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35w SOX lit first time on F32T8 ballast

35w SOX lit first time on F32T8 ballast

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I found this lamp in 2010 in the recycling and finally am lighting it up for the first time. I missed my opportunity to get an affordable 35w SOX ballast but have been thinking about trying this experiment for a long time. Running a cheap instant-start ballast for two F32T8s that should put out 265mA per lamp (not sure it does exactly), should get me in the ballpark for proper operating current for 35w SOX. While I haven't measured it yet, it did start, run up and has been operating for over an hour with no overheating or signs of any issues. While I wouldn't do this for a permanent installation, I think I may retrofit one of my display fixtures with this setup as I don't have any SOX streetlights yet.

Sylvania_1972_clear_top_175w_DX2B.jpg 35w_SOX_lit2B.jpg Neon_indicator_repair2B.jpg Sylvania_500w_incandescent_mogul2B.jpg

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Filename:35w_SOX_lit2B.jpg
Album name:arcblue / Bulbs in captivity
Keywords:Lamps
File Size:292 KB
Date added:Nov 17, 2019
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Bottled lightning
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Nov 17, 2019 at 10:07 PM Author: Bottled lightning
I think a 3 lamp ballast or 3 outputs of a 4 lamp ballast would work better, I tried the same thing with an f40t12 and it drew 38w witch would mean ~400ma lamp current and I think 35w sox is .6a.
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Nov 17, 2019 at 10:14 PM Author: LightsDelight
Nice! I'd be watching the current

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arcblue
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Nov 17, 2019 at 10:26 PM Author: arcblue
You are right and yes - the lamp is rather underdriven on this setup. It’s probably running at or below 30 watts and 0.4 amps so - nope, not going to keep running it this way. Some sodium was still in the dimples after running several hours - is this normal or is it all supposed to be vaporized?

I think a 4 lamp T8 ballast with three lamp leads connected may yield about 0.6A...I don’t have such a ballast now but they are easier to find than SOX ballasts.

I'm lampin...

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Nov 17, 2019 at 10:32 PM Author: LightsDelight
arcblue - in my experience running LPS lamps right I always see sodium in the dimples. I'm not the person to ask for lamp advice

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Lightingguy1994
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Nov 17, 2019 at 11:10 PM Author: Lightingguy1994
Try a 50w mh ballast or a 39w one if possible.

On another note. I have had luck running 50w MV lamps on a 55w sox ballast but everyone on here was worried about the high ocv
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Nov 18, 2019 at 06:53 AM Author: Bulb Freak
Aye a 39W Metal halide ballast is pretty bang on spec for a 35W SOX lamp

a 50W Mercury ballast will also work well,

all are about 0.6A


if you dont have a suitable ignitor, an FS4 starter wired across the lamp terminals should get it started


and yes sodium will remain in the dimples LPS lamps are a saturated lamp in operation

(its for these reasons you let the lamp cool down before moving it, as otherwise you can cause the liquid sodium to spill around in the arc tube)

My other hobby is buses, especially the Routemaster

sox35
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Nov 18, 2019 at 07:01 AM Author: sox35

You are right and yes - the lamp is rather underdriven on this setup. It’s probably running at or below 30 watts and 0.4 amps so - nope, not going to keep running it this way. Some sodium was still in the dimples after running several hours - is this normal or is it all supposed to be vaporized?

No, there will always be some excess sodium, that's normal. Try to get the current as close to 0.6A as possible though.

Ria in Aberdeen
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Nov 18, 2019 at 07:19 PM Author: lights*plus
Out of extreme curiosity does your F32T8 ballast show the OCV?
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Nov 19, 2019 at 10:23 AM Author: arcblue
600V. It looks like it’s a bit hard on the cathodes when starting but then a magnetic ballast can be too.

Thanks for the info about the excess sodium. Am wondering if running a SOX lamp slightly under its rated current may be OK as long as it’s warming up completely and the electrodes are getting up to proper temperature?

I'm lampin...

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Nov 19, 2019 at 10:31 AM Author: Bulb Freak
depends by how much, since you cant provide cathode heating your a bit limited on how much you can under drive them

indeed starting for a LPS lamp is quite hard on the electrodes always regardless of ballast type, since its always cold starting, but since they were designed to be used in street lighting applications, with relatively few switching cycles took place, this was deemed to be acceptable,

(it is worth noting that earlier thorn SLI/H lamps and most GEC SLI/H lamps however had preheatable cathodes and did in the early days indeed run on switch start circuits)

Low pressure sodium lamps are very dependent on being up to the right temperature, even a small amount of under running could make a big difference regarding light output etc

also looking at the above picture, it does not look like it has warmed up properly, and the electrodes and u bend are still partly in the Neon/argon penning gas phase

this can be a problem as it speeds up the argon absorption by of the glass, leading to a premature increase in striking voltage which could cause the lamp to fail to strike in time, if left to run like this for long periods of time

so I would find a better ballast then the current one being used in the picture

My other hobby is buses, especially the Routemaster

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Nov 19, 2019 at 11:03 AM Author: sox35
LPS lamps were designed for one switching cycle per 24 hour period. Also it's best to run them for a minimum of 5 hours or so, to help counteract the argon cleanup problem, especially on the bigger lamps like the 180W ones.

Ria in Aberdeen
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Nov 19, 2019 at 11:05 AM Author: Bulb Freak
"Also it's best to run them for a minimum of 5 hours or so, to help counteract the argon cleanup problem, especially on the bigger lamps like the 180W ones."

from what I understand thats only a problem with much older SOX/SOI/SO/H lamps and only has to be done once if the lamp has sat for 40 years etc, more modern lamps have better glasses that mean thats not so much of an issue (and they are just physically newer!)

happy to be corrected tho if im wrong and a nice long run never does any lamp any harm anyhow!

(unless its a 6 hour photoflood bulb or something! LOL)

My other hobby is buses, especially the Routemaster

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Nov 19, 2019 at 11:11 AM Author: sox35
Hmm, possibly, although I always like to err on the side of caution. Now that SOX lamps are no longer being made, I don't want to wear too many out..!

Ria in Aberdeen
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Nov 19, 2019 at 12:13 PM Author: tuopeek
Nice clean example, look like its from the 1980s (Philips design)and hardly used.
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Nov 22, 2019 at 10:41 PM Author: arcblue
Hopefully this lamp will ignite again! Didn't want to run it 6 hours on the low current. This actually is an SOI, not a SOX. It wasn't fully warmed up in top photo, but I think it did make it pretty close.

Somewhere on this site I saw reference to a 35/39w metal halide ballast being able to run 35w low pressure sodium at pretty close to the correct current. If this is true, I may try that next. Would electronic or magnetic be better?

I'm lampin...

Lightingguy1994
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Nov 22, 2019 at 11:18 PM Author: Lightingguy1994
Probably magnetic is best. You can also get a 55w LPS ballast to run 35w sox, most of them are dual rated for both.
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