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Old 06-03-2009, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default T8 Conversion or T12 Electronic Ballast

I'm bidding a job at a warehouse that has T12 magnetic ballasts. Each fixture has (2) 2 light ballasts in it. Should I upgrade to one T8 4 light ballast and rewire, or should i just install a 2 light T12 electronic ballast?...Obviously it would be easier time-wise to just install the T12 electronic, but what is the benefits of upgrading to the T8 over the T12?...it is light output?

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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T8 will gain you energy savings, better lumen maintenance and better light output in the long run. However, T8 ballasts are not reliable and will add to the maintenance cost of the building. This will be bad for you during the warranty period, but good for you if you will be the once to change the ballasts later on down the road.

I would sell the T8 upgrade over the T12 electronic upgrade, because I'm sure an electronic T12 ballast is no better than a T8 electronic ballast in terms of reliability.

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter D View Post
T8 will gain you energy savings, better lumen maintenance and better light output in the long run. However, T8 ballasts are not reliable and will add to the maintenance cost of the building. This will be bad for you during the warranty period, but good for you if you will be the once to change the ballasts later on down the road.

I would sell the T8 upgrade over the T12 electronic upgrade, because I'm sure an electronic T12 ballast is no better than a T8 electronic ballast in terms of reliability.
thanks peter...i'm leaning towards upgrading to the t12 electronic(just b/c the customer is a cheap sob).
Just curious, how do you bill these upgrades?...by the fixture or hour?
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:42 PM   #4
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I would say by fixture .. but better allow for access.. I've changed ballasts in fixtures that took 20 minutes to get at..
Easy access can be done in 5 minutes
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NolaTigaBait View Post
I'm bidding a job at a warehouse that has T12 magnetic ballasts. Each fixture has (2) 2 light ballasts in it. Should I upgrade to one T8 4 light ballast and rewire, or should i just install a 2 light T12 electronic ballast?...Obviously it would be easier time-wise to just install the T12 electronic, but what is the benefits of upgrading to the T8 over the T12?...it is light output?
Old thread, but not enough threads that are of my interest, so I'll bore you guys anyways

one four lamp T8 ballast ~ same cost as one two lamp T12 ballast

If you go to T8 instant start, the only additional time difference is having to add shunting jumpers to each socket, but if you bid the same, the material difference in only having to buy half as many ballast should cover that.

As for your "increased maintenance cost due to lower reliability", Osram Sylvania warrants lamps for 30mo (parts only) and ballast for 5 yrs and they pick up the labor + ballast. Just have to bill them for warranty claim.
http://assets.sylvania.com/assets/do...d9a5bece6a.pdf

I think Advance/Philips is doing something similar.

Last edited by Electric_Light; 04-18-2010 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:19 PM   #6
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Seems like I have replaced at least half of the t8 electronic I have installed. And most of that half was done under warranty.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:24 PM   #7
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When someone builds a good electronic ballast that I won't have to exercise the warranty on, please let me know.

I still recall a job in 1999 where I had to replace the full 100% of the ballasts before the warranty was up. Motorola brand. I vaguely recall them being OEM'd by GE, but I'm not sure.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:10 PM   #8
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Yup- I get about 2 years outa them.
fortunately I only do about 20/customer.

most jobs though,they last.

Cost and time- go for the 1 4 lamp T-8
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:33 PM   #9
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how big of a place ?
don't they get rebates for going to T8's ?
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MDShunk View Post
When someone builds a good electronic ballast that I won't have to exercise the warranty on, please let me know.

I still recall a job in 1999 where I had to replace the full 100% of the ballasts before the warranty was up. Motorola brand. I vaguely recall them being OEM'd by GE, but I'm not sure.
This job was just finished. I installed 4 lamp t8 ballasts and lamps....I did a few over a year ago and the rest just recently. I've been using Universal brand ballasts and I haven't had any trouble...they are under a 5 year warranty as well.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:42 PM   #11
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how big of a place ?
don't they get rebates for going to T8's ?
Over 200 layins a bunch of 8 foot strips...Yes, the poco is writing them a check and they get tax deductions as well.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:01 PM   #12
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This job was just finished. I installed 4 lamp t8 ballasts and lamps....I did a few over a year ago and the rest just recently. I've been using Universal brand ballasts and I haven't had any trouble...they are under a 5 year warranty as well.
sounds like a good deal did you get there rebate check and some?

we do allot of t5 upgrades but I think the rebate is the same.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDShunk View Post
When someone builds a good electronic ballast that I won't have to exercise the warranty on, please let me know.

I still recall a job in 1999 where I had to replace the full 100% of the ballasts before the warranty was up. Motorola brand. I vaguely recall them being OEM'd by GE, but I'm not sure.
That was over a decade ago and much improvements have been made since. Some say that Motorola ballasts had reliability issues. Despite that, they had a cutting edge on electronic ballast that Sylvania wanted.

Motorola ballasts had "active regulation" that compensated for line voltage difference and maintained the same wattage while most others did not. At one point, Motorola Lighting and GE were marketing partners. In 2000, Osram-Sylvania bought Motorola Lighting.

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This job was just finished. I installed 4 lamp t8 ballasts and lamps....I did a few over a year ago and the rest just recently. I've been using Universal brand ballasts and I haven't had any trouble...they are under a 5 year warranty as well.
What lamps did you use? (i.e. 32W 841)
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:56 AM   #14
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I used the 32w ...I call em the "41's" ....I think thats the cool white.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:05 PM   #15
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I used the 32w ...I call em the "41's" ....I think thats the cool white.
That's the 4100K... there's a substantial performance and cost difference between 741 and 841 though, with the 841 having a higher CRI by 8 to 10
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:06 PM   #16
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That's the 4100K... there's a substantial performance and cost difference between 741 and 841 though, with the 841 having a higher CRI by 8 to 10
Oh yeah, very noticeable difference...They are really white, while the 35 is yellowish.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:17 PM   #17
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Oh yeah, very noticeable difference...They are really white, while the 35 is yellowish.
I think you misunderstood.
741 and 841 are both 4100k, same "whiteness", but the 841 has superior color rendition.
Typically, all T5s are ~85 CRI.
Fred Meyer stores use T8 835 and color rendition is great compared to many places that use MH and 735
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:19 PM   #18
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I think you misunderstood.
741 and 841 are both 4100k, same "whiteness", but the 841 has superior color rendition.
Yeah, The main lamps my supply house stocks are the 35's and the 41's...But, I understand what you are saying
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:46 PM   #19
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Color rendering may not be that important everywhere. But for a store or a ladies walk in closet it is.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:35 AM   #20
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The classic cool white was like 60 CRI and 4100 kelvin. This is what many mean when they say "I hate fluorescent lighting!" All they had in 1970s was 4100K/60CRI or 3000K/50CRI

The basic T8 is ~75, almost all CFLs 82 and the high-end T8s are 80-86

Lamp cost is only a small portion in the overall scheme of things. The 85 CRI lamps are slightly more efficient, have the same life and provide better color rendition that cutting a dollar or two per lamp and going to 75 CRI is stupid in my opinion.

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