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Advance E-PAK34 Ballast

Advance E-PAK34 Ballast

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Here is my new Advance E-PAK34 ballast for two 4' T12 lamps.

Unlike another one I saw, this is rated for two 40 watt lamps as well as 34 watt lamps.

According to Philips' Web site, this ballast offers energy savings with no decrease in light output. I can't quite believe that, however. This has a lower ballast factor (.71 I believe) than "standard" energy saving ballasts at .85. That tells me lower light output.

I'm not sure what I will do with this ballast because I'm switching back to 40 watt lamps in all the lights I maintain. I doubt this will drive 40 watt lamps very well even if it is rated for 40 watt lamps. If I get a chance, I will hook it up and try it.

Edited Jan 4, 2011 to add manufacture date.

ballast~3.jpg cop40400.jpg ballast~2.jpg ballast~1.jpg

Light Information

Light Information

Manufacturer:Philips Advance
Model Reference:R-2S34-TP
Lamp
Lamp Type:Fluorescent
Fixture
Ballast Type:Magnetic Rapid Start
Physical/Production
Fabrication Date:November 8, 2008

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Album name:nogden / Fluorescent
Keywords:Gear
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Date added:May 06, 2010
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rjluna2
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Robert


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May 07, 2010 at 04:03 AM Author: rjluna2
Can you read the date stamp under the ballast?

Pretty, please no more Chinese failure.

DieselNut
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jonathon.graves johng917 GeorgiaJohn
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May 07, 2010 at 06:04 AM Author: DieselNut
Philips's website has information on Advance ballasts?
If it is designed for 34 watt lamps, you are correct, it will under drive full power F40 lamps.

Preheat Fluorescents forever!
I love diesel engines, rural/farm life and vintage lighting!

nogden
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May 07, 2010 at 09:55 AM Author: nogden
Yes, Advance is now owned by Philips.

I will check the date code when I get home this afternoon.
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jonathon.graves johng917 GeorgiaJohn
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May 07, 2010 at 10:30 AM Author: DieselNut
Really? The quality of some Advance ballasts is about the same as the quality of some ALTO lamps, so they are probably a perfect pair! LOL

Preheat Fluorescents forever!
I love diesel engines, rural/farm life and vintage lighting!

nogden
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May 07, 2010 at 04:57 PM Author: nogden
For the most part, I've been happy with Advance ballasts. I've been least happy with new GE ballasts, magnetic and electronic. I installed a bunch of GE Universal rapid start magnetic ballasts a few years ago and half have already failed. Some even failed under warranty! The remaining GE's have leaked out much of their tar.

Okay, here are the codes from my E-Pak:
08282357
B3040035

I'm not familiar with those codes. I assume the first line means the 28th week of 2008? I'm just guessing. I just purchased this ballast a month ago, but it easily could have been in the warehouse for a while.

I'll try to light it up this weekend if I get a chance.

-Nelson
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jonathon.graves johng917 GeorgiaJohn
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May 07, 2010 at 05:34 PM Author: DieselNut
Nogden, All the manufacturers have some junk. I just know how the folks here LOVE ALTO lamps. I have had some terrible and excellent experiences with them. I have also had terrible and excellent experiences with Advance ballasts. The terrible ones are ones where they fail within a couple years. Out of 10 F96T8 (277V) fixtures in my company shop, three ballasts failed sooner than 2 years. These lights are used 8 hours a day, mon-fri. All ALTO lamps are original from when I converted to 277/T8! Out of 16 fixtures at a friend's restaurant, four of the Advance "centurion" 120-277 volt 4 lamp F32T8 ballasts have failed. All the lamps there are original GE Octron 3500K. The building/lamps are less than four years old. Both of these Advance ballasts are made in Mexico. I can't imagine how failure prone the made in China Advance ballasts are!
Highest failure rate I have personally seen for magnetic ballasts has been SOLA F96T12 2 lamp 120 volt (these REALLY suck) and SOLA F40T12 2 lamp 277 volt. Both are the made in China versions from the late 1990s.

Preheat Fluorescents forever!
I love diesel engines, rural/farm life and vintage lighting!

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Robert


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May 07, 2010 at 06:57 PM Author: rjluna2
Man, these newer ballast have more complex date code than the older one. You may be correct and I am still not sure how they revised the new date stamp at the bottom of the ballast

Pretty, please no more Chinese failure.

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May 07, 2010 at 09:34 PM Author: J-Frog
My Advance story is for all the Advances I've come across, they have a slightly lower output than all the other major brands like Universal, GE, etc. I've noticed this with the F96T12, F40T12, and F32T8 ballasts made by Advance from any given year after being bought by Philips. On top of that, at least for me every F96T12 ballast made by Advance seem not to do too well in even slightly cold weather, while the Universal ones do fine.

Jeremiah The Bullfrog

DaveMan
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May 08, 2010 at 02:20 AM Author: DaveMan
I second that on the Advance slimline ballasts. I decided to take the leads off of the one I have, or at least cut them short so I could move them to a Valmont slimline ballast that also has its leads cut short cause the Advance ones seem to pulsate any lamps that go in it when they start up. It's gets annoying. The Valmont definitely works and it performs a lot better.

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May 08, 2010 at 09:21 AM Author: J-Frog
Yeah the pulsating seems to happen even when it's above 60F ambient!

Jeremiah The Bullfrog

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May 08, 2010 at 12:08 PM Author: RCM442
The Advance ballasts I change at work have problems too! when they fail, they will usually leave one lamp out, and the other lamp is dimly lit! and these are u-bend lamps!

Linear fluorescent will never lose to LED!
I am not Anti-LED, as I have some in use at my house.
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May 08, 2010 at 12:53 PM Author: nogden
My favorite ballast for 8' slimline lamps is GE Bonus Line ballasts. Most of the lights in my garage have 70's Bonus Line ballasts. They are quieter and start better than new Advance or Universal ballasts. The new Advance ballast I installed pulsates and "rumbles" at startup no matter how warm it is, even with 75 watt lamps. The Universal also does that when it is below 60 degrees and is very noisy. The old Bonus Lines could probably pass as "sound rated A" because they are so quiet.
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jonathon.graves johng917 GeorgiaJohn
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May 09, 2010 at 12:54 PM Author: DieselNut
GE "Bonus Line Ballasts" are some of the best made. The F40 versions are really good too.

Preheat Fluorescents forever!
I love diesel engines, rural/farm life and vintage lighting!

nogden
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May 11, 2010 at 08:24 AM Author: nogden
I hooked up this ballast over the weekend to test it and it acts just like an Advance Mark III. I can't tell any difference. It powers 40 watt lamps just like a Mark III, a little underdriven, but not too bad. 34 watt lamps don't seem to work better on this ballast than any other energy saving ballast.

This ballast is also a little noisy. I wouldn't want all the lights in my office to have this ballast. Otherwise, it works fine.

-Nelson
ace100w120v
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Mar 02, 2014 at 08:46 PM Author: ace100w120v
Yeah those F40 Bonuslines are great! Mine had F34s when I got it, and despite being rated for them (and .80 amp full power) it had overheated and leaked tar. However, it still works wonderfully!
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Sep 07, 2014 at 08:14 PM Author: themaritimegirl
I found this ballast in the 2002 Advance catalog, and based on the data Philips' statement that this ballast saves power while maintaining light output is technically false, but depending on how you look at it, it could be considered partially true.

With 40 watt lamps, this ballast is rated for a ballast factor of 86%, compared to 95% on the R-2S40-TP, and is rated for a total system power of 79 watts, compared to 86 watts on the R-2S40-TP. That's a light output loss of 9.5%, for an energy saving of only 8%, rendering Philips' statement completely false.

With 34 watt lamps, however, ballast factors are 87% and 88%, respectively, and total system power is 68 and 72 watts, respectively, for a light output loss of only 1% for an energy saving of 5.5%. 1% less light output will undoubtedly go unnoticed, so you could indeed consider Philips' statement true, in this case.

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