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View Full Version : OT - Shop Lights & Ballasts



lynnl
09-26-2011, 08:48 PM
Bought two new shop lights at Lowes today (I had one go bad).

The little booklet, with the gazillion safety warnings, said to leave it on for 48-72 hours in order to break-in the ballasts. (booklet not at hand right now, might have been some term other than "break-in")

I never heard of that before. Is that a reflection of new technology? ...or my past ignorance?

macona
09-26-2011, 09:13 PM
Wha.. Break in ballasts? You have got to be joking...

vpt
09-26-2011, 09:38 PM
Never heard of that. However I already have the fixtures, now I just buy the ballast, take the plastic off, wire it and don't think of it again till it goes out.

Willy
09-26-2011, 10:32 PM
The only thing I can think of is that quality electronic ballasts are routinely "burned-in" at the factory to ensure that a product is sold as designed.
This of course decreases come-backs and assures the customer that he is in fact purchasing a quality ballast. This of course all costs money.

I would assume that at lower price point sales outlets, or on lower cost products, that the customer is required to to the "burn-in". If after this period of time no failures have manifested themselves....well you're good to go.
Otherwise drag it by the cord onto the service desk for a replacement.:)

Just my opinion.
I can't really see that a break-in would increase output or longevity.

lynnl
09-26-2011, 10:56 PM
I went back and read that again. That was under "troubleshooting", one of things to do IF the unit Hums.

As for replacing the ballest, on the fixture that went bad the ballast was contained within a little box that was molded into the unit. Essentially non-replaceable, unless somehow one could round up the 'guts' to replace the innards. At any rate I had to pretty well mutilate the end cap and lamp holders to get to it. Decided it wasn't worth messing with.

lakeside53
09-27-2011, 01:01 AM
Maybe they are trying to reform an electroylic? I have two friends shops with dozens of 8 year old electronic ballasts that hum like crazy - ripple voltage due to poor filter caps.

vpt
09-27-2011, 07:40 AM
I went back and read that again. That was under "troubleshooting", one of things to do IF the unit Hums.

As for replacing the ballest, on the fixture that went bad the ballast was contained within a little box that was molded into the unit. Essentially non-replaceable, unless somehow one could round up the 'guts' to replace the innards. At any rate I had to pretty well mutilate the end cap and lamp holders to get to it. Decided it wasn't worth messing with.




My father had the cheap ones that didn't have an actual ballast. They had what looked like just a coiled of wires around a magnet on one side and a couple small capacitors or something. They only lasted about a year. I went and got some ballast and tore the lights apart and rewired them to work with an actual ballast (not that hard). They have been working great ever since.

JoeFin
09-27-2011, 09:34 AM
Sounds like "Soaking a Transformer" where they apply voltage to it with virtually no amp draw so it can warm up and get the thick oil flowing through out the windings. Only see this done in High voltage 69 -230 Kv applications

Krunch
09-27-2011, 09:55 AM
The little booklet, with the gazillion safety warnings, said to leave it on for 48-72 hours in order to break-in the ballasts.

48-72 hours is longer than most shop lights that I buy from Lowes (or Home Depot) LAST IN TOTAL!

lynnl
09-27-2011, 11:07 AM
48-72 hours is longer than most shop lights that I buy from Lowes (or Home Depot) LAST IN TOTAL!

Maybe that's the point, accelerated failure. :D

Though I will have to say, that one that failed was probably 10 years old, or more. It was from one of the big box stores.

These two I just bought were under $10 each (without tubes). At that price it isn't worth trying to round up a replacement ballast.

Paul Alciatore
09-27-2011, 12:58 PM
Ass-U-Me, well, you know that one already.

Don't assume that the people who write the manuals/instruction sheets have any actual knowledge. They get told something and in it goes.

Bob Fisher
09-27-2011, 01:19 PM
Don't see any off topic here.Shop lights are very much on topic. If you can't see it ,you can't machine it! Bob.

sasquatch
09-27-2011, 07:07 PM
Son just put up some new lights in his garage.

Turned them on and they had a spiral shadow travelling back in forth in the tube for about 12 hours. Apparently these new tubes do this at first.

armedandsafe
09-27-2011, 07:18 PM
I have shop lights from bigbox stores in both shops. Newest one is only about 6 years. Unheated winter, uncooled summer, still working.

If you do notice eye or headache problems with flourescent lights, turn one of the tubes to the other direction and see if that helps. Sometimes, both lights can flicker at the same sequence, which puts out annoying impulses that are subliminal. The better ballasts work at higher frequencies than the 60cps input and aren't so bad.

Pops