I had a ballast going out in one of my 8’ florescent fixtures in the basement so I decided to take the ballast out of an 8 footer in my workshop and put a new electronic ballast in it and use its old ballast in the fixture that’s having a problem. Shop upgrade!
Then I got to thinking about HO (high output) florescent lights so decided to check them out. Turns out HO blubs are twice as bright lumen wise as regular ones and more efficient. 80 lumens per watt (110 watt 8800 lumens) verses 58 lumens per watt (75 watt 4400 lumens) of the blubs I was using. That’s a good start, what about cost? Well the fixtures cost more but only a few bucks more then the ones with electronics ballasts anyway and the HO ballasts are electronic and that’s what I wanted anyway. And the HO bulbs are only a buck more for a two pack of the ones I was using so looking good. So I bought a HO fixture and took it home.
Didn’t get any bulbs because I wanted 6500K and they only had 4100K. Well after not being able to find any 6500K locally I went back and bought a 10 pack of 4100K bulbs for $56 (always keep extras on hand, my last 10 pack lasted me 15 years I think, just used the last two recently). And two more fixtures. Decided to put them in an area where some machines are that has always been suffering from poor insufficient lighting.
Got one installed and turned it on, holy cow! Bright! Nice! Dwarfed the two dual bulb 4 footers I had there. Wow! Nice! Really nice! Put the second one up in that area, I’m set. Boy is it nice.
Now I still have to replace the one I originally intended to replace to swipe the ballast from, but I’m going to get one more fixture and replace two 4 footers with it over my table saw, then I think I’m set. For a while…
And the power usage hit won’t be bad. With four dual 4 footer and one dual 8 footer I was using 790 watts to light the shop, now with four dual 8 footers I’ll be using 880 watts, but it will be twice as bright. All in all a good upgrade I think.
-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI