The ballast provides a high initial voltage to initiate the discharge, then rapidly limits the lamp current to safely sustain the discharge. For a given ballast, the percent flicker will be a function of lamp type and phosphor composition. Instant Start Operation Lamp electrodes are not heated prior to operation. Ballasts are designed to optimally operate a unique lamp type; however, some ballasts will adequately operate more than one type of lamp. To avoid a drastic reduction in lamp life low ballast factor ballasts (<70%) should operate lamps in rapid start mode only. This allows control of one or more ballasts independent of the electrical distribution system. increased light output efficiency, reduced weight, Shown above, a Triad electronic ballast for fluorescent light fixtures. To dim lamps, magnetic dimming ballasts require control gear containing expensive high power switching devices that condition the input power delivered to the ballasts. Noise is rated A, B, C, or D in decreasing order of preference. RS: Rapid Start Ballasts: the high starting voltage required to ignite the fluorescent lamp is applied simultaneously with the operation of heating the electrodes within the lamp or bulb. A fixture with a T8 ballast must use a T8 bulb, etc. Thus, the lamp voltage crosses zero 120 times each second, resulting in 120 Hz light output oscillations. Once the lamp is started, the gas offers a decreasing amount of resistance, which means that current must be regulated to match this drop. One characteristic of iron-cored electromagnetic ballasts operating at 60 Hz, is the generation of audible noise. Continue readingĀ at FLUORESCENT LIGHT FIXTURE BULB / BALLAST DISPOSAL or select a topic from the closely-related articles below, or see the complete ARTICLE INDEX. Electronic ballasts improve the efficacy of Thus, a fluorescent lighting The power required to keep electrode voltage constant over all dimming conditions means that dimming ballasts will be less efficient when operating lamps at dimmed levels. The losses in magnetic ballasts have been reduced by substituting copper conductors for aluminum and by using higher grade magnetic components. Above: top of photo: an older magnetic ballast produced by Advance Transformer Co, used to support a 30-Watt or 40-Watt rapid-start fluorescent lamp. Used to overdrive lamps. operated at 60 Hz. The advantages of rapid start operation include smooth starting, long life, and dimming capabilities. ballasts requires less electricity to produceĀ  the same amount of light as a 60 Hz magnetic A 'starter switch' closes, permitting a current to flow through each electrode. Fluorescent Although a lower ballast factor reduces lamp lumen output, it also consumes proportionally less input power. However, if the input power for a particular lamp-ballast system is known (usually found in catalogs) an estimate of the ballast factor is possible. system using high-frequency electronic Ballast designs using different lamp-starting strategies. 12 percent more light than the same lamps Otherwise, the lamp would draw more and more power and rapidly burn itself out. Magnetic ballast: (shown in the photo above) used in high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps and in older fluorescent light fixtures, a magnetic ballast is an older and simple ballast design using a magnetic core and coil transformer to produce high voltage. All gas discharge lamps, including fluorescent lamps, require a ballast to operate. Above: I have labeled the wires on the original ballast as well as at the fluorescent light fixture before disconnecting the ballast to remove it. However, these lamps tend to flicker during starting and have a shorter lamp life. This is why fluorescent lamps ... must be operated by a ballast, which provides the required starting voltage and then controls the subsequent flow of current to the lamp. Careful circuit design increases efficiency of electronic ballasts. Click to Show or Hide Citations & References, FLUORESCENT LAMP INSTRUCTIONS, PARTS, REPLACEMENTS, FLUORESCENT LIGHT FIXTURE BULB / BALLAST DISPOSAL, FLUORESCENT LIGHT TRANSFORMER / BALLAST REPLACEMENT, FLUORESCENT LIGHT TRANSFORMER / BALLAST TYPES, FLUORESCENT LAMP CONNECTOR / SOCKET REPLACEMENT, ARTICLE INDEX to ELECTRICAL INSPECTION & TESTING, HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION COURESES (Canada), HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION: HOME STUDY COURSES. A magnetic ballast alters the voltage, but not the frequency.


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