Jul 1, 2019 | OPERATIONS

Once again, I found myself on a ladder, one leg on the top rung and the other on a shelving rack, struggling to replace a ballast that was sucking the life out of our light and our electric bill. You’ve been there, trying to hold the swinging fixture while unbolting and rebolting the replacement ballast… wondering, “who invented that little flat square nut?” — Those old T12 (and T8), 8’ shielded fixtures reside in just about every machine shop I visit. These workhorses provide bright “outdoor” light for a fraction of the operating expense of the incandescent bulbs of the past. But today there is something much better… LED’s. I discovered a new type of replacement that is easier to install, provides brighter light, last 2-3 times longer than T’s (up to 50,000 hours), and will reduce electrical costs by 30%-50%. 8’ LED type-B bulbs fit in your existing fixture, and they run off direct current so you bypass the energy-sucking ballast. The Type-B bulbs are pricey at around $20-bucks each but when you factor-in the cost of the ballast, plus T8/12 bulbs, plus energy, plus future maintenance, it is a good value. In addition to brighter light, you’ll never have to swap a ballast in that fixture again – ever! So, the next time your light is flickering due to a bad ballast, consider eliminating the ballast and replace with Type-B LED.

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing Inc.
N. Kansas City, MO
July, 2019