Tag Archives: diy

Process: Wiring Fluorescent Ballasts On The Cheap

My first exposure unit. February 2015 - May 2015. RIP.

My first exposure unit. February 2015 – May 2015. RIP.

A couple weeks ago I broke my first makeshift exposure unit. I was using three 500 watt halogen lights in combination with a compression system (glass, stencil, screen, foam, plywood) held together with clamps. It started with a single halogen at a long distance and I kept adding lights and decreasing the distance. During this last burn the stencil film even melted a bit. Well, the clamps didn’t allow the glass to expand (from the heat) and the whole thing broke. So I’m moving on to a new system and today I’m going to detail wiring fluorescent light ballasts to save a buck.

Fluorescent light fixtures are available in a number of configurations. However, they are often costly and the spacing of bulbs is rarely ideal for exposing screens. My hope is that my move to fluorescents will dramatically decrease exposure time and heat.  Continue reading