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Take out the lamps.
The center cover comes off. It might need to spring in at the bottom edge to release from clips.
It looks like there could be some screws down the center that holds it on.The one at the very end in the half circle does not hold it on.
 

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Change out the entire fixture. Get one with a full reflector to get more light out of the fixture. Or install a led flat panel.
 
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I can't say I've ever seen a fixture quite like that one that's open to the attic. I'd be considering replacing it outright unless I had a box of fluorescent tubes to use up.
 

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I can't say I've ever seen a fixture quite like that one that's open to the attic.
Couldn't be avoided. Normally it's a no-brainer to use a standard fluorescent troffer, but there's a joist there that would interfere with a troffer.

I'd be considering replacing it outright unless I had a box of fluorescent tubes to use up.
Junk em. New 900-series fluorescent tubes like Sylvania 22438 are fantastically better (90-98 CRI) and just normal price ($23 for 10) at the big-box store. That 1960s fluorescent pallor is *just gone*.

You just can't believe how good they look. (don't look at the tubes, look at the stuff the tubes are lighting up). I left some 70 CRI tubes in one aisleway in the storeroom, it's like night and day. And the 1960s jobs that OP has are much worse. The new fluorescents are even better than LEDs really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's a dropped ceiling in my basement. There's about seven of these old T8 fixtures and the ballasts are starting to go. So it seems like the general consensus is to replace the fixture altogether rather than getting the fluorescent that will fit the same fixture with a ballast bypass?
 

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Only Jim is disliking the fixture because it isn't a standard troffer with full reflectors. But a standard troffer won't fit here. No, we like existing fixtures by and large.

The consensus will be to rip out the ballast and wire ballast-bypass LED "fluorescent tubes".

I'm the minority report. I'm doubling down on the new fluorescent tech. I'd throw a $20 General Electric ballast and four $2 Sylvania 90 CRI real tubes in that fixture, and have better light than you can get from common LEDs. It's all Tier 1 suppliers, the stuff will work for decades. And it's cheap!
 

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I don't like the fixture because you are wasting light going up above the ceiling instead of the room below where you want the light . The fixture was junk new. There are much better options.
 

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I don't like the fixture because you are wasting light going up above the ceiling instead of the room below where you want the light . The fixture was junk new. There are much better options.
The nice thing about LED tubes is the light is directional, they focus the light down.

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