John I believe you are correct about the remote ballast. Didn't catch that. I'm still wrestling with the double ended lamp when it come to "U" shaped lamps. I've kinda settled in on the fact that the lamps with an Edison base and the lamps with that "modular" connection are not considered to be double ended.
Yes George, Edison, intermediate, candelabra bases, the 'G' families of CFLs, MR-16 families are all not double ended. The 'U' tube however is; think of it as any bulb (ballasted) having pins, etc on two ends.
The tubular quartz bulbs are also double ended, but they don't have a ballast. LOL!! Wait 'till 2017??
What's there to wrestle with? "U" bulbs use the same ballasts.
I've contended all along that every issue we have regarding these disconnects would be solved the moment Advance Ballasts decides to furnish one with the ballasts. Considering their market share, their choice would become the 'standard' by default.
Though, to be fair, one could meet the disconnect requirement with a simple cord & plug.
The only problem is that the only fixtures I've seen come with a cord & plug had ballasts that could not be replaced.
Remember: the only reason for this disconnect is to allow for changing ballasts without having to kill power to the circuit. If the ballast is contained in the bulb, you 'disconnect' it when you unscrew the bulb.
I think Reno is on the right track. The reality is the industry should have tackled this by now and agreed on a single style of disconnect (plug) for the ballast. Something where the patent has expired. I can understand you have a lot of connector manufacturers and they are all saying "pick me" but it is something NEMA should address. Imagine what the world would be like if they didn't have a standard for 120v 15&20a receptacles and caps.
The worst thing that can happen is for there to be a different plug on every brand of ballast. Most would end up cut off and laying on the floor if they didn't match the receptacle in the luminaire. Then you are back to unscrewing wire nuts and working the wires hot, what the code rule is trying to avoid.
How about a standard receptacle (NEMA 1,2,3 or Europlug) inside the frame where the ballast just plugs in. Then make a standard connector for each of various bulb types and combinations as ballasts are currently made for.
Yeah, multi-voltage ballasts would have a problem with that. Maybe a new multi-voltage receptacle design with a pin for each common voltage category? A 5-pin polarized connector should be sufficient for up to 277. Multi-voltage devices can have pins for supported voltages.
If only one hot line gets wired in the frame, then it would be safe for electronic ballasts to just connect all the voltage pins together, while multi-voltage magnetic ballasts can bring those to the appropriate inductor taps.