Thanks for the great info DiabloCanine, Rex Grigg and briandmiles!
Who would have thought that this little hobby would push me into the fields of botany, zoology, physics, electrical engineering, and now chemistry!!!
And my dad thought my Anthropology degree wouldn't pay off! ha!
Ok, so now my budget has been stretched past the breaking points I am in major need of diy lighting
...... here are a few Q's for all you electricians
1. I've read that 55w pc are actually the same bulb as 65w pc (I talked to a csr at "hellolights.com" who said this was true)... AND it is actually the ballast that DRIVES the light to determine the output. Has anyone verified this? If this is the case...then we all can save some dough and just buy 55w pc's!
2. I've also read (maybe on this forum? - sorry cant find my "favorite" for the link) that any electronic ballast designed to work for NO fluorescent bulbs can be used for Compact bulbs! ie A ballast that will run 2 x 32w t8's would easily power a 55w/65w bulb. If this is true than we're talking major savings with the less expensive ballasts.
I've thought about just giving it a try... but I have this funny aversion to electrocution, explosions and pain
Anyone experimented w/ this ?