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Does anyone know what would happen? Does the ballast limit the power? If the T5 HO lamps were less expensive than T5 non-HO lamps, would it be ok to just use them in a non-HO luminaire?

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The HO bulbs require more power output to operate than regular bulbs... and that is why there is an HO ballast, to provide that extra power. You could put a regular bulb in an HO fixture, but not vice versa.

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HO always needs more power... Standards pull only what they need. As will all power supply type devices, the source can feed less load, but not more. – Fiasco Labs Aug 9 '13 at 21:07
@FiascoLabs This information is simply not correct and is dangerous advice. Do not do this! Florescent devices are negative resistance devices and do NOT work the way you think. See: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/58111/… – Ariel Jan 20 '15 at 20:31

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