Expensive Lights, Cheap Parts

Merry Christmas
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jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
Installed some 8' flourescent T8's this week. Paid $95 each for them, so you would think they would have decent parts. Yea right. Several belly pan clips bent up when I tried to use them. I wised up on the last light and put a 1/4 x 20 x 2" bolt through top, nutted with lock washer & coming through slot in bottom. Then used a 1/4 x 20 thumb nut to secure belly pan. I will do that from now on with these lights. Clips are too easy to bend and easily get lost, nothing but junk. Can use existing holes at the ends, have to drill a 1/4" hole in the center but that's OK. Wing nut is much easier to handle than a clip too.
 

LEO2854

Esteemed Member
Location
Ma
Installed some 8' flourescent T8's this week. Paid $95 each for them, so you would think they would have decent parts. Yea right. Several belly pan clips bent up when I tried to use them. I wised up on the last light and put a 1/4 x 20 x 2" bolt through top, nutted with lock washer & coming through slot in bottom. Then used a 1/4 x 20 thumb nut to secure belly pan. I will do that from now on with these lights. Clips are too easy to bend and easily get lost, nothing but junk. Can use existing holes at the ends, have to drill a 1/4" hole in the center but that's OK. Wing nut is much easier to handle than a clip too.

That is a much better way to do it,All those fitures are cheap junk,,Hopefully you have good luck with those ballasts.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
That is a much better way to do it,All those fitures are cheap junk,,Hopefully you have good luck with those ballasts.

They are marked 0 degree ballasts, so they should be OK. They are mirror reflectors too, which I didn't really want. But standard white reflectors would have to be ordered. I think mirror lenses glare more than reflect. But I had to use some type reflector or lots of light would be lost. Thinnest metal I've yet seen for reflectors, somewhere between a beer can & aluminum foil.

I saw some fixtures once that had 1 inch bolts for fastening belly pans. Had a blunt tip, course threads & a finger grip, similar to wing nut but square. light was threaded for it. They were great but I think I only saw them that one time.
 

Electric-Light

Senior Member
Cheap item, expensive price. This can be attributed to mark-ups, labor cost, and inefficiency.

What something costs at the factory is only a small portion of what sets the retail price.

Everyone's thinking the same thing. Source something for as little as possible and sell as high as possible.

These days, you'll find many tools from names you guys trust that look exactly like something you'd find from Harbor Freight. Sometimes, the latter is a cleverly made look-alike. Often times, they come from exactly the same place and they're simply bought in bulk from the same source with private label agreement.

The prices on same exact thing often varies depending on where you buy it and what face brand it is.
 
They are marked 0 degree ballasts, so they should be OK. They are mirror reflectors too, which I didn't really want. But standard white reflectors would have to be ordered. I think mirror lenses glare more than reflect. But I had to use some type reflector or lots of light would be lost. Thinnest metal I've yet seen for reflectors, somewhere between a beer can & aluminum foil.

I saw some fixtures once that had 1 inch bolts for fastening belly pans. Had a blunt tip, course threads & a finger grip, similar to wing nut but square. light was threaded for it. They were great but I think I only saw them that one time.

Just an FYI about the reflectors... We use flat white on the inside of electric signs in our industry for the best "reflecting" light no matter the source of illumination. Mirror finishes like stainless steel produce the worst effects for lighting.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
Just an FYI about the reflectors... We use flat white on the inside of electric signs in our industry for the best "reflecting" light no matter the source of illumination. Mirror finishes like stainless steel produce the worst effects for lighting.

I remember apprenticeship class where one of our books told about white plaster being the best reflective surface, with other shades of white following close behind. I have seen that play out with white reflectors several times. Mirrors do reflect some but make a very harsh glare too. I am going to check around & see if any other suppliers have white reflectors regularly in stock. I had to get what I could quickly find in this case.
 

Electric-Light

Senior Member
I remember apprenticeship class where one of our books told about white plaster being the best reflective surface, with other shades of white following close behind. I have seen that play out with white reflectors several times. Mirrors do reflect some but make a very harsh glare too. I am going to check around & see if any other suppliers have white reflectors regularly in stock. I had to get what I could quickly find in this case.

What I want to know is why white and silver are different color. If white and silver both reflected color equally, I would think they'd be the same color.
 

John120/240

Senior Member
Location
Olathe, Kansas
I remember apprenticeship class where one of our books told about white plaster being the best reflective surface, with other shades of white following close behind. I have seen that play out with white reflectors several times. Mirrors do reflect some but make a very harsh glare too. I am going to check around & see if any other suppliers have white reflectors regularly in stock. I had to get what I could quickly find in this case.

If white is such a great reflector color, why do all of the flourscent can lights I see have chrome reflectors ?
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
What I want to know is why white and silver are different color. If white and silver both reflected color equally, I would think they'd be the same color.

Mirror lenses are more like chrome, not silver. Silver is usually a flat, slightly whitish metallic look. White is more like a plaster or drywall painted white.

Think of a mirror, a silver dollar and a wall painted white, standing side by side. 3 distinct looks.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I am not up to speed on all the terminology that applies, but isn't a white surface reflection more of a diffused reflection and a mirror or other similar surface more of a directional reflection?
 
If white is such a great reflector color, why do all of the flourscent can lights I see have chrome reflectors ?

Marketing :happyyes:

Think of a homeowner looking at two different lights. One has a nice shiny reflector that simulates a mirror in their bathroom and one has white. Which one are they likely to choose?



I am not up to speed on all the terminology that applies, but isn't a white surface reflection more of a diffused reflection and a mirror or other similar surface more of a directional reflection?

Yup :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

A/A Fuel GTX

Senior Member
Location
WI & AZ
Occupation
Electrician
I've noticed ALL the customer supplied fixtures from the big box stores are Chinese crap. The higher end fixtures are usually still from China but the quality is much better.
 

marshatl

Member
On the white versus mirror finish, typically the mirror finish is an Alanod product that is about 95% reflective. Great for maximizing light out of the fixture, but terrible for glare if looking at it from 10' away. Plus it can also focus the light to a sharper beam angle. So mirror is great at 20'+ for pushing light to the floor and getting it on the ground whereas white (about 92% reflective) produces a more uniform brightness but is less controlled so it is better at lower ceiling heights where you want the light thrown a wider distance.

As far as downlights go typically the old standby was high performance, deep recess highly specular silver so that unless you look up into the light all your would see is a small hole and then light on the ground. White reflectors would shine and make the ceiling plane more visible. But in the world of today with shallow, crappy metal reflectors/trims they can shine and glare just as much as a white one would. Cost cutting efficiency as they say. When fluorescent highbays came out they were $200 each without lamps. Now you can get one with lamps for $85. Some of that was profit reduction, but of course the quality went down as well.
 
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