Advances In Energy Conservation by Paloma Carden

By Paloma Carden

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Electrical aspects of operation Different ballasts for fluorescent and discharge lamps Fluorescent lamps are negative differential resistance devices, so as more current flows through them, the electrical resistance of the fluorescent lamp drops, allowing even more current to flow. Connected directly to a constant-voltage power supply, a fluorescent lamp would rapidly self-destruct due to the uncontrolled current flow. To prevent this, fluorescent lamps must use an auxiliary device, a ballast, to regulate the current flow through the tube.

Life of electronics is heavily dependent on operating temperature—it typically halves for each 10 °C temperature rise. The quoted average life of a lamp is usually at 25 °C ambient (this may vary by country). The average life of the electronics at this temperature is normally greater than this, so at this temperature, not many lamps will fail due to failure of the electronics. In some fittings, the ambient temperature could be well above this, in which case failure of the electronics may become the predominant failure mechanism.

These lamps allow consumers to replace incandescent lamps easily with CFLs. Integrated CFLs work well in many standard incandescent light fixtures, reducing the cost of converting to fluorescent. Special 3-way models and dimmable models with standard bases are available. Non-integrated bi-pin double-turn compact fluorescent lamp Non-integrated electronic ballast for compact fluorescent lamps Non-integrated CFLs have the ballast permanently installed in the luminaire, and only the lamp bulb is usually changed at its end of life.

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