Converting PC Fixture to T5


Active member
I have a Custom Sea Life 36" 2x96W PC fixture that I would like to convert to T5. It has 2 x Workhorse 5 balasts in the unit.

Can I just get a bunch of T5 endcaps, mount them and connect them to the ballasts?

Is there anything else that I need to consider? I probably won't have room for individual reflectors, so I'd be stuck with the single, built-in one.

Also what is the totall length of a 36" T5 bulb, including endcaps?



Premium Member
Your wasting your time if you don't use individual reflectors. They are what differentiate the T5s from the power compacts, T8s and T12s. A power compact bulb and T5 both burn at about the same efficiency. Much of the light from a Power Compact setup is wasted due to the inability to wrap it with a properly shaped reflectors. Shoving a bunch of T5s side by side under the same reflector will end up with the same result :)


Active member

Thanks for the thoughts. I kind of figured that there wouldn't be much of a difference in light output, but I'm having a hard time getting 96W bulbs at a reasonable price in my area, so I thought that I'd make the switch.


New member
Wait till you see the price of quality T5 lamps, plus the workhorse ballast is not a proper T5 ballast. It is an instant start ballast, whereas the T5 specification is for a programmed/rapid start. I have also had reliability issues with fulham ballasts in general. Mis application, affects the output/and or longevity of the lamps themselves.


Johnny C

New member
Rybren- I have a friend who is selling a 36'' four-bulb Tek fixture here in Buffalo (he's also on RC). If you are interested, let me know and I'll have him PM you. The tek fixtures are AWESOME and are very high quality. :)


Active member
Thanks for the offer, but I think that I'll pass. We can get TEK lights locally, but this was more of a thought to DIY a fixture.

Judging by the replies, it sounds like my plan isn't worth the effort.