# 12 volt FL lamp/ballast question

#### ScottK

Aug 13, 2012
3
Hi I am a fishing fanatic and have recently tried fishing at night with a borrowed submerged green light with good results. Summer is a great time to night fish as the temps are nice and no boat traffic!

These lights are very expensive to ($220+) purchase and I wanted to see if it were possible to just make one for half that or less. The bulb I want to use is a T8, 36 watt unit, 48" length output 4,300 lumens! here: http://www.bulbs.com/espec.aspx?ID=15049 I am trying to find a suitable 12 volt inverter ballast to drive the single lamp. I have found 12 volt ballasts rated at 32 watt here: http://www.solar-electric.com/tl-ib-110.html So this ballast will run the bulb, but most likeley at a reduced lumen output and ballast life due to overheating: http://www.solar-electric.com/tl-ib-138.html Is there a way to wire a dual bulb ballast to one bulb? These lights are submerged to heat dissapation is readily available. Any help welcomed with this and if you are in the central NC area......you are welcome onboard my boat anytime! #### (*steve*) ##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator Jan 21, 2010 25,505 It would be much simpler and more energy efficient to set up a light using high power green LEDs. Probably smaller and safer too. #### CocaCola Apr 7, 2012 3,635 Why not just get a 48" long 12 Volt florescent fixture that is already built complete with the ballast? Here is just one example... Any RV or camping trailer company will have plenty of options... http://www.americanvan.com/fluorescent-lighting.html Also have you considered the new LED strip lights? They will put out a ton of light and they don't require a converter, just plug in your 12V and you are good to go... 4 @ 48" lengths of the strip light around a dowel rod, sleeved with one of those 48" light tubes in green and you have a 'replica' florescent tube for about$15-\$20 that is basically plug and play...

Example, not the best prices just a random link... The 5050 light strips are incredibly bright and provide a tone of illumination, I just recently upgraded several display cases in a commercial store from the existing 48" florescent tubes using two 48" lengths of white strips instead, works great...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/16FT-3528-5...32?pt=US_Light_Bulbs&var=&hash=item3cc4872950

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-T8-Green-...427?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f17d5be03

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#### ScottK

Aug 13, 2012
3
Thanks all. I will look into the LED option but lumens output is the name of the game here. Everything will be sealed in clear PVC tubing and when submerged the heat dissapates readily into the water.
The only thing that has to be watched is where the wiring enters the PVC tube at the end.

I will investigate the LEDs to see what the lumen output is but if you said you replaced some fl tubes, it should be pretty bright!

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
lumens per watt for LEDs is greater than for fluorescent tubes.

#### CocaCola

Apr 7, 2012
3,635
lumens output is the name of the game here.

The fact that florescent is being used now proves this to be false...

As usual there is other factors to consider and weigh in... And I believe I'm not missing the point much when I state that florescent is being used because it, works and is easy to adapt to this design and purpose in a cost efficient manner...

If you look around it's easy to find the 5050 LED strip lights putting out 4200 or so lumens per 5m length, that is roughly 16 feet or the four 48" long strips I suggested... Putting you right in line with the T8 bulb you where planning to use, add a 5th or 6th strip to the tube and you easily bypass the T8 tubes output... And it's just a simple 12V connection, no transformer fuse...

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