Replacing 50-ies light ballast / TL lamps in a jukebox

Thread Starter


Joined Dec 13, 2019

I have a rather specific issue I'm hoping you lot could help me resolve.

I am the owner of a ‘59 Wurlitzer jukebox model 2000. Recently I have replaced the original light ballasts, since the old ones were still original and posed a fire hazard due to age, not to mention the noise they made.

After replacing these, I noticed the new ballasts tend to get quite hot, even so that I suspect them to turn off once in a while
since sometimes some of the bulbs turn off and back on after some time.

These bulbs are all old TL lamps and fixtures, combined with their respective starters.

I'd like to know if in your opinion this heating and shutting off issue could be resolved by replacing the TL lights with modern LED, that fit in the fixture.
If so I was hoping you could help me determine which LED plug and play models would work. I live in Europe, so finding the correct US parts is a challenge. It is sadly out of the question to tear out wiring, or replacing the fixtures with modern ones since this would severly impact the value of the jukebox.

The other option I can think of would be to replace the new light ballasts with more appropriate ones, although I thought I had the correct replacements since I got them from a jukebox specialised parts store, although that's clearly not a guarantee.

The original light ballasts were (copper coloured in the photo)
2 x GE 89G525 (4T5 lamp 118V 60CY .125AMP)
4 x GE 89G457 (14-15-20watt 118V 60CY .38 AMP).

These have been replaced respectively with what I could find locally: (white coloured in the second photo)
2 x ROBERTSON SP79P (120V 60Hz 0.18A)
4 x ROBERTSON CC1420 (120V 60Hz 0.35A).

TL lights connected are 15 inch TL F14/T12 36 cm and 6 inch TL 4W/33 13,5 cm.
There are others too but I need to look in the manual for that this evening.



Joined Sep 30, 2009
I'm sure someone will come along and disagree with me, but I was always told, to replace the bulbs when replacing a ballast. The tubes change over their life time, and a new ballast can be ruined by old tubes. But like i said that is just what I've been told for years on this subject by many different people.


Joined Feb 22, 2014
I'd love to disagree with shortbus, just cos hes waiting for it.. however im not much of an expert with ballasts! But would it just be "cleaner" and safer to go completely LED, just use some low voltage strips and an off the shelf LED power supply. You could even go "fancy shmancy" and have colour changing ones!


Joined Jan 23, 2018
It looks like those ballasts are the 2-wire series inductor kind, and that the la,ps also use starters. Is your power 50 Hz or 60 Hz? One thing that worked very well for me was to add a second ballast in series, which lowered the lamp power quite a bit and also reduced the light output some. That would allow the lamps to last longer and also reduce the heat. If the frequency is lower then the ballasts are not reducing the current enough.