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InvisibleDrGreenThumb
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Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS)
    #602656 - 12/24/11 07:27 AM (2 years, 9 months ago)

So here it is once again: OD Shoplights.

Building an Overdriven Shoplight.

In order to build an OD shoplight you are going to need 2 lights in order to make 1 fixture. The idea is to combine 2 shoplights into 1. Instead of 1 ballast running 2 fluorescent tubes, you are going to have 1 ballast power 1 tube (and another ballast power the other). Why you ask? This effectively doubles the amount of power (wattage) to the lights. You run regular 40W T8 bulbs at 80W! This is much more then any 54W T5 setup you might be thinking about buying.

Additionally, it runs much COOLER than T5's do. When I veg, many times the plants actually TOUCH the bulbs. As long as they are watered and a small oscillating fan is running they will NOT BURN.

In my opinion this is completely safe. As long as you are not an absolute moron, putting this together is easy. Once you build one the next one is EASY. I have been running 3 of them side-by-side in a small closet 24/7/365 for well over 2 years. I've never even burnt a bulb. (I changed the bulbs at the 2 year mark)

You will need:
2  Lights of America Model 8045E Shoplights (Wal-Mart hardware $10 each) hint: keep your receipt
1-2 boxes of wire tap splices.

Tools: Leatherman, Flathead Screwdriver, Hacksaw


---Take apart both lights---
1. Use your fingers to pry off both endcaps. They are held on by little clips on the reflector. Just twist them a little and they should come off easily without a problem. Then remove the center piece covering the wires. It should pull right out of the reflector very easily.


2. Take the end without the ballast and remove the endcap. Use the flathead screwdriver to bend the plastic surrounding the tabs holding the endcap together. Then jimmy the tabs and it should come apart. Then pry off the wire covers. Some wire covers are easy while others are glued to the post. Just work the screwdriver under the cover and pry up gently. Remove the jumper wire and take the wires out of the endcap.


4. Remove ONE of the ballasts from the reflector by removing the GREEN ground wire.

You should now have 2 ballasts in front of you with three long wires coming out of them.

---Assemble & Wire your light---
5. Remove your ballast caps the same way you did the endcaps. Bend plastic holding tabs. Jimmy tabs. Be VERY CAREFUL with the ballast covers that you don't break anything. Arrange your ballasts like you see in the pic.


6. This is what you see when you open the ballast (1st pic). You want to connect the black and red wires together so they make ONE wire. Use a tap splice. Snip off the end of the black and red wire from one side (2nd pic). And connect the RED to RED and BLACK to BLACK (3rd pic). Do this with the ballast still connected to the reflector.


7. Now you want to take your loose ballast and run your power to the other side so you have 1 cord to power BOTH ballasts. To do this you COMPRESS and TWIST this little plastic piece with pliers (leatherman) until it pops out (1st pic). Then cut the plug off and remove the cord (2nd pic). Note: To close up this side of the ballast you are going to use one of the leftover endcaps without a hole.


HERE COMES THE HARD PART. This is a PITA to do the first time but after you do it once it becomes easy. I can make a complete light in about 30mins.

8. Run the power cord that you just cut OVER THE TOP of the ballast circuit board, through the slot and over to the other ballast. You can remove the ballast circuit board from the box if you take the wires off the light terminals.

9. You want to take the 3 LONG wires from the other side (RED, YELLOW, BLACK) and feed those through the slot over the ballast board. Now connect the RED and YELLOW wires from the other side together using a tap splice. Connect these RED and BLACK wires to the corresponding terminal from the ballast on the other side. Remember, you are using 1 ballast to power 1 bulb. It should look like this.


10. Do the exact same thing to the other side only splice the power cords together. When you run the power from the other side be sure to keep the cord STRAIGHT and FLAT so you can follow where the individual wires go. Separate the wires and find out which wire is connected to the K terminal (on the ballast circuit board) on the other side. Tap splice into the power wire on the K terminal. Do the same with the other wire and just cut the ground wire off. It should look like this in the end.


11. Now put the wire covers back in place. This keeps the wire oriented straight to the bulb terminal and HELPS keep it from pulling out.

---Put it back together---
12. Snap the ballast covers back on. This is not very simple! You need to get all the tap splices oriented right in order to press them together. It may be a tight fit and the ballast casing may bulge a little. This is OK. Just be aware that it may cause your lights to fit tighter. That's good. Just be careful putting bulbs in.

13. Take the CENTER WIRE COVER (The one that runs down the middle of the reflector) and cut off 5 inches using a hacksaw.

14. Snap the ballasts back onto the reflector and replace the center wire cover. Use a twist tie to shorten the power cord running down the center. It should look like this.


Can you tell which one is Overdriven?


The results speak volumes. Short internode spacing, vibrant growth. I can veg for twice as long. Here's a progression.


--------------------
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” -Dr. Seuss


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InvisibleDrG
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #602661 - 12/24/11 08:21 AM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Nice feet mate,hehe,just kidding:-)That's awesome man,and exactly what type of lights I have too!


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OfflineKaptKid
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #602682 - 12/24/11 11:49 AM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Thanks DrG


have limited space in one grow area. Flouros are the only thing that will fit in that area.

Will be interresting to see a before and after on the light meter.

Will see about getting parts after Christmas rush.



:peace:


--------------------
Child of the 60's, Tripping ever sence.


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OfflineRasJeph
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #602687 - 12/24/11 12:08 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Very very nice. I'd love to get some of this setup. I could them in my flower room but don't have room in the veg room. I guess I could make my current veg room a clone/seeding room and just have one room for veg/flower...

Although, I'm not so handy and I'd be terrified of burning my house down :lol:. You have a very nice guide, but I dunno if I trust myself :lol:


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OfflineHempMaster
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: RasJeph]
    #602704 - 12/24/11 03:39 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Awesome work man, wish i had found this b4 i bought my 200w sunblaster. Though the sunblaster works great, but cost me $139 lol next time i'll remember this thread...


--------------------
My Tombstone will read: IwasburiedfacedownsoucanallkissmyA$$
my current grow


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InvisibleDrGreenThumb
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: HempMaster]
    #602893 - 12/26/11 01:57 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

No problem.

If anyone needs some help setting one of these up, I will be more than happy to help. I just built one for a friend while he watched and then he immediately built another one himself, which fired up perfectly on the first try. :super:


--------------------
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” -Dr. Seuss


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OfflineOrgoneConclusion
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #602933 - 12/26/11 06:31 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

This effectively doubles the amount of power (wattage) to the lights



Ture, but the light output is NOT doubled as the response is nonlinear.

Not knocking you or your ideas, but the reason most people avoid over-driving is that the lamps are less efficient (lower LPW) than HOT5s and the bulb lifespan IS somewhat reduced.

Basically you are getting less light and more heat per watt of electricity used. In other words, a 4 bulb HOT5 will clearly outperform a 2 bulb overdriven T5.

The only possible reason I can think of doing what you are doing is in a case of severe space restriction, but in such a case, heat is usually a big issue.


Edited by OrgoneConclusion (12/26/11 06:37 PM)


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OfflineRasJeph
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #602934 - 12/26/11 06:31 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

As a suggestion, make a youtube video maybe? If you have some extra time, I'm willing to bet it would get a lot of views (see: google adsense) and maybe even make you some money!

I'd repost it on other grow sites linking to your video too...

I have ad sense on my youtube, and I make like $5 a month for stupid videos that people must just accidentally stumble across lol. Yours would actually be meaningful and teach people things :thumbup:


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OfflineOrgoneConclusion
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #602939 - 12/26/11 06:37 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

You run regular 40W T8 bulbs at 80W! This is much more then any 54W T5 setup you might be thinking about buying.




Much more what? A 3 bulb HOT5 using 162 watts vs a 2 bulb overdriven @ 160 watts will have way more lumen output. You have gained nothing that I can tell.


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InvisibleDrGreenThumb
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #602955 - 12/26/11 08:55 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

OrgoneConclusion said:
Quote:

You run regular 40W T8 bulbs at 80W! This is much more then any 54W T5 setup you might be thinking about buying.




Much more what? A 3 bulb HOT5 using 162 watts vs a 2 bulb overdriven @ 160 watts will have way more lumen output. You have gained nothing that I can tell.



A single HOT5 bulb runs at 54W. A single 40W T8 runs at 80W. I don't see what you're getting at. :shrug:

You are trying to compare apples to oranges. BULB FOR BULB OD SHOPLIGHTS HAVE MORE OUTPUT.

A four (4) bulb T5 setup runs at (54W x 4 bulbs)= 216W.
A four (4) bulb T8 setup runs at (80W x 4 bulbs)= 320W.
Is that a little more clear for you?
Besides, the results speak for themselves. :ganja:


--------------------
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” -Dr. Seuss


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OfflineOrgoneConclusion
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #602963 - 12/26/11 10:21 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

I was extremely clear for those who do not have a reading disorder.

Overdriven lights put out less lumens per watt and are thus less efficient than HOT5s. This tranlates to more heat per watt; the opposite of what an indoor grower is trying to accomplish.

The results are not relevant.


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OfflineKaptKid
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #602975 - 12/26/11 11:17 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Would be nice to have some links for those of us that don't have a clue about heat per watt.

DrGT, plants grown do look nice.


I have a small space were clones are sexed and seeds are made.
Would be good to kick up the wattage and produce alittle more.
This is all this space will ever be used for.


And just for the record:
T12 =40 watts per bulb
T8 = 32 watts per bulb

At least at the Wal Mart I shop at.


--------------------
Child of the 60's, Tripping ever sence.


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OfflineOrgoneConclusion
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: KaptKid]
    #602983 - 12/27/11 12:46 AM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Actually it is up to the OP to make his case, but he fails to do so. He did not discover something new nor even pass on a helpful hint.

You may check here. There are many sites that will explain this. Here is the relevant paragraph:

Overdriving fluorescent bulbs is a method of getting more light from each bulb than is normally obtained. It involves taking the light fixture apart and rewiring the insides. Each electronic ballast normally drives either two or four bulbs. The ballasts are then tied together in such a way that a two-bulb ballast now drives a single bulb and a four-bulb ballast drives only two bulbs, sometimes it only drives one. Usually, an extra ballast is put into the fixture and wired into the bulb circuit. For instance, if you have four bulbs in the fixture and they have a four-bulb ballast, this ballast now drives two bulbs and another four-bulb ballast is used to drive the remaining two bulbs. If the directions in this article are carefully followed, this rewiring is not dangerous and the bulbs won’t blow up, they simply become brighter. The bulbs are limited by their design to draw only so much current and no more. If you double the amount of current, you won’t get a bulb that’s two times brighter because the efficiency drops off a bit. So even after the increased current is made available, a bulb driven by a factor of two times its normal supply, only gets 1.7 times brighter.

Put another way; the output of the bulbs does not increase in direct ratio to the amount of power the ballast consumes. The more times you overdrive a fluorescent bulb, the less efficient it becomes, as it is starting to drift out of the bulb's optimal design parameters


Summation: An over-driven 2 bulb unit uses the same power as a 4 bulb unit yet puts out 3.4/4 or 85% of the light. That 15% loss turns up as waste heat.

Like I stated there is NOTHING TO GAIN by overdriving. Nada.


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OfflineRasJeph
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #603006 - 12/27/11 09:07 AM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Lol why do you seem so personally offended by this thread?  :finger:

Its great what you have works well for you, but this is a different way of doing things. Maybe not everything is available to everyone dude.

Chilllllllll. :getstoned:


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InvisibleDrGreenThumb
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #603016 - 12/27/11 10:00 AM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

OrgoneConclusion said:

This tranlates to more heat per watt; the opposite of what an indoor grower is trying to accomplish.




This is how close I run my shoplights. No heat issue here. Can you run your T5's this close? I highly doubt it. Your argument is moot. Many T5's have fans built into the fixture to dissipate heat. No need for that here. During the seedlings first week I don't even use a fan because the light is right on top of them.


Quote:

OrgoneConclusion said:
The results are not relevant.



What the hell was I thinking? You are so right. Obviously results are not relevant to you, I saw your little 3w grow and your flawed and stupid electrocuting your plant experiment. So I really don't give a shit what you have to say. Coming from someone who grows one plant at a time, the last thing I have to do is make my case to a 'wannabe' grower. :cuckoo:


--------------------
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” -Dr. Seuss


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OfflineHempMaster
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #603024 - 12/27/11 11:06 AM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

DrGreenThumb said:
Quote:

OrgoneConclusion said:

This tranlates to more heat per watt; the opposite of what an indoor grower is trying to accomplish.




This is how close I run my shoplights. No heat issue here. Can you run your T5's this close? I highly doubt it. Your argument is moot. Many T5's have fans built into the fixture to dissipate heat. No need for that here. During the seedlings first week I don't even use a fan because the light is right on top of them.


Quote:

OrgoneConclusion said:
The results are not relevant.



What the hell was I thinking? You are so right. Obviously results are not relevant to you, I saw your little 3w grow and your flawed and stupid electrocuting your plant experiment. So I really don't give a shit what you have to say. Coming from someone who grows one plant at a time, the last thing I have to do is make my case to a 'wannabe' grower. :cuckoo:




I thought his 3w grow was interesting, but totally impractical as each plant needs to be completely covered by his 3w "pot light" that may work for growing one plant, but try that with 18 lol Still, was food for thought.


--------------------
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my current grow


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OfflineOrgoneConclusion
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #603029 - 12/27/11 01:09 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

What the hell was I thinking? You are so right. Obviously results are not relevant to you



Determining the optimal setup with a non-comparative grow is certainly not relevant. This is the basis for all science. I can see where this tenet might be beyond you.

Quote:

So I really don't give a shit what you have to say.



Talking lighting to an electrical engineer and plugging your ears is very telling.

Despite your numerous asides, you have failed to address the facts as I have stated them.


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OfflineOrgoneConclusion
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: DrGreenThumb]
    #603030 - 12/27/11 01:12 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

This is how close I run my shoplights. No heat issue here. Can you run your T5's this close?




Once again with the tangents. The math does not lie. I am truly sorry you do not understand the nonlinear light/current response, but disseminating faulty information helps no one.


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OfflineOrgoneConclusion
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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: HempMaster]
    #603031 - 12/27/11 01:17 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

I thought his 3w grow was interesting, but totally impractical as each plant needs to be completely covered by his 3w "pot light" that may work for growing one plant, but try that with 18 lol Still, was food for thought.




It certainly is not impractical for early vegging. The experiment as it was laid out was hugely successful. The point I made was clear: that huge amounts of power and light are wasted in the early phase.

I flowered one tiny 12" plant with 15 watts and got 11 grams. Not earth-shaking, but everyone said 15 watts was too way too little to flower with.


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Re: Overdriven Shoplights!!! (Before you buy a T5 READ THIS) [Re: RasJeph]
    #603032 - 12/27/11 01:23 PM (2 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Its great what you have works well for you, but this is a different way of doing things. Maybe not everything is available to everyone dude.




Science and math works the same for everyone. If one has two fixtures and two ballasts as required to overdrive, then one is deliberately taking the time and effort to make a less efficient lamp than using the two as designed.

If going backwards by reducing light and gaining heat is somehow desirable then go for it - but understand it.


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