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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentTechnology(Moderator: john sandhagen) Home improvement advice - light fixture
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #20 on: Jun 09, 2017, 03:21PM »

You beat me to it
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timothy42b
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« Reply #21 on: Jun 10, 2017, 05:26AM »

... then what will you tune too?  Evil

Guess you will all have to tune to me!

I stopped by Home Depot last night.  The displays were hard to compare, I need to look at some working lights of both kinds.

I also checked prices of various tubes. 

If my ballast worked, I could replace tubes with LED for about $5 each.  But it doesn't work.

I can adjust the wiring and replace tubes with LED for about $15 each. 

Or I can buy a T8 ballast and stay with regular tubes at between $15 and $30 for the ballast. 

I don't know if the lumen ratings on the box can be trusted, but here's what they claim:

T12 tubes, 2600 lumens.

LED tubes on existing ballast, 2100 lumens.

LED replacements that don't need ballast, 1700 lumens.

T8 tube and new ballast, 2800 lumens. 

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Tim Richardson
Doug Elliott
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« Reply #22 on: Jun 10, 2017, 07:17AM »

There's more stuff available than what Home Depot carries.  Look online or check an electrical supply place.  I'd go with direct wire bulbs.  They can be cheaper and brighter than what you found.
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BillO
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« Reply #23 on: Jun 10, 2017, 08:05AM »


I don't know if the lumen ratings on the box can be trusted, but here's what they claim:

Lumen ratings can be deceiving, especially for directed light.  Lumen is a measure of the total amount of light emitted by a source. An ordinary florescent tube radiates light 360 degrees around its axis so much of it gets wasted by being sent into the fixture or in some other useless direction.  The replacement LED tubes with only 1700 lumens may well be built to direct all of there light in a useful direction and may very well provide brighter usable light
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timothy42b
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« Reply #24 on: Jun 10, 2017, 11:48AM »

I learned something today, there's a difference between shunted and nonshunted sockets or tombstones.

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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #25 on: Jun 10, 2017, 04:06PM »

There's more stuff available than what Home Depot carries.  Look online or check an electrical supply place.  I'd go with direct wire bulbs.  They can be cheaper and brighter than what you found.

 Good!

Doug's right.  Go with the latest technology, and install new, easy-to-mount new LED fixtures with bright tubes.  All the light shines downward where you need it.  And you'll love the (amount and quality) of the light (while paying very little for it in terms of electricity consumption) - and you won't have to think about replacing the LED tubes for a decade or two. 
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timothy42b
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« Reply #26 on: Jun 11, 2017, 04:55AM »

I'm not satisfied with what I've seen in the local big box stores.  Since I have another fixture in that room that's still working, I have time to find something better. 

Things I learned: 
I have unshunted tombstones, so I could go direct wire easily.

I could also go the ballast plus plug-and-play route by externally shunting with proper choice of LED tube.  I had been leaning this direction because it allows snap-back, the return to a T8 fluorescent if I don't like LEDs.  But it turns out electronic ballasts don't last as long as the magnetic ones that have been in there for decades, and LED tubes do cause wear. 

That makes direct wire more attractive.  However, some tombstone manufacturers do not approve of line current being applied directly, and say they are not UL certified for this use. 

So now a new LED fixture is back on the table. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #27 on: Jun 18, 2017, 03:50AM »

I changed my mind again.

I like the way a new fixture looks.  But my research showed some skepticism about the longevity of LEDs.  If I go to a dedicated fixture and it fails, it may not be fixable.  Whereas if I stay with T8s and they don't last, there are lots of options. 

I found some direct wire tubes on sale half price and couldn't pass it up.  I got two tubes for the price of the cheapest ballast had I decided to go back to fluorescents.  It was about $15 total.

I put them in last night.  It took about an hour.  It could have taken 5 minutes, but I completely disassembled everything down to the tombstones to be sure how they were wired, and then things didn't want to fit back together. 

Without the troffer they are plenty bright.  The troffer has yellowed with age and does cut the light a bit.
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Tim Richardson
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