I just spent the last hour on the Web researching T8 ballast my guess is the FCC 47 cfr part 18 compliance, so who is the electronic's expert that can explain this. Is the shop a commercial environment?
I am not an expert on T8 lights, I hate dealing with the two little connector pins so I went with T12 in my shop. The FCC quote on the ballast is regarding possible radio/electronic device interference (radio buzz) ballasts are becoming electronic more often than magnetic because of a government deadline coming up in the not too distant future.
The store where you bought the ballast should be able to tell you if the "no residential" restriction is based on the FCC classification or some other code requirement.
The "correct" answer is probably to call your local building inspector, explain the circumstances, and see what your options are.
Depending on where your shop is, you might also try installing one of the ballast and see if it screws up any nearby radio, tv, ham radios, pacemakers. As long as you do not have a bed and/or kitchen in your shop, I think you have a good case that it is not "residence."
Usual disclaimer: :eusa_hand:eusa_hand I am neither a lawyer nor electrician, nor do I play one on TV. Take my thoughts for what they are worth -- which probably is not much.
FWIW I just installed 6 of these units http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/...ode+matchall&recN=112580&N=0&Ntk=P_PartNumberin addition to 4 similar t12 fixtures that I already had. The small boombox style radio in my shop went from picking up several radio stations from up to 80 miles away to only being able to pick up 1 local station. I never had any interference problems with the t12's magnetic ballasts but these t8 (probably not the best quality)ballasts were a disappointment for me. The instant "on" in cooler temps is nice but I will probably either end up trying a "debuzzing" coil I believe it's called or eventually replace the balllasts.
I bought 8 of these 2' x 4' troffers at my local BORG about 3 years ago and they are great as shop lighting (they come with the T-8 bulbs and have a 6-foot long metallic whip for easy hookup to ceiling boxes). I hung them on short chains with "S" hooks. At about $40 each, they are great -- I've never noticed any radio interference.
I got the low down on Consumer vs Commercial applications. I talked to "Donna" at GE this morning and she told me that this unit does not have all the filters to stop radio interference in it, but as long as every thing is WELL grounded it will work just fine. That suits me to a "T" because I double ground everything.