Way to control two fluorescent bulbs in the same fixture individually?

I would like to set up a few fluorescent light fixtures that each have one blacklight bulb and one white bulb. I would like to be able to control them individually so that I can have either the blacklight bulb or the white bulb on at any given time. It would be preferable to be able to dim the white bulbs, but this isn't necessary. I am okay with running a 14/3 power cable assuming two ballasts would fit in one fixture. I would also like to accomplish this as cheaply as possible.  Thank you.

sort by: active | newest | oldest

The only safe way I know how to do this is to have two ballasts in your fixture. And have each switched individually. Larger fluorescent fixtures usually have two ballasts to begin with and need to be wired together to become one light. If you had such a fixture you would be golden. Moving into the realm of the less Kosher, you could just add switches in the wiring for the bulb's sockets.

mrandle3 years ago

This should be doable. This is how old dark rooms for film are setup. They have a black light so you can see in the dark and light for emergencies/cleaning/ exposing all the film and making everybody mad etc.No idea where you would find thin information but maybe you can research dark room setup circuitry?

iceng3 years ago

Dimming ballasts are going to be more expensive.

Ask for a florescent driver for your ? watt lamp on eBay.

rickharris3 years ago

In general you can't dim flourescents.

You will need to supply 2 circuits for the tubes, or I guess you could break the circuit internally between the tube and the ballast and switch that.

natedawg1013 (author)  rickharris3 years ago

I would like to use a dimmable ballast to make the lights dimmable. I just need to know if there are any dimmable ballasts small enough to take up only half the space inside the fixture and cheap enough to be feasible. It would be even better if there existed a ballast where both fluoescent tubes connected to it could be controlled individually. Do you think it would make sense to put a relay between the ballast and bulb? What are the voltages and currents I would need to deal with?