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From GE's website:

What is a ballast, and how does one work?
A ballast is an electrical component used with a fluorescent bulb (or mercury vapor lamp or arc lamp) to conduct electricity at each end of the tube. It supplies the initial electricity to the bulb that creates light, and then it regulates the amount of electricity flowing through the bulb so that it emits the right amount of light.
The cheapest way in my opinion to do DIY lights is to buy a $10 light at home depot and take it apart and use those components in your DIY system.
 

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tannable75 said:
The cheapest way in my opinion to do DIY lights is to buy a $10 light at home depot and take it apart and use those components in your DIY system.
Has anyone tried taking one of those $10 4' shoplights and using the ballasts to run 24" tubes?

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 
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