T12 to T5HO conversion
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
Jonny Rotten
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T12 to T5HO conversion


I gutted my t12 fixture and made it a t5ho.For anyone on the fence,I highly recommend it.Total cost $37.Total time 1/2 hour.I saved alot of money and have a good light.I bought a workhorse 5 ballast a couple of sockets,wire ties.and a couple of screws.It was SO easy.I only used one 54w 48" bulb.For a 55 gal that should give me med light with the hood you get in a package tank deal.Crappy reflector im sure,but med light none the less.If I ever want more light I can rewire with the same ballast and add a bulb.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:50 PM   #2
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So how do you do it exactly? I can get ballasts for free from my work, but I don't know what size ballast to use. I have a couple old t12 hoods in my garage I would love to convert but I'm not really sure how.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:07 AM   #3
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This is for a 48" 54w t5ho single bulb wiring only.This ballast will run more than one bulb,but I only needed one.The workhorse 5 will power many lights,check there website for fitment.
On the side of my hood are round plastic clips holding the reflector in place,remove those.take reflector out,flip over.Remove everything except switch and power cord(Disconnect those wires and leave intact in hood)Everything else is garbage.On backside of reflector screw on ballast,position so its under the vents in plastic hood.The workhorse has 4 red wires and 1 yellow.Take any one of the red wires and connect to 2 wires on end socket(all 3 wires will be in 1 wire tie)One side done.Take the yellow wire and connect it to 2 end socket wires(all 3 in one wire tie).Same as the other side.The other 3 red wires will not be used.Your wired up!now for the power.on ballast one black(hot)1 white (neutral)connect black to any switch wire,the other switch wire goes to hot plug wire.white to neutral plug wire,green plug wire gets screwed anywhere on reflector.Done.If you dont know what plug wire is hot.go to HD and get a temp pigtail light $2.Take any wire on that,connect to green plug wire.Take the other end and touch it to one of the plug wires if the temp light comes on thats your power,if not its the other wire.Test this BEFORE you connect any plug wires to switch or ballast.When your all wired up put the T5 in end sockets,mark holes on reflector then screw in place.The T5 bulb is NOT 48" so get bracket end sockets,not the slide in ones and mount to fit.If it sound confusing its not when your looking at it.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:02 AM   #4
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I just realized your getting free ballasts from work,they may be totally different wiring.Here's a pic of temp light and the bracket end sockets anyway.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:18 AM   #5
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I think the wiring for ballasts is pretty standard. I'm more concerned about voltage. Most of the ballasts at my work are rated at 120v, I'm not sure if this will work for a t5 or not. This is the only part I question about retro fitting. I can pretty much gut housings and connect wires all day...the detail about ballast size and voltage is where I get lost. I don't want to use the wrong ballast and blow a bulb or breaker. My fluorescent hoods I have are 24" a bit smaller than your 48".
Anyhow I appreciate the input. I might just try it and see what happens just for the heck of it. Worst case scenario I ruin an old bulb and gut a hood for nothing.
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