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Author Topic: Replacing fluorescent fixtures  (Read 1531 times)

bkenobi

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Replacing fluorescent fixtures
« on: February 09, 2017, 01:59:42 PM »

I have a lot of fixtures around the house.  These are generally 4' tubes, but there are a couple 2' tube and even a curved fixture around.  I have replacement bulbs in storage since the T12's are becoming rare and are more expensive but I don't have anything to replace ballasts.  In a past thread, I found that the ballast was good and the tomb stones were the problem.  What I was hoping to spur here is a discussion of what we can use to replace/repair these that won't affect existing automation equipment.

Example:
In my shop, I have somewhere between 10 and 15 fixtures in addition to a couple incandescent bulbs and even some halogen lamps.  This winter I've noticed that some of the fixtures don't fire up when switched on some days.  I have done nothing to figure out the issue as it's not been a big issue yet.  However, next time I need the light, I'll be dragging out a ladder to figure out what's going on.  If it's the ballast, I can either find a replacement T12, switch to T8/T5, gut/replace the fixture and go LED, etc.  Each of these caries different levels of cost, but the bigger issue is about noise/signal degradation for the remaining system.

Has anyone determined something to look for in new fixtures that will have no affect on X10?  The fixtures in my example are not on an X10 switch but could be I suppose if desired.  But, I wouldn't want to install something that was unfriendly to the rest of the system when turned on.  Also, would using a WS469 prevent a fixture from affecting the rest of the system?  I don't see how since it's not filtering anything I assume.

HA Dave

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Re: Replacing fluorescent fixtures
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 06:23:39 AM »

..... replace the fixture and go LED, etc.


Switching to LED is really the only way to go. There is replacement LED "tubes" that allow the fixtures to be (re-wired) direct wired... eliminating any ballast need.

Has anyone determined something to look for in new fixtures that will have no affect on X10?  The fixtures in my example are not on an X10 switch but could be I suppose if desired.  But, I wouldn't want to install something that was unfriendly to the rest of the system when turned on.  Also, would using a WS469 prevent a fixture from affecting the rest of the system?  I don't see how since it's not filtering anything I assume.

You might be over-thinking (planning) this. LED lighting is the modern fix... period. The proper fix.... would be first to reevaluate your lighting needs and based on modern fixtures (and knowledge) redesign your lighting. AFTER... you have a design... you could purchase a test light fixture/bulb if you have compatibility worries/concerns.

Every solution creates it’s own problems. This is known management fact.

The above fact wouldn't be true is people could pre-guess what problem would arise from new solutions... or even new anything. There WILL be problems... every plan always goes awry. But lighting and X10 are well known. Solutions will be found. You should just go for it. But do... reevaluate your lighting needs and how to light your space based on modern understanding and new LED lighting. Don't just replace the old lights with new replacement fixtures.

P.S. You're not alone! Although many people don't really notice how a fixture may have become out-of-date or of a past-fashion it happens. I think many of us have had to re-think and replace lighting around the house. I'd say most of us are in the same situation as yourself.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 06:29:47 AM by HA Dave »
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dhouston

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Re: Replacing fluorescent fixtures
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 08:34:21 AM »

Let me toss one more thing into the hopper.

Tube fluorescents are much more efficient than any type of lighting other than LEDs. This means the payback from energy savings for replacing fluorescents with LEDs takes much longer than for the other types. Hence, I would try to use up all the spare tubes before switching to LEDs. OTOH, where there are additional costs (e.g. ballasts) it might make sense to replace that specific fixture with LEDs.
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bkenobi

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Re: Replacing fluorescent fixtures
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2017, 10:12:29 AM »

In the case where the fixture is isolated from other lighting, it makes sense to consider switching since the cost is only for one.  If the bad fixture is in a set of 2+, the cost consideration is balanced by replacing all or mismatch in the set.

My kitchen lights are behind diffusers so swapping one for LRD would be OK as long as they were the same brightness, color, shape, etc.  For my shop, it would be less of an as the tics issue since the insulation is covered by plastic and not exactly a show piece.  But, it still requires a replacement producing sufficient light at a sufficient spread.  LED's historically have need very directional. Are the tube replacements light coverage equivalent to a 1x40w or 2x40w fixture?

Brian H

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Re: Replacing fluorescent fixtures
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2017, 12:41:49 PM »

I have replaced some of mine with LED replacements. The type you rewire by removing the old ballasts and directly power by 120 volts AC.

Most have less light output Lumens than a fluorescent tube.
Though the fluorescent tubes output a 360 degrees beam angle light all around the tube,
The LED replacement I have, are 120 degrees from one side. So the area illuminated in my case look brighter then the old tubes.
I did find one of my fixtures would not work correctly. The tombstone lamp holders where are 45 degrees from pointing down. So the light was not coming out of the fixture correctly.
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bkenobi

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Re: Replacing fluorescent fixtures
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2017, 12:48:37 PM »

some fixtures are a tube hanging in space, but most that I've seen have a deflector to aim light downward. if the tube emits 360 then most of the light would still be beneficial. the LED would have no use for the deflector.  Correct?

HA Dave

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Re: Replacing fluorescent fixtures
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2017, 01:15:54 PM »

I would still start at the beginning.

Whatever lighting plan your setup followed... it was done with now obsolete technology and knowledge. Think blank slate. Make a whole new lighting plan. Forget about what you've got.... and how to reutilize this or that. The cheapest best way will most likely be an entirely new lighting plan designed with todays requirements and technologies in mind.

I've seen people waste money on poor lighting results.... to save themselves from fishing 20 feet of wire. It just isn't worth it. No one ever regrets doing a good job the right way.
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Brian H

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Re: Replacing fluorescent fixtures
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 06:03:36 PM »

some fixtures are a tube hanging in space, but most that I've seen have a deflector to aim light downward. if the tube emits 360 then most of the light would still be beneficial. the LED would have no use for the deflector.  Correct?

Yes. The fixtures with a deflector over the tube will not direct the beam back down with an LED tube like it does with a fluorescent tube.

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