Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Flickering T8 Shop Lighting

I have a decent amount of light in my shop due to good placement of twin tube 5 foot T8 lighting fixtures. I had these installed when I remodelled the shop from ground up back in 2012.
Here is a plan view of the current shop layout in 2017.
The T8 lighting layout can clearly be seen in the plan view of the shop.

The lights have been great in that time with only one tube needing to be replaced.
Late last year 2016 I did notice that one fixture was flickering but it was out of eye level most of the time so didn't cause me too much of an issue.

During a winter build I broke out the router table and positioned it close to my dust extraction. This also but the flickering light in eye view. It was irritating so I changed the tubes. That made no difference so meant the ballast was faulty.

I looked up the part number and it was a Chinese made ballast which could be bought from Amazon. However there was a vast shipping cost so I went with one made by PRO LEC that was on Amazon for £14.36 GBP including free UK delivery. If you are interested search for BALLAST ELECTRONIC T8 2 X 58W GD-T8258C2 By PRO ELEC.


Went it arrived I carefully pulled the connections out of the old ballast and pushed them into the new ballast observing the connection diagrams. No tools are needed with these push in connectors. The only thing I needed was a nut spinner to remove the mounting hardware. The new ballast fitted the same screw holes and was fitted into place. Then the fixture was rehung on the chains and connected to the power.

When I reset the lighting circuit breaker and switched on the lights it lit first time with no flicker and was bright. The other lighting fixtures were dull though. Then I noticed a fine layer of sawdust on each tube. I then spent aboput 30 minutes taking down each tube, wiping with a glass cleaner and replacing. The results were spectacular. I now have full brightness restored to the shop.

It just goes to show that the fine sawdust particles settle everywhere including on lamps. Take the time at least once a year to clean your lighting tubes to maintain lighting levels in your shop.

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