Author Topic: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs  (Read 717 times)
HIDLad001
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Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « on: August 16, 2022, 09:10:33 AM » Author: HIDLad001
There is a case of 55w GE Cinemaplus PL-L bulbs at a local secondhand store for probably a reasonable price. I am thinking about picking them up to use as lighting for my YouTube videos. The only problem is that CFL ballasts capable of running 55w lamps aren't exactly common or cheap. If you know of any ballasts that can run these lamps that are readily available, and don't cost too much, then that would be a big help.
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WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #1 on: August 16, 2022, 01:15:38 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
My best bet would be to use a 35w/39w M130 pulse start metal halide HX autotransformer ballast, disconnect the ignitor, and wire in a Philips S10 starter between the 2 center pins. In that case, it would run on a preheat circuit. I believe that a 35w/39w M130 pulse start metal halide HX autotransformer ballast would run a 55w PL-L CFL lamp pretty nicely because 35w and 39w M130 pulse start metal halide lamps run at 85v 0.53a while 55w PL-L CFL lamps run at 100v 0.55a.

Here are links to a couple 35w/39w M130 pulse start metal halide ballasts:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/163876533457

https://www.ebay.com/itm/274909750048

Here is a link to a Philips S10 starter:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/191892440649

Here is a link to a starter socket:

https://www.semperlite.com/product/kulka-596w
« Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 01:18:10 PM by WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA » Logged

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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #2 on: August 16, 2022, 01:49:43 PM » Author: HIDLad001
Do you have a schematic?
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #3 on: August 16, 2022, 01:50:06 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
I can draw it out.
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #4 on: August 16, 2022, 01:58:13 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
Do you have a schematic?

Do you have an email address that I can send a schematic to? I am asking about this because the pictures that I take with my phone make my photos too large. Can you send me your email address in a PM?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 02:01:01 PM by WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA » Logged

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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #5 on: August 16, 2022, 02:13:59 PM » Author: HIDLad001
Ok, I'll PM you.
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #6 on: August 16, 2022, 06:13:13 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
I sent you the schematic and the parts list for making your 55w PL-L setup.
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #7 on: August 16, 2022, 09:30:18 PM » Author: xmaslightguy
You can properly run them on a F54T5-HO ballast...infact some of them even list 55w PL in the specs.
And being something that's common & easy to find, they can sometimes even be had fairly cheap on eBay.

Personally if you're going to be using the lamps as a photo light, I'd reccommend staying away from magnetic ballasts, since so many cameras are crap when it comes to the 60hz flicker with magnetic.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 09:33:27 PM by xmaslightguy » Logged

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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #8 on: August 16, 2022, 09:37:04 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
Indeed. 55w PL-L CFL lamps do not last as long on magnetic ballasts that even run them at full power because they were originally designed for use on high frequency electronic ballasts. For some odd reason, some electronic ballasts are often rated to run lamps that require different currents to operate. F54T5 HO fluorescent tubes in fact run at around 130v 0.45a while 55w PL-L runs at around 100v 0.55a. Personally, I prefer to run as many fluorescent and HID lamps on as many magnetic ballasts as I could because I like their hum and I also enjoy the hertz flicker that emanates from such lamps when they operate on such ballasts. In addition, I also like running as many fluorescent and non-integrated CFL lamps on as many preheat ballasts as I could because I enjoy watching them start up with a few blinks.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 09:39:15 PM by WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA » Logged

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DISCLAIMER: THE EXPERIMENTS THAT I CONDUCT INVOLVING UNUSUAL LAMP/BALLAST COMBINATIONS SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER KNOWLEDGE. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURIES.

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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #9 on: August 17, 2022, 12:13:52 AM » Author: xmaslightguy
@WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA:
Yep, the F54 ballast will likely underdrive them a bit (not sure what it actually works out to.. The .45a would be the same since its a "constant current" source, but I don't know what it would 'see' the lamp-length as - which would determine the volts/watts, but my guess it it'd be 45-50w range)

I mainly suggested it because he wanted to use the setup for doing photos. In that case you ofcourse want to avoid flicker.

Oh and...
I do have to admit it'd be pretty cool to see a larger PL like that start up as preheat or rapid-start(the same would be true for a F54T5 if it could be done)
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #10 on: August 17, 2022, 07:01:53 AM » Author: HIDLad001
Personally if you're going to be using the lamps as a photo light, I'd reccommend staying away from magnetic ballasts, since so many cameras are crap when it comes to the 60hz flicker with magnetic.

I would probably use a programmed-start high frequency ballast
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #11 on: August 17, 2022, 01:44:01 PM » Author: joseph_125
I think a electronic T5HO ballast would be a good option. Especially for photography. Less issues with the 60hz flicker. Although some cameras like DSLRs aren't as affected as say a phone camera would be.

T5HO ballasts are around ~$20 on eBay and probably cheaper if you can find something locally.
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #12 on: August 17, 2022, 02:03:49 PM » Author: HIDLad001
Would this be a good choice?
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Re: Ballasts for running 55W PL-L Bulbs « Reply #13 on: August 17, 2022, 02:07:53 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
The ballast label does show 55w PL-L CFL lamps being listed on it.
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DISCLAIMER: THE EXPERIMENTS THAT I CONDUCT INVOLVING UNUSUAL LAMP/BALLAST COMBINATIONS SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER KNOWLEDGE. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURIES.

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