Lighting Puzzle Solved (Blink Blink)

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Blog entry by wichle posted 08-03-2010 04:54 AM 865 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

When i spent time with my dad in his woodshop I often heard him complain that he “couldn’t see” what he was working on. I still have the floor lamp he put together from this and that to light his work area. As he got older, the bulb got stronger.

Following in his foot steps, mt shop in Milwaukee and once moved here in Michigan are well lighted. There are seventeen flourescent fixtures overhead in the work area. Some are single tube, some are 2 tube squeezed between the ductwork. (we converted this house from a duplex to a single family and kept seperate HVAV foe up and down)

Two of the 4’ 2 tube fixtures on the far side of the shop would intermittently fail to light, or would eventually light and blink. On that side of the shop there are 4 fixtures, end to end. Power comes to the center and is split to light 2 fixtures to the right and two to the left. Both of the fixtures furthest from the power in the center worked fine. The two immediately left and right of the power source were the culprits.

I opened the fixtures, tightened wire nuts, checked the voltage going to each fixture, checked the grounds, made sure conduits were groubded, I like conduits, and finally decided to try a new ballast. Off to home depot! (big decision, we have three equidistant from here). Working overhead I took the only readable number with me.

Lovely wife said, “buy 2, you have 2 messed up fixtures! I did. I got one installed and the fixture works fine. With the old one down where I can read it I find that it is not for thr T8 lamps that are installed. The second ballast is different yet.

Now I bought 12 of the supposedly identical fixtures at Home Depot. I was careful to check the boxes as I had used the fixtures in my Milwaukee shop and liked them. Did I read the numbers on the ballasts when I unpacked them? No! I figured i shouldn,t have to. I should have investigated sooner, but left alone the errant lights would come on. I think the fixtures were intuitive because often when I would cuss at them, they would light.

Oh well, puzzle solved. An while not a woodworking project it was good to spend a day in the shop.

-- Bill, Michigan "People don't come preassebled, but are glued together by life"

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1013 posts in 3063 days

#1 posted 08-03-2010 09:58 AM

I couldn’t agree more about the importance of light. I use my photography lights and move them around to where I need them. The more light the better. :-)

-- Brian Meeks,

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