Converting T12 VHO to T5 HO with same ballast? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Converting T12 VHO to T5 HO with same ballast?

I have a T12 VHO ballast from:

PFO lighting inc
model # PFOH-4
60 Hz, 120 V, 1.82 x 2 amps

It is wired to 4 T12 VHO 48" bulbs.

Is there any way to use this ballast wired to T5 HO?

The T12 bulbs are 110 Watts each, whereas the T5's run at 54 Watts apiece. I am assuming that this is not possible but I thought I would ask since I really have no clue about how this works.

Also, if anyone has a good link to DIY flourescent lighting please share


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 08:29 PM
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A Google search shows this to be a common question, with no educated answers. Based on experience with florescent ballasts and bulb experimentation, I'd guess the T5HO would light. Quality and brightness is a question.

For example, I got some two tube T12 ballasts that will properly run 48", 60", and 72" lamps. Comparing specifications from manufactures suggested they would run two T5HO lamps. They did light up, but that's as good as it got. I've got flashlights that put out more light.

So, I'll suggest selling the VHO setup on a reef forum and purchase a known to work T5HO ballast such as a Fulham Workhorse 7. Diagram 7 shows the wiring.

As to DIY sites on florescent lighting, there are too many with a bit that is correct and lots that isn't, and lots of manufacturers sites with specifications but no DIY info. You'd have to do as I did and slog through a lot of them and build a body of knowledge for your self. I'm fortunate in living near a university with a surplus outlet. I've been able to test a lot of combination's of parts that one wouldn't normally have access to.
After a lot of work and note taking, I've settled on using off the shelf shop lights on bare bottom breeding tanks and used commercial aquarium fixtures on planted and show tanks. The next light setup I DIY will be LED.
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 05:11 AM
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No it won't work. NO, HO, and VHO are three different animals. Results can very from no light, to dim bulbs, to damaged bulbs, to exploding bulbs.

Look at lightbulbsdirect.com for proper ballasts. And there are several other sources. Use search phrases: fluorescent ballast, and T5 HO fluorescent ballast.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the response guys, that is what i figured, but I wanted a confirmation since as mentioned by dbosman, the answers from a google search are less than informative.

I think I will just try to sell the VHO set-up and buy a prefab T5 HO unit.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 05:02 PM
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I know the IceCap/Workhorse Electronic Ballasts can power VHO's and T5HO's the same, but it sounds like you would need to run 2 54w T5HO bulbs in a series on *your* ballast for it to power them properly since it uses 110w T12 bulbs. That *may* work and could definitely solve the brightness issue dbose was referring to. BUT, it also may not work due to the ballast not providing enough amps and/or volts for the T5HO's. I'd say if it's an Electronic Ballast, it'll probably work with the bulbs in a series, if however it's a magnetic ballast, you'll be hard pressed to make it work if it doesn't specifically say it'll power them right on the ballast.

Hope that helps.

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