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Author Topic: Magnetic ballasts and shop lighting rework  (Read 226 times)
AB3TH
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Posts: 4




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« on: Today at 03:33:35 AM »

Last week I suddenly started to get S9 RFI across every band, DC to UHF.  It was just after a storm and I thought maybe a ground problem but tracked it to my shop lighting.  There's a bad ballast (or several) in there.  Got six fixtures, a dozen ballasts and 24 tubes all together.  The thing is that I just replaced most of the ballasts last year.  I had a power surge that blew out most of my lights (and a lot of other stuff) and replaced most ballasts with Robertson electronic ballasts.  It wasn't fun or cheap.  Fixtures are in a finished drywall ceiling and it's hard to get a ladder under most fixtures.  Some of the new ballasts were flakey after only a couple months.  Flickering and hard starting.  Obviously one or more now have serious problems.

So, what to do?  I doubt ferrites are a good solution. At least some ballasts must be replaced immediately.  I have a few new-old-stock genuine magnetic ballasts, not electronic, but only enough for a few fixtures.  I'm fairly sure that all my replaced ballasts are going to die.  I bought what I thought were good supposedly american-made electronic ballasts.  Obviously Robertson ballasts are trash.  I really don't want to spend upwards of $1K for new LED fixtures, assuming that I can even find reliable and low-RFI units.  New ballasts for my existing fluorescent fixtures are not cheap and I'm very reluctant to use electronic ballasts now.  Finding enough old-style magnetic ballasts will be hard.  I expect shop lighting to last indefinitely, not die every year.

If I do put up some LED replacements, what brand??  Any suggestions?

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AA4PB
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Posts: 13916




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« Reply #1 on: Today at 07:12:19 AM »

I haven't used any but I see that there are replacement LED tubes for the existing fixtures. One type uses the existing ballast. The other type has you remove the ballast and rewire directly to the bulb sockets. They are not cheap - but if you only have to replace them every 5-10 years it might be worthwhile.

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AB3TH
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #2 on: Today at 07:43:31 AM »

There is stuff in the way under almost every fixture.  I have to move machinery or put scaffolding for access.  No access from above.  It's a forest of trusses and insulation with no walk boards and about 2 feet headroom.   I already did this once and do not want to do it again.  Can't use something that uses existing ballasts since they're not trustworthy.  If I go to the effort it needs to be good stuff.  Only other options are leave the lights off (bad) or hang new ones underneath somehow (bad and ugly).  Was just hoping somebody smarter had a better idea.
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WB4SPT
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Posts: 311




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« Reply #3 on: Today at 11:57:23 AM »

I'm about done with fluorescents too. 
I only have one of these as a test, so far so good:

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Metalux-SLWP-LED-Series-Wrap-Shop-Light-Common-4-ft-Actual-5-512-in-x-48-6-in/1000018099
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