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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a drop light that had florescent bulbs. I trashed the hand held part of the light and want to repair it. I want another hand held florescent bulb device on the end or maybe a LED equipped hand held. My question is this....what is that yellow "box" between the 120 plug and the reel? How does that effect my getting a florescent hand held replacement or maybe a LED equipped replacement hand held device. Incandescent bulbs are off my list....they seem to last minutes in the old style drop like hand held units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Probably a ballast needed for the fluorescent tube…

Claude.
Ok but if I want to save the reel and run another hand held end with say LEDs I assume the ballast has to go?

Another option is to order a florescent hand held and retain the ballast that is there. The florescent hand held that are available don't SEEM to have a ballast but if there is a ballast built in to the hand held "end" then I would need to remove the one that is there now or run two ballasts. .....confused!
 

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I use the rough service bulb in the incandescent. They just seem brighter.
I think that is the ballast or starter on your rig.
 

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Yeah I guess you could simply replace the fluorescent light by a new one and leave the ballast there. :yes: As for incandescent bulbs, they're not practical because nowadays there are so many newer alternatives to them. They get too hot and sooner or later you'll end up burning yourself on them…:angry:

Claude. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I guess you could simply replace the fluorescent light by a new one and leave the ballast there. :yes: As for incandescent bulbs, they're not practical because nowadays there are so many newer alternatives to them. They get too hot and sooner or later you'll end up burning yourself on them…:angry:

Claude. ;)
Yes there is always the "feel the burn" factor and I just never had one of the incandescent bulbs last for "s----t". Even the rough service bulbs are short lived for me! I can recall one project where I just got so PO'ed with incandescent bulbs failing after what seems to be a relatively light tap that I washed my hands and went to the store to get the florescent reel and light combo.
 

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Do yourself a favor for New Year's Day :) and get another fluorescent light…or even better would be to get an led replacement. Led's also last longer, do not get excessively hot (just warm) and give a bright white lighting.

good luck,

Claude.
 

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Fluorescent bulbs need a ballast to work. If you change the handheld on the end of the cable to a regular screw in incandescent bulb, you'll need to remove the ballast so the bulb receives full 110 voltage.

If you change to an LED head, you'll still need to remove and bypass the ballast.

It's probably easiest to simply replace the broken fluorescent lamp with a new one.
 

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Yes to help find the trouble but the ones with the wire cage and shatty hook cause more trouble than anything. Cuss, cuss,cuss.

Try again, not the Light of Zertha
 

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While todays technologies use semiconductors and PWM to fire a fluorescent lamp, they’ve traditionally been powered with a transformer based ballast. Placing this ballast in the handle of a fluorescent drop light added weight so until the newer technologies came along (and down in cost), it was placed in the cord near the plug or as a wall wart.

This is why we find newer fluorescent drop lights without a ballast in the cord but they can still be bought with them in the cord.

In the case of the OP’s drop light, it is surely a ballast for the fluorescent bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fluorescent bulbs need a ballast to work. If you change the handheld on the end of the cable to a regular screw in incandescent bulb, you'll need to remove the ballast so the bulb receives full 110 voltage.

If you change to an LED head, you'll still need to remove and bypass the ballast.

It's probably easiest to simply replace the broken fluorescent lamp with a new one.
Cannot simply replace the lamp...the holder that the lamp sits in is kaput. It did not stand a chance against the weight of the car backing over it. Its gotta have a new hand held end / device.
 

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It did not stand a chance against the weight of the car backing over it.
Shame on you. I have a led light I bought at Sears that had the most led's in it that I could find but even though the light is whiter I think my yellow handle fluorescent with two bulbs and two switches is brighter. I bought that one at either Home Depot or Lowes. What you could do to your recoil is put a plug in end on it and use it like a recoil able extension cord and just plug whatever you buy into it. That's how mine is. Use it for drop lights the vacuum, etc.
 

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The box is a transformer on mine. The fluorescent drop light has a 12v tube in it, had to replace it last year when I ran it over. Didn't damage the housing or the plastic cover around the tube. My setup is probably 30+ years old, my dad gave it to me 20 years ago, it has the Matco name and part number on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The box is a transformer on mine. The fluorescent drop light has a 12v tube in it, had to replace it last year when I ran it over. Didn't damage the housing or the plastic cover around the tube. My setup is probably 30+ years old, my dad gave it to me 20 years ago, it has the Matco name and part number on it.
Yup there is a transformer in there..opened it up this AM. I am going to remove the transformer and then reuse the box as a junction box to reconnect the wires that formerly went thru the transformer. Going to order a new florescent yellow handle and attach it to the end of the extension cord coming out of the reel. That should get it going.

I sure am disappointed in the changes that have occurred since the old days. Something lasted 30 years back then, now if ya get 30 weeks of use you are ahead of the game. Oh well it is what it is.

For Hank.....running over that thing was one of those "ahhhh s___t" moments for sure! You feel so darn dumb after doing something like that. Had more than a few of those moments in my day. Once I drained the oil out of my GTO and poured back 7 quarts of oil.....only realized I forgot to reinstall the drain plug when my feet started slipping around on the floor. Another "Ah s___t" moment. That one was worse cause I had to WALK 2 miles to the AP store to get more oil. Funny now but I was not smiling that day!
 
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