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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at the in-laws for the weekend and my wife's brother asked if I would install a 2-tube florescent fixture in the basement for him. He apparently already picked up a "good" from HD.

Sounded easy until I took this piece of crap out of the box. I've used supply house Lithonia before and didn't think it was a bad brand, but this one was made as cheap as they possibly could. I guess that's what the retail market wants.

One of the tombstones was broken. they are held to the fixture shell (the shell was the thickness of a couple of thicknesses of tin foil) by 2 tiny plastic tits on the bottom of the tombstones. One tit was broken, so it would hold the tube in place. Another one was cracked and didn't stand the wiegt of the tube. I drilled a couple of small holes and tied them in place with a thin piece of wire and some silicone.

I managed to get the tubes to hold in, but only one tube would partial light. It had one of the cheapest ballast i have ever seen. Tiny in size and only 2-wires for the tubes. Both tubes are wired in series. I'm used to good quality, programmed start ballasts.

Swapping tubes with another set of new ones had the same result.

Needless to say the fixture went in the garbage and after a trip to the local supply house, he got his fixture installed and working. I drank his beer for the rest of the weekend.

It left me wondering why a brand like Lithonia would put their name on a piece of crap like this and how the Walmart mentality is driving manufacturers to make cheaper and cheaper product. Who really wins here?
 

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There's a fixture for every budget.

People also don't realize that (at least in the T12 days) that most of the box store "shop lights" were only rated to lamp up to a 25-watt tube. They would not light up traditional 40-watt tubes.

Buy a T8 fixture at a box store today, and it will have weird ballasts inside. "Heng Feng Electrical Heavy Industries". :laughing: Buy the same fixture at the supply house and it will at least have a ballast of a recognizable brand.

I think you stand a chance of getting fixtures with a busted up tombstone here and there, no matter where you buy them. If the job is sufficiently large, it's pretty much a given.
 

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Did it come woth a ballast cover? I installed one yesterday feom big orange without one. On the box ot said wireway cover not required
 

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Lithonia is accucitys budget stuff. If anything from a big box is damaged guess what, it goes back.

And as MD mentioned a lot of the cheap ballasts suck. Stick a universal or advance in it. The others just fail prematurely or halve the tube life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did it come with a ballast cover? I installed one yesterday from big orange without one. On the box it said wireway cover not required
Nope. No ballast cover. Another 10 cents they can save building this thing.
 

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Estwing magic
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Nope. No ballast cover. Another 10 cents they can save building this thing.
Lithonia's business model is based on volume. The only way they make money is if they continuously bang that stuff out day after day after day. A ten cent savings per fixture is huge at the end of the year. Heck, if they can eliminate a self threading screw and save .010 cents per fixture, it's money in the bank.

I remember a manufacturer who tried shipping baseboard heaters wrapped in cellophane to save money on the cardboard box. It didn't work.
 
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