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Old 02-26-2011, 01:22 AM   #1
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Lighting ballast

Does anyone know if their is a certain type of ballast for at a t8 or t12 or t5 ballast that is used. Or are they all the same

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Old 02-27-2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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They use the same ballast. The "T" only designates the bulb diameter. If you use T5HO bulbs, they need a HO - High Output ballast.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
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I just bought a T5 ballast from home depot for $20 and an t5 bulb from petco $20. And it works awesome

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Old 03-01-2011, 09:26 AM   #4
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Ballasts have a range of tubes they can work on, but they are not all the same.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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So to build a T5 HO canopy light will I be able to find the supplies at my local Home Depot? Why is the HO ballast different, is it the pins or the amount of power they supply?
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:01 PM   #6
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It is the wattage that is different between bulbs.

Your best bet is to buy an electronic ballast. These load-sensing ballast will adjust the load to match the bulb & will fire any bulb within the load range. <The electronic ballasts are also smaller, lighter, and doesn't have the annoying fluorescent hum.>

So an electronic 65W ballast (a common one at HD) will fire up a 55W or 65W PC, a 55W T5HO, or 2 T8 32W's. <This is a common ballast for T8 shop lights.>

If you buy a non electronic ballast, you will have to find the spec sheet to make sure it is compatible with your bulb.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsoong
It is the wattage that is different between bulbs.

Your best bet is to buy an electronic ballast. These load-sensing ballast will adjust the load to match the bulb & will fire any bulb within the load range. <The electronic ballasts are also smaller, lighter, and doesn't have the annoying fluorescent hum.>

So an electronic 65W ballast (a common one at HD) will fire up a 55W or 65W PC, a 55W T5HO, or 2 T8 32W's. <This is a common ballast for T8 shop lights.>

If you buy a non electronic ballast, you will have to find the spec sheet to make sure it is compatible with your bulb.
+1

Note that some bulbs "might" work if they're out of range, but IME they burn out very fast. For a .99 shop bulb, no biggie but a $20 aqua bulb it's a waste to say the least. Miss matching bulb/ballast will also cause premature ballast failure.

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Old 03-23-2011, 06:41 PM   #8
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One thing to keep in mind with the electronic ballasts though. Some people are actually sensitive to the high frequency that is used to excite the lamps, whereas the 60 hz frequency given off by a magnetic ballast doesn't affect people until the lamp starts to rectify(about to burn out in other words), and then it more annoys people.
If, after you have this all setup, you find that you get overly tired or headaches when you are in the same area with it on, then it will be in your best interest to find a magnetic ballast for the lamps you chose.
When building it, be sure that all your wire work on it meets NEC code for the safety of you and your house, as well as following the label directions the wiring color coding(if applicable, as a lot of the newer electronic ballasts use terminal blocks). One last thing to keep in mind, different sizes/types of lamps can use different tombstones(the things that the lamps plug into).

So you know, I'm not biased against electronic ballasts, just the effects that they have on some people need to also be taken into account. They are more versatile than the older magnetic ballasts, as well as weighing a lot less. Also, When the ballast is at the end of it's life, an electronic ballast will often times just quit working. A magnetic ballast on the other hand will just quit most of the time, but there are also times where, at the end of it's life, they can drip and ooze their potting, which can make a huge mess.
Sorry if I ranted a bit, but I'm an electrician and plumber in one.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:05 PM   #9
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straick tnx!
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