Gardener123
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Need help with lighting.

So, someone gave me 2 old light systems.... a 4' and a 2'. There were unmarked bulbs in them. No brand name. They did have stickers that said "Full spectrum lights" on them. To me they just look like any old florescent light... like shop lights. They have the 2 pins at the end.

So, can I just pick any brand? And what about the "T" number? ( I have no understanding of that )

I plan to start ( should say "hope" ) to start my seeds and then use this system until May.... but I am planting my superhot peppers in December this year.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Need help with lighting.

If those are really old light systems, they are probably for T-12 bulbs, and they probably have old magnetic ballasts in them, and maybe even starters - those little cylinders with 2 pins in them, that install in about a 5/8" hole above the lamps. These can be replaced by electronic ballasts for T-8 bulbs, which have less wattage, and you can get some with a higher output, and much longer life. I once bought a dozen electronic ballasts, and replaced every ballast in my house, as well as the bulbs in all of those fixtures. It was amazing how bright my workshop was, compared to before! And that was with the lower wattage bulbs. Electronic ballasts are easy to install.
Dave

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Re: Need help with lighting.

T numbers indicate the diameter of the tubes in 1/8 inch increments. So t8 tube is 1 inch in diameter.
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Gardener123
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Re: Need help with lighting.

pepperhead212 wrote:If those are really old light systems, they are probably for T-12 bulbs, and they probably have old magnetic ballasts in them, and maybe even starters - those little cylinders with 2 pins in them, that install in about a 5/8" hole above the lamps. These can be replaced by electronic ballasts for T-8 bulbs, which have less wattage, and you can get some with a higher output, and much longer life. I once bought a dozen electronic ballasts, and replaced every ballast in my house, as well as the bulbs in all of those fixtures. It was amazing how bright my workshop was, compared to before! And that was with the lower wattage bulbs. Electronic ballasts are easy to install.

OK, so I went and REALLY looked for stuff on them, and in fact they have T-12 imprinted on them....

Can you give me a link to what you mean with the T-8's? or is this what you mean?

https://www.amazon.com/Hyperikon-Dual-E ... lbs+4+foot
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PaulF
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Re: Need help with lighting.

If your fixtures are made for T-12 (fatter tubes) you should stick with T-12 bulbs. T-8s are skinnier and require a fixture made for that size with the proper ballast and/or starter. That is very much simplified but is a good rule of thumb. Unless you can do rewiring it is cheaper and easier to put bulbs in fixtures they were made for.
Paul F

Gardener123
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Re: Need help with lighting.

Living the good life with my wife and 2 wonderful daughters!

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