Author Topic: In the US, why did 4 foot preheat fluorescents get replaced with rapid start?  (Read 152 times)
WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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In the US, why did 4 foot preheat fluorescents get replaced with rapid start? « on: October 24, 2020, 06:57:54 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
I wonder why 4 foot preheat fluorescent lighting quickly fell out of favor to 4 foot rapid start fluorescent lighting in the USA while 4 foot preheat fluorescent lighting remained popular in Europe and the rest of the world?
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Re: In the US, why did 4 foot preheat fluorescents get replaced with rapid start? « Reply #1 on: October 24, 2020, 07:07:12 PM » Author: mdcastle
The US has always placed importance on convenience. See also our early adoption and love for automatic transmissions and air conditioning.

Simply put it was irritating to flick on a light switch and wait for a preheat lamp and it was irritating to fix them when a lamp went out and you didn't know if it was a bad  lamp, bad starter, or a loose starter. We had some preheat fixtures and  more than once my father bought  some new tubes at the hardware store, then found it was a starter so had to run back to the store to get one of those.

(It's been a while but I thought I'd reply to a post to let people know I'm still around).
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Re: In the US, why did 4 foot preheat fluorescents get replaced with rapid start? « Reply #2 on: October 24, 2020, 07:21:41 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
I wonder why other preheat fluorescent lights stuck around such as can lights with PL bulbs?
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wide-lite 1000
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Re: In the US, why did 4 foot preheat fluorescents get replaced with rapid start? « Reply #3 on: October 24, 2020, 11:44:17 PM » Author: wide-lite 1000
Because the starters in those were usually integral with the lamp . If the fixture didn't light , try another lamp! No muss, no fuss.
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joseph_125
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Re: In the US, why did 4 foot preheat fluorescents get replaced with rapid start? « Reply #4 on: October 24, 2020, 11:54:55 PM » Author: joseph_125
I think ballast topology was a factor too. F40 preheat ballasts for 120v required a autotransformer type ballast in order for the lamp to start and run reliably so it was fairly straightforward to add the auxillary windings for a cathode heating circuit. The other reason is preference, the flashing on typical of a preheat light was seen as unsightly to many compared to the smooth startup of a rapid start light.

In countries with 240v power, preheat lasted a lot longer as the higher line voltage meant that F40 preheat ballasts was a simple choke ballast, and a rapid start style setup would mean extra cost and complexity. That's the same reason why preheat remained common for smaller lamps like 2ft and under lamps and PL lamps. Still preferences meant that trigger start ballasts were made for 2ft lamps.
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Re: In the US, why did 4 foot preheat fluorescents get replaced with rapid start? « Reply #5 on: October 25, 2020, 09:11:10 AM » Author: Medved
And why RS never took off in Europe?
It would mean extra losses. And in Europe were (since 70's energy crisis?) quite strict requirements for ballast efficiency, so practically anything but a simple series choke would not pass or become too expensive to pass the regulations.
Plus the advent of T8 meant the ballast would have to provide even higher voltage for ignition, which would mean even higher losses and/or cost to anything but preheat. Plus tye T8 have really no selectivity in igniting only when electrodes are hot, they tend to either not start at all, or ignite with still cold electrodes, which would shorten their life a lot.
Plus at some moment a safety requirement came, requiring the lamps to not ignite unless both ends are in their sockets (so when you insert only one end and touch the pins on the other side, no current is allowed to flow). Pretty expensive sockets when you have OCV and electrode heating on one side able to ignite the discharge - you would need complex power cutout sockets for that.
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funkybulb
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Re: In the US, why did 4 foot preheat fluorescents get replaced with rapid start? « Reply #6 on: October 29, 2020, 06:49:32 AM » Author: funkybulb
   2 lamp rapid start base off  1 lamp preheat ballast and they
  Added 3 windings for cathode heating and a leading cap to run both lamp just right at 200-220 volt OCV. 

  This one of reason why there not enough OCV to fire a  8 foot modded slimeline shunted on rapid start.
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