In my situation, I'll be using 18" bulbs, and in the current cabinet I'll be using four of them. So I'll need two ballasts, four bulbs, eight sockets, and a piece of 1"x8", cut to appx 18.5" (I had mine cut to 20" to be safe, but there's a good inch of wasted board.)
First, place your sockets on one end of the board, and trace where they are, as well as a little mark in the center of the notch on the bottom. That notch is where they slide onto a screw to hold on to the board. Once you've marked the board with where the screw should go, just press it in a little and start turning the screwdriver. (I wouldn't advise the drill for this part.) Once it's almost all the way in (1/8" showing?) try to slip on the socket. Then adjust it so that you can slip it on, but it's a tight fit.
After you've done that, and they're attached firmly, place a bulb into it, and into another socket. Trace where the socket at the other end is, and mark the center. Repeat the previous steps, until you've finished attaching the sockets.
Once all your sockets are placed, bore a hole through the board, about an inch inside the socket. This can be done a few different ways, but I used a 3/8" drilling bit and got them done nice and quick.
Attach the ballast to the back of the board, centered between the sockets. I just put a couple screws in the corners of mine (using a hand powered screwdriver) attached it more than adequately.
I used a four bulb ballast, and wired it to use two bulbs, a method known as overdriving. More information, as well as wiring diagrams, can be found at the thread going on here
. Your board should look something like this after the wiring, if using the same setup as me. (The wiring is a little different for a two bulb ballast using one, and wiring them regular.)
You're almost there! Get your male ended cord, wire up the black and white wires, screw them tight, and plug it in!
(Last two pictures taken before ballast was attached)
Edit: Oh, I forgot. I've got a couple of S-screws that I'm just going to put in the four corners, and hang it by a chain so it can be lowered right on top of the plants.
Here's the overdriving wiring guide. Even if you're not using this, it shows how to wire it normally.
Originally Posted by bounty29