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LowPressureSodiumSOX
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. « on: January 25, 2012, 04:51:17 PM » Author: LowPressureSodiumSOX
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« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 04:50:51 PM by LowPressureSodiumSOX » Logged
Ash
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Re: What's better: Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts? « Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 05:35:12 PM » Author: Ash
There is no 1-rule evaluation for this

Each ballasts have its advantages or disadvantages. You pick the 1 most suitable for the specific task - in type, power, way of starting etc



Electronic have the advantages of :

 - Higher efficiency - It takes less energy to work so is better choice for running on limited power source, or where energy is the main concern

 - Flicker free - It does not make 100 / 120 HZ flicker whih exists to some extent in all 50 / 60 HZ magnetic ballasts

 - Often (but by far not allways) longer lamp life

 - Better control of moderate line voltage fluctations - It does not overpower or underpower the lamp severely when the input voltage is somewhat off



And are bad in :

 - Higher sensitivity to environmental factors - they get very easily damaged by overheating, vibrations etc - which causes many failures even in normal use if the ballasts quality is low or conditions are severe - either of which happen extremely often

 - High sensitivity to spikes and surges - they will be damaged by small surges, ones that 50 / 60 HZ magnetic ballasts will withstand for many years without any problem

 - Imposing limitaions on fixture design and ballast placement - it have requirements like max allowed wire length between ballast and lamp, which are much less strict for 50 / 60 HZ magnetic

 - High emissions of interference around 40 KHz - they will pollute the power line at close frequencies and can be a problem for other devices sensitive to this
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Medved
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Re: What's better: Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts? « Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 05:58:40 PM » Author: Medved
There is not only one "correct answer". Each of them have their plus and minus sides.
Electronic are indeed more efficient, so could cut energy costs.
Electronic are lightweight, so help when the fixture anchoring have limited strength.

Magnetics, mainly the EU style series chokes, are simple and mechanically robust, but heavy.

Because of the high efficiency, the electronic have way larger power dissipation headroom during the normal operation then magnetics, so when e.g. the mains voltage moderately rise even for long time (e.g. light load on the local power distribution branch at night), they could easily swallow it, while the magnetics get easily fried. On the other hand the high mass give the magnetics the inertia to swallow even sever overvoltages for short time (before the related network protection systems act), while the electronic die immediately (when well designed, it is only the input fuse, but even repairing that need to take the ballast apart).

Electronic are rather delicate, sensitive devices, very prone to damage (both electrical and mechanical). And the damage may be well hidden and demonstrate itself only by the shorter life and/or extreme sensitivity to abnormal conditions.
Their light weight lead many people to handle them roughly, inviting the damage (nobody would throw two pound choke onto the van floor from a feet away, but I've seen this quite regularly happening to electronic ballasts), very frequently by their distributors (so when the poor electrician install them, they die very soon). This is making them frequently quite short living and it is responsible for their bad reputation.
They frequently suffer from bad quality components (sadly more and more frequently in recent years) and poor design (less frequently, Cheepeese are learning there - if that does not include extra cost).
But when they are well made, handled with care and the installation does not stress them, they last quite long, they could make for the ordinary fixture life.

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SOX55W
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Re: What's better: Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts? « Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 07:17:00 PM » Author: SOX55W
SOX + electronic makes the most efficient light source hands down. The reason for this is low pressure lamps like SOX and fluorescent use about 10% less power to make the same amount of light if they were running on standard magnetic gear. Consider that and the much smaller losses in the electronic ballast really drives up the system efficacy. My 90W SOX lamp on an electronic fluorescent ballast draws about 82W out of the wall, the 55W about 57W (showing signs of being overdriven), and the 18W right around 18-19W (ballast losses are higher relative to the lamp power, another ballast ran it at 16W and it showed definite signs of being underdriven over time). Of course there are some disadvantages...

As others have said, magnetic is dead reliable, but can be sensitive in the long term to over voltage and wrong/watt reduced lamps. Some electronic ballasts are quite flexible in what lamps they can drive, although the ballast factor often varies a bit. Magnetic can lose as much as 15-20W of power per lamp (more for larger HID lamps) whereas electronic may only lose 5W at most, meaning it will run cooler...but they are also more sensitive to heat. Semiconductor and capacitor life is a very strong function of running temp. I prefer to buy only 5 year warranted electronic ballasts, so if they do go south, they go back to the manufacturer. I know it's a PITA, but if people send in enough waranty claims, it could upset their cost ballance and maybe they'll develop better products in the future.

What I did find rather cool is that Fulham can manufacture custom ballasts. Probably has to be a minimum quantity and would be expensive, but if it were for a massive SOX installation, it could be cost effective.
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FYI, LED's are NOT the most efficient lighting technology available! Don't know how people keep coming to that conclusion!

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Re: What's better: Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts? « Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 05:08:31 PM » Author: AngryHorse
Electronic gear would be the best IF their circuit boards could be made to last.
Wire wound ballasts though......well, a 40+ year old twin 8 foot fluorescent batten, that had not seen ANY new tubes or starters for near on 20 years and left energized on LIVE trunking, came out of our factory, (into my collection), fitted with new tubes and starters and within 5 minutes of recharging the monster capacitors was brought back to PERFECT working order!!!

would HF do that I wonder.....
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LowPressureSodiumSOX
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Re: What's better: Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts? « Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 05:18:00 PM » Author: LowPressureSodiumSOX
@LinearSLI/H
However, the fulham Workhorse ballasts are good electronic ballasts.
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Re: What's better: Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts? « Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 05:33:36 PM » Author: Powell
I let the smoke out of a Fulham ballast, electronic for 2 F8T5 lamps.  I had a new F8T5 that as it got warm would dim out, but be very hot. So in this fixture with the Fulham Ballast, I took one bulb out ( it said you could on the ballast) and the bulb that was defective got dim and very hot and then the fixture went out. I let it sit awhile to see if the thermal protection would reset. The ballast case had gotten warm.  It appeared not to, then POP!  POP! POP !  and the magic smoke came out. 
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SOX55W
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Re: What's better: Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts? « Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 05:51:03 PM » Author: SOX55W
I let the smoke out of a Fulham ballast, electronic for 2 F8T5 lamps.  I had a new F8T5 that as it got warm would dim out, but be very hot. So in this fixture with the Fulham Ballast, I took one bulb out ( it said you could on the ballast) and the bulb that was defective got dim and very hot and then the fixture went out. I let it sit awhile to see if the thermal protection would reset. The ballast case had gotten warm.  It appeared not to, then POP!  POP! POP !  and the magic smoke came out. 

Which model was that?  Some of the smaller/lighter duty (pony, sugarcube, etc.) models I've heard are not on the same level as the commercial grade workhorse ballasts in terms of durability.
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Bring SOX lamps back!!!

FYI, LED's are NOT the most efficient lighting technology available! Don't know how people keep coming to that conclusion!

My other interests: sports cars, refrigeration, microcontroller projects, computer hardware, and any sort of custom fabrication.

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Re: What's better: Electronic or Magnetic Ballasts? « Reply #8 on: January 27, 2012, 06:06:26 PM » Author: Powell
I don't know as it is at home and I am at work, but if I had know that it couldn't take that abuse I would not have done what I did. It DID age those bulbs differently than on preheat fixtures, though they were as bright. I am getting ready to order a new one to repair the fixture.


BZZZT! I was wrong. The ballast is a Power Electronics and Systems PES120ET5  E120T2.

I may replace it with the above brand mentioned


« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 11:03:07 PM by Powell » Logged

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