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Old 04-09-2010, 12:10 PM   #1
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converting a fluorescent strip light from 20W to 18W?

This is actually a question regarding my turtle tank but because you guys are all awesome, I hope you'll forgive me

The fixture I have for my turtle's UVB light is designed for 24", 20W bulbs. Unfortunately, the company that makes the bulbs has switched to making their 24" bulbs with 18W rating. I'm hoping that there's some way to alter the fixture (change plugs, starter, ?) so that I can use the 18W bulbs, rather than having to buy a new fixture.

So, any ideas? Will confess now that despite my years studying psychology, I know next to nothing about electricity and wiring, so please use small words.

Thanks!!!
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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As long as the ends are still the same you should have no problem - just a little dimmer light is all - no harm - no foul!
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:08 PM   #3
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As long as the ends are still the same you should have no problem
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the 18W bulb doesn't work in my 20W fixture - it flickers intermitantly but never stays on. I never would have thought about it making a difference but for whatever reason, it does. The previous bulbs were all T12 whereas the new ones are T8 but according to the specs, the T8's should still work.

Is it even possible to change the fixture so that it would work with a 18W bulb? If it helps, here's the fixture I have, the Perfecto 30".
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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Perhaps changing the "starter" would make a difference - gonna have to check with a qualified electrician I reckon.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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You will have to change the ballast out to match the 18 watt T8 lamps. The output voltage and current is different on a T8 from a T12. By the wat the T meeans tubular and the numeral is the sive in tenths of an inch, hence T8= tubular, 8/10". I would try to get a rapid start ballast so no more starter needed.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:45 PM   #6
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You will have to change the ballast out to match the 18 watt T8 lamps. The output voltage and current is different on a T8 from a T12. I would try to get a rapid start ballast so no more starter needed.
Cool, a new project (and excuse to visit Home Depot), thanks! Physically, a T8 fits in the light okay, so you don't think I'd need to change the ends? If I am able to find a rapid-start ballast, would it be better to remove the starter or would it make any difference? Also, is this WikiHow an adequate explanation of how to replace the ballast?

Again, thanks!!!
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:57 PM   #7
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Nope, the ends and length are the same. If you find a rapid start ballast ( should be all you can find ) take the starter out completely. It's not needed. The ballast should have a diagram on it for the wiring. The link is pretty much good. The wire colors to the lampholders may be different, just follow the diagram. Be careful with the output wires, will be around 500 volts there when lit. Won't kill you but will give you a bad attitude. Make sure to insulate the connections well ( no exposed wire).
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:00 PM   #8
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
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You will have to change the ballast out to match the 18 watt T8 lamps. The output voltage and current is different on a T8 from a T12. By the wat the T meeans tubular and the numeral is the sive in tenths of an inch, hence T8= tubular, 8/10". I would try to get a rapid start ballast so no more starter needed.
Actually, the number is in 1/8s, hence, a T8 is 1 inch and a T12 is 1 1/2".
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:27 AM   #10
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+1 Bill
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