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Buy a plug at a hardware store, then you can connect the wires using a screwdriver. With a three prong plug, a third wire (ground) connects to the ballast housing. The white wire (neutral) connects to the wider pin of the plug.

Alternatively, if you know how to solder and have some plugs laying around from discarded appliances and such, you can solder a plug with a length of cable to the ballast wires. Or you could use wire nuts to connect the wires, but that's a bit icky.
 

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Are these real?
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15,726 Posts
If you are talking about the GE Plants and Aquarium bulbs, if I remember right, they are not that great. They are supposed to be a plant grow type bulb, but they look very dim. So that could be a factor. I'd recommend some "daylight" type bulbs.

Also, these are T8 bulbs, right? A two foot 18W bulb isn't going to be very bright. You might be thinking PC bulbs, or even T5HO.

There is a way to get more light out of dim bulbs, called overdriving, but most likely you don't have the right ballast for that.

You can bridge the contacts on your endcaps, again that depends on the ballast, but I don't think it will make any difference in brightness. Worth a try though.
 
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