Better Fluorescent Lights


Electronic ballasts and T8 Lamps

I hated fluorescent lights. I hated the hum, the initial stutter, the headache inducing flicker, the icy dead color. You could not pay me to live with them. But fluorescents have undergone a technological leap and now I love them! I constructed a workshop in my basement this year and I flooded the place with 8 banks of double fluorescent fixtures. The light is magnificent. It’s instantly on. Completely silent. No flicker at all. And in a smooth beautiful color. Because of the wide source the light is broadly even, like sky light. It makes me happy. And running them is just about as cheap as LEDs. The secret to all this light goodness are electronic ballasts and new thin tubes (T8) with daylight color temperatures. When you purchase new fixtures today you’ll get the solid-state electronic ballasts. The 1-inch T8 tubes you can select in the temperature of your choice. I prefer 5800K “overhead” daylight. Or sunlight. But the really cool tool is that you can purchase inexpensive replacement ballasts for your existing fixtures, redeeming those awful monsters. The electronic ballasts are very easy to swap with no more tools than a screwdriver. The ballasts I used where these $14 ones from Phillips. The difference with the new ballasts is like night and day.

-- KK 01/8/16