Author Topic: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures?  (Read 772 times)
WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « on: June 18, 2023, 01:31:42 AM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
Whenever I import a fluorescent or HID fixture not intended for use in my home country that is designed for a different mains voltage and/or frequency, I often change the ballast to one intended for use in my home country so that I can use that fixture in my home country. Does anyone else change ballasts in fluorescent and HID fixtures that are not intended for use in their home countries that require a different mains voltage and/or frequency than their home country’s domestic mains voltage and frequency?
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Desire to collect various light bulbs (especially HID), control gear, and fixtures from around the world.

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Re: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #1 on: June 18, 2023, 03:41:12 PM » Author: lights*plus
For me in Canada, if the ballast is nice & clean, electronic or magnetic, working correctly at 240v and the fixture is occasionally used for show, I simply use a 120-to-240 step-up transformer. If the parts are in sorry shape then I replace them with N. American gear. But this is rare.
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joseph_125
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Re: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #2 on: June 18, 2023, 04:26:47 PM » Author: joseph_125
I've kept the original gear and ran the light using a 240v 50hz inverter before and I've also switched out the original gear with the 120v 60hz equivalent before.

The same applies for lights with gear like 277v, 347v, 480v although in those cases I'm more inclined to just switch out the ballast, especially if I could find a OEM example.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2023, 05:19:20 PM by joseph_125 » Logged
RRK
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Re: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #3 on: June 18, 2023, 09:21:07 PM » Author: RRK
I would try to keep the original ballast for historical accuracy. For example, for your new Japanese fixture you can do a compact step-down autotransformer from almost any surplus 120/15V transformer of an appropriate power. (~15W for 100W load) . You need to account for power factor of the load if it is not corrected.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2023, 09:34:16 PM by RRK » Logged
WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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Re: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #4 on: June 18, 2023, 10:21:45 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
Since I am considering using that pendant fixture for my college dorm, I want to minimize the amount of weight so that it could hang from command hooks and installing a transformer makes the fixture very cumbersome. That’s just me. In addition, I also like to consider installing some other Japanese circline pendant fixtures directly to the ceiling of my dream house and use a pendant canopy kit. That is another reason I like to change ballasts when importing foreign fixtures that are not designed for 120v 60Hz mains.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2023, 10:32:24 PM by WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA » Logged

Desire to collect various light bulbs (especially HID), control gear, and fixtures from around the world.

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: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #5 on: June 18, 2023, 10:52:39 PM » Author: RRK
Actually, 15W transformer is not that large/heavy. If weight is an issue, I would consider installing a modern programmed start 2-lamp electronic ballast with a suitable current. It will be much easier on the cathodes of hard-to-find circlines, and you will not feel guilty each extra time you turn the light on-off :)
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WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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Re: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #6 on: June 18, 2023, 10:54:01 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
For me, I personally prefer magnetic ballaste because they are more reliable and electronic ballasts are more prone to failure. So far, I am happy with the way that my Japanese fixture is configured and the lamps run at full power. In addition, I personally enjoy magnetically ballasted fluorescent lamps due to their 60Hz flicker. In addition, I can still find plenty of 30w and 28w 225mm T9 circline fluorescent lamps in North America and Japan. As a matter of fact, they are still being made for use in both of these countries even to this day. This means there are plenty of these lamps that I can stock up on and there are also some electronic versions of the E17 intermediate base starters available in Japan as well.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2023, 11:11:48 PM by WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA » Logged

Desire to collect various light bulbs (especially HID), control gear, and fixtures from around the world.

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: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #7 on: June 18, 2023, 11:36:36 PM » Author: RRK
Haha, a dislike for electronic ballasts goes almost religious sometimes )

I think the argument about the reliability is not fair anymore, at least for home use in a controlled environment. You probably will get tired of the luminaire and replace it long before the projected ballast EOL. Electronic starters are a good idea, too. Interesting what kind of schematic Japanese use. Some variants are quite harsh on the tube start, some like the European design based on ST micro's TN22 SCRs are practically perfect.

 

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joseph_125
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Re: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #8 on: June 19, 2023, 12:40:09 AM » Author: joseph_125
Yeah, also the name brand stuff (Sylvania, Advance, and Universal over here) seems to be fairly reliable for home use. The only ballasts I've had fail were typically off brand stuff that came with cheaper fixtures, and even those lasted for a decade in home use. I agree you'll probably end up getting bored of the luminaire or source and end up switching it up before the ballast or even the lamp dies.
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Re: Does anyone change ballasts when importing foreign fluorescent and HID fixtures? « Reply #9 on: June 19, 2023, 03:16:38 AM » Author: funkybulb
  I did change a Ballast in my Fitzgerald Light pack 110 volt model.  I have a VS ballast for US market with UL rated ballast
 For 120 volt 60 Hz.  I did that to make my light legal to install
 and use Every day with my normal house wireing.
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