T12 to T8 conversion
I was all excited about my new T8 bulb for my old fixture (2005) until I plugged it in and it just blinked and won't start. How do I change the ballast and more important, where do I find the right one? It's a single tube 48 inch fixture. It seems fairly easy to change the ballast if I can find one. Any tips or recommendations are welcomed
Did you switch back to T12 to test and make sure it wasn't a T8 bulb issue?
Depending on where you are(!), I'd start at a home improvement or hardware store. Amazon.com can be helpful also. Get the particulars off your current ballast to make sure everything matches!
Unrelated: If you are in SC, which I surmise might be the case from your username?, google the "South Carolina aquarium association forum" and check us out. We'd love to have you attend our next meeting, June 23 in Columbia.
Thanks for the reply and info about the forum. The t12 or t10 bulb lights, it blinks more I would expect but it starts. I even tried the starter from my 24 inch t8 and that did nothing at all. I ordered a ballast from amazon. The current ballast just says "made in China 11 2004 H ". Do I need a starter for it? None of the videos I watched mentioned them.
I think the newer electronic ballasts have starters built-in, but I'm no electrician. If you have a local "Ace" hardware or similar store, they can be great sources of information.
If you decide to join the SC group, my username's the same there - give me a shout!
If anyone is interested I changed the ballast out yesterday with a GE Proline instant start ballast for 1 or 2 T8 bulbs. The T8 50/50 bulb works as well as the T12 daylight that I replaced. I didn't need a starter so I pulled that out of the fixture too.
Glad it worked for you! How much did the entire conversion end up costing? Did you use end-cap adapters or will the T8's fit in a T12 "socket"?
You should end up saving some electricity over time as well.
I hope it will save some money. I did an electrical cost calculator online and it showed only a one cent difference from a 40W to 32 watt bulb, but MarineDepot's calc. said about 30 cents a month. The truth probably lies in between.
I went from a daylight 40w to a 50/50 14K(?)/actinic and it doesn't seem as bright, maybe cuz it's half blue and not all white?
Thanks for the information, I didn't realize the T8's would fit in a T12 socket.
Do you have a planted tank? If so, the actinic bulb might not be the best choice from a photosynthesis spectrum standpoint. The change in brightness/visual color is due to the "K" value, the higher "K" moves toward the blue end of the light spectrum. For a planted tank, you want 5,000K to 6500K usually. Actinics are typically usually used in marine tanks.
I have a planted FW 29 that I plan on redoing soon, I'm kind of babying the new SW right now making sure the $25 fish doesn't croak on me.
Woould love a larger planted tank but it's getting hard to find a 4ft section of wall space to put one against.
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