HELP!!!!! === BLACK FLUORESCENT TUBES- BALLASTS

fse

Member
Location
Minnesota
I recently installed 60 of these 2 lamp fluorescent fixtures, each with black tubes. Also installed 20 of the same fixtures with standard white T8 tubes. Since the new install, 4 months ago, we have replaced almost all of the black tubes and 25 ballasts in those black light fixtures (standard 2 lamp open strip fixture).

None of the white tube fixtures have been affected.

now a month after replacing them, at least another 70 bulbs and 12 ballasts are out again on the black tube fixtures only.

It is in a laser tag area and a new ARCADE area with 50 new arcade games. Power for the lights and games are on the same newly installed panel. The same panel has a new roof top fed from it also.

Can anyone help me out on this as to why the black tube fixtures are going so quickly!

Power company has had no power surges either. and the main power usage for the building is not an issue either.

Thanks
Ryan
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I am not that familiar with those lamps but I would likely start by looking up the manufacturers stated lifespan and compare it to the standard lamps.
 

fse

Member
Location
Minnesota
I am not that familiar with those lamps but I would likely start by looking up the manufacturers stated lifespan and compare it to the standard lamps.
these lamps are rated for 20,000 hours! And they do not run all day, only when the laser tag area is used - so maybe 5 hours a day......
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Some ballasts are rated only for use with power saving 36W 48" tubes while the black light tubes are almost certainly normal 40 watt design.
I would suspect a bulb/ ballast/ voltage mismatch somewhere.
Are the black light bulbs Rapid Start or thermal starter? And are the tombstones wired correctly?
 

RLyons

Senior Member
Some ballasts are rated only for use with power saving 36W 48" tubes while the black light tubes are almost certainly normal 40 watt design.
I would suspect a bulb/ ballast/ voltage mismatch somewhere.
Are the black light bulbs Rapid Start or thermal starter? And are the tombstones wired correctly?
I'm guessing golddigger is correct.
Check the blacklight bulbs are they F32 T8, F40 T8 or are they T12's? I found T12 4' blacklight bulbs to be easier to find.
Then open the fixture and check to see if ballast lists the bulb you are using.
 

Rampage_Rick

Senior Member
Assuming that the OP installed T8 blacklight bulbs and the ballasts are spec'd for T8s, could it just be poor quality bulbs? I'm not familiar with any of the usual manufacturers making a F32T8-BLB.
 

fse

Member
Location
Minnesota
Some ballasts are rated only for use with power saving 36W 48" tubes while the black light tubes are almost certainly normal 40 watt design.
I would suspect a bulb/ ballast/ voltage mismatch somewhere.
Are the black light bulbs Rapid Start or thermal starter? And are the tombstones wired correctly?
The ballast are F32T8, instant start.

The black light bulbs are 32 watt, style BLB for black light bulb
 

cpinetree

Senior Member
Location
SW Florida
no they are different suppliers / brands
Who's lamps and ballasts? part numbers?

Is the ballast manufacturer and lamp manufacturer paying you for material and labor to reinstall?

Sylvania does, but I don't see them making an F32T8/BLB

Universal and Advance ballasts also have a decent warranty program, they don't pay your full labor rate, but it's better than doing it for free.
 

cpinetree

Senior Member
Location
SW Florida
Still available in 6 pack! :thumbsup:
I would say the thing to do is buy GE ballasts and lamps.
GE ballasts: http://www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/na/images/16233_UltraMax_T8_Brochure_tcm201-20993.pdf

We have been using the MAX-N-Ultra ballasts for a few years and I don't recall ever replacing any under warranty.

I would contact a GE rep and see how their warranty program works if you use their lamps + ballasts.
Sylvania extends their warranty when you use all Sylvania in fixtures, not sure how GE works.
 

fse

Member
Location
Minnesota
Who's lamps and ballasts? part numbers?

Is the ballast manufacturer and lamp manufacturer paying you for material and labor to reinstall?

Sylvania does, but I don't see them making an F32T8/BLB

Universal and Advance ballasts also have a decent warranty program, they don't pay your full labor rate, but it's better than doing it for free.
The ballast manufacturer is Cooper and the bulbs are some generic garbage - we don't know where they came from - my supplier says Candela.....but they are not what we specified, HIKARI lamps are the ones we wanted.
Cooper is paying for replacement of the ballasts for the first round of replacements but not sure on if they will this time around.....
 

fse

Member
Location
Minnesota
I would say the thing to do is buy GE ballasts and lamps.
GE ballasts: http://www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/na/images/16233_UltraMax_T8_Brochure_tcm201-20993.pdf

We have been using the MAX-N-Ultra ballasts for a few years and I don't recall ever replacing any under warranty.

I would contact a GE rep and see how their warranty program works if you use their lamps + ballasts.
Sylvania extends their warranty when you use all Sylvania in fixtures, not sure how GE works.
Thanks for the info - I will check this out. Not sure what to do though with this if COOPER wants to replace with their own ballasts!
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
The ballast manufacturer is Cooper and the bulbs are some generic garbage - we don't know where they came from - my supplier says Candela.....but they are not what we specified, HIKARI lamps are the ones we wanted.
Cooper is paying for replacement of the ballasts for the first round of replacements but not sure on if they will this time around.....
If you didn't get what you specified you should either get money back or the vendor needs to give you what you spec'd.
 
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