Lamps & Ballasts intro and Review

Jan. Products

Lighting ballasts are as essential to a fluorescent lamp as an engine is to a car. In essence, they provide the power behind the light, serving as both an inhibitor to limit the flow of current and as a conduit to supply the voltage to ignite the lamp.

There are two main types of lighting ballasts - electromagnetic and electronic. Universal Manufacturing Corp. introduced its first electromagnetic ballasts in 1947.The ballasts have an electromagnetic core-and-coil transformer and operate the lamps at 60 Hz. They are known for their quality and reliability and have a 12-15 year life span.

The electronic ballast in was introduced in 1967.Electronic ballasts incorporate smart circuit components that provide improved light output (high ballast efficacy factor) and performance, are lighter in weight, operate cooler and have the greatest energy savings potential.Electronic ballasts feature integrated circuit and feedback controls that can be used to manually or automatically dim lights, detect room occupancy and interface with energy management systems while they are more expensive, they have a 15-18 year life span.

“Electronic ballasts with T8 fluorescent lamps provide the greatest energy savings, a quick return on investment and improve working environments in new or existing lighting applications,” says Janice Rewers of Universal Lighting Technologies.

Because of the significant energy savings that electronic ballasts promote and the desire to develop buildings that are energy-efficient, the U.S. Department of Energy sponsored legislation that will eliminate the use of electromagnetic ballasts, in lighting installations over the course of the next decade.

The law provides that effective in 2005, original equipment (fixture) manufacturers must install only electronic ballasts in their systems. The same law applies to the replacement/distribution side of the business, but does not become effective until 2010.Today’s electronic ballasts already comply with the DOE ruling.

Relighting Jefferson

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, located just south of the White House, was recently relit with new Metalarc high-intensity discharge (HID) metal halide lamps, resulting in energy savings of 80 percent. The lamps are supplemented by light-emitting diodes (LED) that lasts up to 100,000 hours, giving the 1943 memorial a new look for 2002 and beyond. Pic 1

Osram Sylvania.

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Power source

Ballasts for use with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) provide full-range controllability, allowing users to adjust light levels to any point within 5 to 10 percent of full light output. The Mark VII Controllable Electronic Ballasts are compatible with practically any 0-10 volt control, allowing users to implement energy management techniques including "daylighting" and "load shedding" throughout buildings. Pic 3

Advance Transformer.

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Energy savvy

This 300-watt metal halide lamp provides as much light as the traditional 400-watt pinched-body lamp and thus greater energy savings. The Uni-Form lamp has a tipless technology for superior color uniformity, equal to ceramic metal halide. Pic 4

Venture Lighting.

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Double duty

Fluorescent emergency ballast packs allow the same lighting fixture to do double duty under both normal and emergency conditions. During interruptions of line voltage, standard linear fluorescent lighting fixtures switch on to provide emergency illumination in all commercial and institutional environments. The 200 Series will automatically switch to emergency mode and provide 90 minutes of lamp operation. Pic 5


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Secure space

Security lighting with a reflector and an aluminum shroud provides precise light control, directing light downward, washing the wall below and to the sides of the fixture. This wide distribution permits maximum spacing between fixtures. Inside the die-cast aluminum housing of the E3 Series, a thermal chamber separates the ballast from other electrical components to reduce operating temperatures and extend component life. Pic 6

Rudd Lighting.

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Power play

Luminaire is available with high-performance segmented optics and a convenient removable power tray, which features the ballast and other components mounted in a unitized tray that hinges out of the housing with quick disconnects. The Contour Series KAD is best for outdoor lighting applications. Pic 7

Lithonia Lighting.

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Constant color

High-watt and high color rendering index (CRI) lamp with metal halide technology offers enhanced color consistency with color variation many times smaller than a standard metal halide lamp. The ConstantColor ceramic metal halide is suitable for retail, convention centers and other general lighting applications where color is critical. Pic 8

GE Lighting.

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Flip on

Industrial and outdoor lighting system provides faster start-up and restrike time, while offering substantial energy savings. The WattWatcher series High Bay lamp provides more than 20 percent better system efficacy over standard 400-watt metal halide systems and improves optical efficiency, while reducing system power by 95 watts. Pic 9

Day-Brite Lighting.

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Around the clock

Low-voltage lamps feature a double-ended IRC burner and hard-coat dichroic reflector. MasterLine ES lasts up to 5,000 hours and is 30 percent more energy efficient than standard MR-16s. It features a smooth, round beam, consistent white light and an ultra violet-minimizing glass lens.


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Light up my life

Industrial fluorescent fixtures can illuminate even the highest warehouse stack and are energy efficient, while providing clean white light. The HBS 100 is best applied to replace less efficient HID luminaires in grocery stores, libraries and warehouses where bright light is most important.

L.A. Lighting.

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Cool off

A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) burns at 50F to 77F, almost 50F cooler than most CFLs. The CCFL lamp also features an adjustable brightness circuit and has superior vibration and impact resistance, making it flexible and suited for many commercial applications.


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System synthesis

New lamp/ballast system conserves energy, yielding up to 11 percent savings as compared to a standard T8 lamp/ballast system. Without sacrificing lamp life or light output, it is best suited for retrofits and replacements. The system is available with a .78 or .88 ballast factor.

Universal Lighitng Technologies.

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Color me purple

Halogen lighting for color-critical retail displays filters out some of the yellow and red light common to halogen lighting, so the truer colors and textures of the merchandise are highlighted. Because of its special color temperature, the Color-Brite 31 is much closer to that of fluorescent lamps in overall appearance, and it also creates a more uniformly lit environment when a combination of halogen and fluorescent lighting is used.

Litetronics International Inc.

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Colored to perfection

Light Emitting Diode (LED) based low-profile lighting system in a clear acrylic tube is available in eight bright colors including white, blue-green, amber and orange. Litesicles may be used in very small areas including under cabinets or bar tops and provide an intense direct or indirect blast of color.


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