Replace Power Compacts with T5 Lighting

The Problem:

My current power compact lighting is positioned too high in my hood resulting in a shadow where the metal halide lumieres obscure their light. I would also like to move to higer wattage fluorescent lighting than my current dual 65 watt PC's.

The Solution:

I purchased an Icecap ballast capable of driving two five foot T5 bulbs, two actinic bulbs, a DYI T5 retro-fit kit, and reflectors.

I spent a weekend morning attaching the retro-fit kit to a couple of 2.5 inch wide boards that were approximately five feet long, and then suspending them in the hood with chains. Wood and chains were purchased at Home Depot. The wiring diagram provided by Icecap was adequate; however, not having done much electrical work before, I was a little scared to fire them on at first. They came up, and all was well.


Icecap Ballast - The Icecap ballast's relatively short wiring harness made it a little difficult to wire five foot bulbs. I had to mount the ballast in the center of the rear exterior of the hood in order for all wiring ends to meet their respective end caps. Also the retro-fit kit doesn't include wiring for the jumpering of multiple bulbs. I had to purchase some extra 16 gauge wiring (yellow) in order to complete the project.

Wiring - I'm not satisfied with how I dressed the wiring for the retro-fit kit. I will need to revisit this on another weeked.

T5 Bulbs - Five boot bulbs are difficult to install inside of a hood. I'm so glad that I didn't purchase the six foot ones.

View of front T5 bulb

Closeup of front T5 bulb