail price should be more appealing than mag ones...but alas, no, not the case here.

(been like that for 10yrs now, unlike Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, etc. where electronic ballasts are a norm for over 2 decades now).

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Old 02-18-14, 11:34 PM   #9
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Last time I looked even canukistanis can buy off'n ebay - typical 4 ft 2 or 3 tube electronic ballasts are 10 for $40 total, even seen a dozen for $30 total a few times. Hard to beat $3 or $4 each, eh?
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Old 02-19-14, 12:38 AM   #10
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I'm a ePrey regular, but some, if not most of these sellers do not ship directly into Canada, only a handful would bother to ship to my friend's place in Seatac (upon explanation sometimes).

I've initially implemented cold-start electronic ballasts in my garage (2 of those 4ft pair types, T-8), but the cost of tubes here north of 49th parallel for T-8 is simply highway robbery (cheepest would be around 9bux a pair, avg 12bux pair). after doing one fixture in my garage, and by accident, I decided to take them all off and retrofit with E26 standard screw based 23Watt CFL instead, citing that (a) they too, are electronic ballast types; (b) I have acquired a box full of 23Watts from my house's pot light retrofit (now with reflector pot light housing, so now I'm using std E26 13Watt CFLs instead); (c) I also acquired some highly subsidised CFLs @ Walgreens: box of 3 CFLs costs 99cents! (I bought boatloads of them)....

Thx to PSE with heavily subsidising, I'm now good for a long, long time before I need to consider retrofitting to LED or go back to 4' T-8 again...

(*T-8 electronic ballast fixture ended up in my neighbour's garage, and the other fixture in my MIL's laundry room*)

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