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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I am trying to build a grow light out of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and I have already purchased bulbs. They are ideal for me because of the color temperature and the shape of the loop.
The bulb is :
-65W
-6500K light temperature
-4 pin tube
-GX10W-4 base

I have tried googling this base code and all that comes up is links to the bulb I've already purchased. I googled 4 pin sockets and found sockets but
I have no clue if these would work with my bulb. Maybe I would be able to just solder my own wires to the pins and skip a socket all together?

Also would I connect these in parallel or series for the maximum/most efficient light output?

I have a total of six of these bulbs. Ideally I would like to make either 2 light fixtures with three bulbs or 3 light fixtures with 2 bulbs. If anyone has advice on what may work better, or what sort of ballast I need to arrange the bulbs in this manner, I'd greatly appreciate the insight!

I tried posting a link to the bulb but I can't since I'm new here. If you search this it will come up: Feit Electric BPFML65/65
 

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Licensed electrician
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Most CFL's are self ballasted.

If you solder to the puins on the bulbs it will make it hard to change the bulbs. A socket makes much more sense.

Series wiring is not used in fixtures. If one bulb gooes out the string goes out.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Jim, any advice on a specific socket to use? And how do I know if this particular bulb is self ballasted? Appreciate the input!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the reply sps1. Just had a look at that and it looks like that base is for bulbs that have a twist and lock feature. My bulb does not have that. I know the base type, its GX10w-4. But there doesnt seem to be anywhere that sells these...
 

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UAW SKILLED TRADES
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That is a specialty bulb/lamp normally used in recessed lighting. I actually have never seen that style in the USA are you possibly in Canada? It doesn't twist in but plugs in with locking tabs. Often called a cfl plug in style lamp. At 65 watts and three tubes it will need a ballast. I would suggest calling Feit electric (google it) and get the information you need. I've never heard of a w-4 base style usually it is q-4 ie GX10q-4 could be a typo on the link you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks stubbie, good idea on contacting feit. And i remember seeing q-4 bases and wondering if maybe those would work, I'll look into it. Do you have any advice on selecting a ballast for a set up of three of these bulbs? Or perhaps two?
 

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Finding a ballast to drive three 65 watt cfl's I don't think is possible, even two of them would be difficult. You might google ballast for 65 watt cfl and see what come up.
 

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Might take a look at some of the grow light forums and see what they have to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is that too much wattage for one ballast? I'll do a google search for that. Also going to try calling some local electric supply stores on monday.
 

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Is that too much wattage for one ballast? I'll do a google search for that. Also going to try calling some local electric supply stores on monday.
In my experience I've never seen more than a 70 watt cfl in that style of base. There are are some but usually self ballasted screw in style as Jim mentioned earlier. Your doing something that is not oridinary, which is not to say it can't be done. The problem is that style lamp is ordinarily installed as a single lamp in a fixture and is matched with a single ballast specific to the wattage. Your trying to do 2 or 3 of them so you may end up needing to look at brick style electronic ballasts that drive multiple lamps. If you drive 3 of these things you will need a ballast that will drive 195 watts which I have never seen for this style of lamp.
 

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Is that too much wattage for one ballast? I'll do a google search for that. Also going to try calling some local electric supply stores on monday.
Might be better to call a light bulb wholesaler like light bulbs etc



14821 W 99th St,
Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 800-4781
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok I understand the ballast matching the wattage now. I guess I could just use 1 light to 1 ballast and just arrange the lights in my own custom fixture however I like. Thanks for the phone number to that light bulb wholesaler. Will give them a call monday!
 
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