Will T5, T8 and CF ballasts work for bulbs of any length?
I was thinking about making my own 48" canopy and since I have all of these ballasts from smaller lights I was wondering if I could simply install longer bulbs using the same ballasts. I have 18" T8s and CFs in 6" (I think), which would give me enough to have two 48" T8s and two 24" CFs, and If I find someone local getting rid of a old or broken T5 canopy, then that should be an easy upgrade as well.
I have already made my own moonlighting using some circuit boards, resistors and LEDs from radio shack... so I have the capability, but if any of you DIY electricians know more about working with these ballasts, then please let me know whether I can use the same equipment that is in my small lights or I have to make certain adjustments.
It is going to depend on what the ballast are rated for. If they will only output around 40watts total then it's not going to be enough for one bulb of 48in. The wattage have to match otherwise the bulbs are going to burn as bright and the life of them will be cut.
i haven't taken my lights apart yet to have a closer look... but if the ballasts aren't rated high enough, then is it just a matter of replacing some components such as a resistor or something?
It may be. I can't really tell you. I honestly would go to home depot and get one that's rated for the correct voltage and go there. You don't want to fry it, kill your self or worst... lose you tank! ;-)
I took them apart and found the ballasts that are rated at 20 watts, and no additional components, so I guess I am going to do some further research at a local lighting store about what it would take to do a DIY from scratch.
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