I have a customer who wants me to install some 5ft fluorescent fittings for her, however, she wants to be able to dim them, god knows why, but, has anyone ever heard of this?. What type of gear do you need for this?. Could you please help-
I know that Advance Transformer has "Dimmable" Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts (to be used with Dimmers), which are designed for 220 - 240 VAC and either 50Hz or 60Hz.
Know this from seeing 20 stacks of Pallets with these Ballasts, while I was recently at Advance Transformer's West Coast Distribution Center installing some new Receptacles + Circuits for the new "Return To Factory" workstation in the Warehouse.
The Distribution Center was relocated to a nice new Tilt-Up in Chino, CA. back in April 2001. Prior to this date, it was located in Fullerton, CA. from 1985 to 2001. We did the T.I. for them plus Norelco and North American Phillips, plus many added things. Also helped with the move from their original site in 1985 to Fullerton, and with the recent move to Chino. Someone else did the T.I. on the new Chino building.
Man, I was so impressed with the more recent building methods of Tilt-ups!!! So much nicer and easier to run conduit (no more Glue Lams and perlins to saddle!), plus the roof sheathing has reflective coating - instead of the stapled up "foil", which begins falling down after the first year!
I have been out of the new construction phase too long! Last new Tilt-Up I worked on (Shell) was in 1990 or 1991!!! Feel free to laugh and make fun of me!!!
Dimmable fluoro's are rather common around here. The "old" 1980's dimmers have so many drawbacks I can't understand why they were installed at all. Firstly, the dimmers are huge and hums loudly except at max light. Secondly, tubes approaching the end of their life won't work properly at anything but max light: Instead they just flicker or switch on and off.
I haven't seen any problems with the light from modern tubes/dimmers. Also, the dimmers are a lot smaller. Now, a 1000W dimmer for fluoro's fit a normal box. Perhaps a result of the new electronic ballasts?
[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 01-26-2003).]
You are right about the Dimming Ballast + Peripherals being smaller (and more efficient) is a result of improved Technology (Partly from the introduction of modern Electronic Components).
Current designs range from "Hybrid" components (Passive and Active, or combinations of core/coil and discrete Electronic components), to complete IC based VLSI components.
I am totally impressed with the Technology and Equipment found in the Lighting Industry today!!! It has evolved drammatically in a relatively short time (since the 1980's).
The improvements affect all lighting applications - some with small effects, others with major effects.
Dimming Ballasts now come in 3 flavors: * Standard Design (Phase "Chopped" by switching device), * Integrated Circuit (IC) design - used in Program RS applications, * Controllable Integrated Circuit (CIC) design.
Electronic Ballasting has reached into the HID application recently. The primary intentions are energy efficiency and a "Uniform" component which can be used for several different applications, instead of targeted to one specific application. Testing and studies have found that High Frequency operation of HID lamps does not always result in optimum performance - and at times may reduce performance! This is not 100% proven yet - only laboratory studies across a limited range. This seems contradictive for discharge lamps! Fluorescent lamps perform much better at Higher Frequencies (>20 KHz), but the HIDs seem to perform better at Lower Frequencies (<200 Hz).
I could go on and on about the things I have recently studied regarding Lighting equipment!, so to keep from putting everyone in the forum to sleep (bored to sleep), I'll end here.
Scott " 35 " Thompson Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Re: Dimmable Fluoro's?#135582 01/27/0311:24 AM01/27/0311:24 AM
The only time I've looked into lighting was when I made a report on maintenance cost of gas stations. The company ordered fluoro's in batches of tens of thusands: They also specified their own color temperature. As they are outdoors, special tubes which work even in the winter are used. I calculated that each station had an average of two hundred tubes, mostly the 58W type.
Re: Dimmable Fluoro's?#135583 01/28/0312:13 AM01/28/0312:13 AM
C-H, Did them older(1980's) dimmers, have a big Rheostat in them?. We are taking out a whole host of the first types(I think!?), that hum,buzz, etc, one even set the wall lining on fire. And these were only the ones that were running a few fluorescents, some were overloaded beyond belief.