Can 220 volt electric flourescent light fixtures be wired for residential panel at 110 volts?

I got some flourescent light fixtures for free and they are for a hospital that is wired for higher voltage for the lighting than 110v.

The voltage on the box says 277 volt, but I think this is that they are rated up to 277, but made for 220 volts wiring.

Do hospitals use 220v for their lighting?

Is there a way to find out more about these light fixtures to be sure I wire them correctly?

I want to wire them to use as indoor lighting for a house, and will wire in a 220 breaker, but need to know if i am right about the lights and the voltage rating for the wiring.

Any advice is helpful and if you are an electrician, leave me an email or a website to learn more or to ask more questions.

The light fixtures are brand new and never opened and they were just throwing them away.

I have multiples, I want to wire them in parallel fashion to a 220 breaker in an existing house panel.

Am I right, will this work?


10 Answers

  • Rich Z
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    What you would need to do is replace the original ballast in each one with a 120 volt ballast that has the same wattage rating as the lamps. Look up the manufacturer's site for a ballast and see what they have in 120 volts. I am guessing if the fixtures are really good ones it will pay to try a mod of one to see if that will be economical and practical. If they were just cheap fixtures the ballast cost might be worse than just dumping those and buying new 120V ones.

    The alternative is to sell those 277 volt ones on eBay and use the money for new 120V ones.

  • 1 decade ago

    Those fixtures are made for 277 volts. The service at the hospital is 480/277 instead of the 240/120 you have in your home. That is very common in commercial buildings. Some modern ballasts can be connected to either 277 or 120. Look on the ballast to check. If it says only 277, you will need to swap the ballasts with 120 volt ballasts in order to use the fixtures at home. There is a wiring diagram on each ballast that shows how to connect them. No, they will not work on your 240 volt breaker. Email me if you have more questions.

    Source(s): I'm a real electrician
  • Irv S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    There are two commonly used single phase,

    grounded neutral voltages in the U.S.

    120V. --standard residential buildings,

    and, 277 V. - high capacity commercial buildings.

    DO NOT try to wire those fixtures at 220V.

    They are designed to have one side connected

    to a grounded neutral and 220 would be too low

    in any case.

    Instead, look at the ballasts. With luck they will be

    dual voltage units with capped wires for 120 V. connection.

    If not, they are probably high quality fixtures, and installing

    120V. ballasts will be worth the trouble.

    Source(s): Retired Electrical Consultant.
  • sullen
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    120 Volt Ballast

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  • 3 years ago

    277 Volt Wiring Diagram

  • izzie
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Hospitals, institutional, industrial facilities use 277 for lighting 220 would be odd.

    If the voltage is stated only as 277V on the ballast/transformer then it is clear.

    Call the manufaturer of the ballast for the information you seek.

    I do't see an advatage unless these lights will be in constant use.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    NO! 277 is derived from wiring a phase to a neutral in a 3 phase industrial or commercial electrical system. If an electrical appliance is manufactured for 277v that means it should be operated at 277v. Operating at any other voltage could create an overcurrent condition or fire.

    Source(s): 20 years experience in industrial maintenance.
  • 1 decade ago

    These guys are right cant use em unless they are a multitap transformer/ ballast. If there are several unused wires coming out of the transformer it may be possible to use em. You could ask the handyman at the hospital if he has the instructions that came with em. OR take it to your local electrician and he could tell you right away.

  • 1 decade ago

    ky1un02 is right. The only way to use these light will be to change out the ballast in them. More money than the lights are worth.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    220v fixture used in 220v service is okay

    220v fixture used in below 220v service will not be lighted

    220v fixture used in above 220v service ballast will burnt out

    of course we are talking about 20% over or under.

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