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Discussion Starter #1
I have a SolarMax HE 2 bulb 42W (21x2) T5 fixture. The problem is the 6700k bulb barely lights up. Are these units repairable and worth doing so? Or do I need to buy a new fixture?
 

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Hmmm have you tried replacing the 'starter' if it has one (the little cylinder thing... I'm so technical :/) a lot of times that's what keeps things from fully lighting (if it's fluorescent).

If it's LED I say replace teh whole thing they're usually more trouble to fix than others.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How old are the bulbs?
I bought the fixture around 1 1/2 years ago. The bulb im refering to is the brighter of the 2 at 6700K and stopped working a couple of months after purchase. It is a T5 fixture which I believe isnt florescent(?) and has 2 seperate switches for each bulb. The bulb only partially lights and is VERY dim. Im an electrician and not afraid to tackle a repair if its possible but if its not or not worth it, I guess Im looking at a complete replacement? :|
 

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T5s come in Fluorescent and LED :)

Does it do that with any bulb you put in there? I've gotten a few bulbs that were deadish when I bought them.

The ballast might need adjusting too, I had to do that with ours because the ballast was damaged at the lights would come on and off and flicker. Maybe it's not getting enough electricity to that bulb because a bad ballast? Just another idea. Not sure if you can get a replacement for that bit if it's bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I havnt tried any other bulbs. They do resemble thin florescent bulbs so i guess it is possible it is a florescent fixture. I think Im gonna disassemble the unit, see if there are any lose connections or corrosion on the contacts. If that all checks out ill try replacing the bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Went to a lfs today. They had my fixture in stock along with replacement bulbs, though not the one I need. So its pretty safe to say I can replace the bulbs if needed. What a relief as those fixtures are not exactly cheap lol. :) But I have a question though. Can I use higher wattage bulbs? Or do I have to stick with the 21W bulbs it came with?
 

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I think it depends on the fixture and what it's rated for, most of the time the higher wattage gets too hot though even if it can handle it.
 

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I bought the fixture around 1 1/2 years ago. The bulb im refering to is the brighter of the 2 at 6700K and stopped working a couple of months after purchase. It is a T5 fixture which I believe isnt florescent(?) and has 2 seperate switches for each bulb. The bulb only partially lights and is VERY dim. Im an electrician and not afraid to tackle a repair if its possible but if its not or not worth it, I guess Im looking at a complete replacement? :|
T5 fixtures are fluorescent fixtures. T5 simply means that the bulb is 5/8" in diameter. The fixture is designed for the wattage of the bulbs. If you put higher wattage bulbs in the fixture it may overheat possibility causing a fire. As long as the wattage of the bulbs is within the design of the fixture you would be safe just putting in new bulbs. You should check the starter by putting a new one in or two if there is a separate starter for each bulb.

The fixture is very simple. Sheet metal (the housing and reflectors), the ballast (basically a voltage changing item) the mounts for the bulbs and the starters and their mounts. Most of the fixture can be changed piece by piece for troubleshooting activity. The only soldering needed may be in the substituting of ballast. You can't substitute any other T rating bulb for the fixture T8 or T12 will not fit.

There are LED substitute bulbs which are composed of LED chips put in a fluorescent bulb type bulb frame . I don't know anything about them so I can't say how good they are or how easy they are to use, sorry.
 
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