The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,683 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In my big pole garage I have two "banks" of three 4' shop lights, each on it's own circuit. Starting earlier this year I began to experience a problem with them all coming on when I turn on the switch. Sometimes none will come on, sometimes one or two, sometimes all three. These are two bulb 4' florescent economy shop lights. My only guess is that the ballasts are going bad. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? When they do come on, the bulbs are nice and bright with no "burn" areas near the ends, so I assume all the bulbs are OK. This began in the bank I use the most, but now it's starting in the other one too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,770 Posts
You are probably correct, the bad part is new ballusts are more than new shoplights!
I know that a mouse gnawing on the wires can disrupt the sequence, I had that happen more than once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,212 Posts
In my old house I had shop lights in the kitchen...It was in the drop ceiling, and I had a lense to hide the light. Every few years I had to change it out as it went bad. Mine would start off with a slow turn on. Other things come to mind right now....After awhile it would come on after awhile if at all. I would pull the ceiling down and replace with a premium new shop light. Problem solved for a couple years. I found you could re-use the bulbs.

No point in replacing the ballast. A new light costs around 10 bucks. Not even sure if a new ballist is available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,683 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
well at least the replies seem to back my theory. Guess I'll be heading to the hardware store this week. Thanks guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,212 Posts
Let us know how you made out. I hate it now that everything is made to fail. It seems like a waste to trow away 5 pounds of scrap because you can't replace a part.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,388 Posts
hunt/fish365 said:
Let us know how you made out. I hate it now that everything is made to fail. It seems like a waste to trow away 5 pounds of scrap because you can't replace a part.
MAN, ain't that the truth....SAD!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,479 Posts
That,s just like a cordless drill we bought at Sears some years ago.When the batteries died and wouldn,t accept a charge anymore Sears told us we just need to buy a new whole drill.The drill is perfect and we looked all over and could never find a batt to fit.We still have that drill and charger with no batts to be found.It,s a disgrace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,087 Posts
I had 4 4 ft dual tube shop lights in the barn. The darn things weren't worth the purchase price. They won't light at all when temps are below 20 degrees and they only lasted a couple years before they started going bad.

I slowly replaced them with those glass & cage covered safety lights. I also put in rather expensive LED bulbs. the first one I replaced is still working great after 6 years. Haven't had to climb up and replace a bulb at all. In addition, with either the CFL's or LED's, the power usage dropped substantially. When it is cold, the CFL's take almost a full minute to warm up to full brightness. The trick is finding the LED bulbs on sale for a reasonable price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,493 Posts
Unless you spend the money for "low temperature" flor. shop lights for unheated applications, most will be disappointed. The cheap ones are next to useless in damp, unheated areas.

Our club built a 30x40 storage addition last year and we opted for the more expensive flor. lights. So far, so good. Even when temps are below freezing, the lights come on. I had wanted to install incandescent fixtures like we've had in our other storage garage for 20 years, but others insisted on the flor. fixtures.

Last year a four bulb flor. fixture in one of our outdoors restrooms, conked out. Replaced it this summer with an exterior two bulb "spotlight" fixture and two CFL flood lamps. Same flor. light would've cost around $70 to replace, got about $15 in the new light, although everyone hates it. But they do agree it's better than the rubber pigtail socket/100W bulb I originally put up to light the bathroom temporarily.



I quit replacing ballasts in flor. lights years ago, for the reasons stated above. Even the newer "solid state" ballasts are not much better than the old type.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,590 Posts
If you buy T8 lighting fixtures they will light down to zero. In a garage just put in switched (turns on with the wall switch) receptical between 2 lights, buy T8 shop lights with 5' cords (with the receptical centered it will give you about 9' between lights), plug two lights into the same spot. If one goes bad pitch it and buy another with the same lenght cord.

You not be able to buy T12 bulbs (either 4' or 8'), the large tubes, in the near future. Thanks to the Government but thats another topic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,212 Posts
I get all confused with the "T" ratings. I bought some of the thinner tube fixtures that I hear are the new thing. The bulbs cost 3X as much as the old ones, and mine lasted half as long. I had to replace the whole thing in less than a year.

Right now my garage has something like 7 75 watt bulbs burning. I just moved in, and haven't replaced them yet. I'm not sure what to do right now. I know they have to go, but not sure what to replace them with. For now I was just gonna screw out the 75 watt bolbs and replace with CFL's of about the same light rating. I know they take awhile to light up once it gets cold. I had one on my back porch that would take 10-15 minutes to get bright once the temp dropped. It never got the normal brightness once the temp dropped below 10-15 degrees.

I guess at that point it's a mute point. I won't be out there anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,087 Posts
watch the sales and on-line for some LED bulbs. half or a third of the energy usage of CFL's AND they last longer.

I put a $9 LED in the front porch fixture 6 or 7 years ago and NEVER turn it off. old fashioned incandescents only lasted a few months before they blew and between the cost of the bulbs I haven't had to replace and the huge energy savings, I figure the $9 was a deal that has paid for itself a few times over.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top