T8 retrofits

ionized_gwApril 25, 2012

Does anyone here experienced in retrofitting 8 ft T12 fixtures from 8' T12 to 4' T8s? How about 2 x 4 troffers? It seems like kits and individual parts are common for troffers and for channel fixtures. The 8' channel fixture parts that mount the tombstones seem to be somewhat adjustable for width.

I have some strip lights that won't be a real problem, but I have another style that is neither strip nor troffer. They are a style that I have probably seen in schoolhouses of my youth or commercial establishments way back then. Please see the pics.

If there are not parts specifically designed to do this, it seems like my best bet might be to get a center tombstone mount (that will also enclose the wires) designed for a channel fixture. I might have to change the ones on the ends with replacements designed for troffer retrofit. The tricky part might be to get the spacing right, both vertically and horizontally. I realize that I would probably have to do some fabrication to fully enclose the wires with the commercial brackets designed to retrofit another fixture.

I have thought about going to T5 system as well, but I'd probably have to put in an asymmetrical combination of 3' or 2' and 5' tubes.

I will probably consult with my local lighting supply house on this at some point and get parts there.

Before anyone asks, yes, I really do like these fixtures and I would probably have to spend at least $400 to replace them with something decent. A retrofit will cost a lot less if you don't include my screwing around with it.

Here are some pics. I removed the grid from half of this fixture.

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bus_driver

The existing tubes have two pins at each end or just one?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 5:51PM
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ionized_gw

One pin at each end, so I have to change the end tombstones as well as add some in the middle.

I just bought some nice program start T8 ballasts for cheap. Instant start is not a good option here and 8' tubes are a real pain to handle when you are not used to them. I broke one a month or so ago, It did make a real satisfying pop compared to the wimpy 4' tubes ;-)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 6:12PM
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brickeyee

You must be working for free.

Replacing fixtures is often less expensive in labor and material than trying to retrofit them.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 10:46AM
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ionized_gw

I've priced retrofit kits for the 8' strip fixtures in the garage/shop. They are going to cost me about $25 each plus another $10 for the ballasts. If I have to buy new T8 strips, it will certainly cost me more and I'll have relatively crappy ballasts. (In addition, I am way over-lamped in every case with these things so I am putting in low ballast factor ballasts.) I had a line on some retrofit kits from a large industrial supplier last week that would have cost me $10 fixture for close-out kits. I dallied too long and lost the chance for a nice product.

Yup, I am working" for free" since it is my house. Plus, for reasons that I can not rationalize, I like the fixtures I pictured above. I found that they may have been made by a local shop, but I can not confirm it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 11:04AM
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brickeyee

"I found that they may have been made by a local shop, but I can not confirm it."

There should be a manufacturer's tag in them somewhere.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 3:49PM
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ionized_gw

Oh, there is a stamp on the ballast cover. It says something like, Hall Manufacturing, New Orleans LA. The troffer that I have is also marked Hall Manufacturing or maybe Hallco.

I did not have immediate luck in finding any references to anything local though. Hall is a common name and the company could have gone out of action or absorbed 30 or more years ago.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:34PM
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