Fluorescent light

Need a new Fluorescent light fitting for the kitchen as the old one has given up, what are the pros and cons between a standard ballast and a high frequency one, looking to get one from Wickes.
Barry
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Corporal Jones a écrit :

HF version...
Faster full light output. Much more efficient. No 100Hz flicker. Less waste heat generated. Tubes last longer and don't blacken at the ends.
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On 26/06/2015 10:13, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

+ power factor close to unity;
+ tend to come without tube, rather than with el-cheapo 3500K halophosphate.
Switch start are almost obsolete now, stock being sold off.
HF batten fittings have become very cheap, e.g.
https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Lighting_Menu_Index/Lighting_Fluorescent_Index/HF_Batten_Fittings/index.html
Choose a triphosphor tube, colour 835 or 840, according to taste...
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Andy

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So can one retrofit the more efficient electronics to old, say Thorne fittings? Brian
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On 26/06/2015 21:03, Brian-Gaff wrote:

Yes, I've done several. Plenty of people selling HF ballasts on ebay. You can get the pukka 'fluorescent fittings wire' from RS (85 deg rated, for use in the push-fit connectors). Blank off the starter hole if there's any risk of wandering fingers getting zapped.
But with new HF luminaires falling in price it's hardly worth the bother now...
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On Friday, 26 June 2015 22:53:07 UTC+1, Andy Wade wrote:

The only time you need high temp wire is if its passing over a hot iron ballast. As you're removing that for the refit, it's not needed.
NT
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Yes.
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Andrew Gabriel
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On Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:03:12 +0100, Brian-Gaff wrote:

Yes, Brian but it's very rarely economic to do so since the electronic ballast kits are typically more expensive than a whole new electronically ballasted fitting complete with tube. :-(
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Johnny B Good

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On Friday, 26 June 2015 21:03:12 UTC+1, Brian-Gaff wrote:

Better still you can get LED replacement tubes. Ballast and other sterter gear is chucked away.
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Don't think switch start ballasts or halophosphate tubes can be made or imported into the EU now. Still seem to be stocks of switch start ballasts around, although the halophosphate tubes pretty much all vanished a couple of years ago.

Just watch out that the ballast is a well known make. Otherwise, IME it won't last as long as the first tube.

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Andrew Gabriel
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Are you sure about that last part? I certainly get tubes with black ends in an electronic one. Brian
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Brian-Gaff a écrit :

If there is a large DC component in the output of the electronic ballast, then you can get some blackening around one end. Reverse the tube end for end and it will disappear.
In a normal ballasted fitting the blackening is due to heat from the heaters, made rapidly worse as the tube ages and fails to start quickly.
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On Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:13:31 +0100, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

Yep, almost as good as the half century old technology of "Quickstart"(tm) magnetic ballasted lamps in regard to flicker free 'instant start'[1] and much less startup wear and tear on the cathodes compared to the cheap and nasty switch start ballasted fittings that have been the only point of reference for over 90% of the population these past 60 odd years.
I bought a 4 foot slimline electronic fitting from B&Q last year (about 14 quid complete with 36 watt slimline T8 tube) to replace the "40 watt" T12 tubed not quite so slimline fitting in our kitchen which I had upgraded to quickstart over quarter of a century ago[2] by removing the starter switch and wiring in a quickstart transformer that I'd had to strip the casing from in order to squeeze it into the fitting.
The reason for 'splashing the cash' was one of aesthetics due to being forced to have the ceiling repaired due to water ingress from a leaking asphalted flat roof which had required removal of the fitting to facilitate the repair work. This gave SWMBI an excuse to insist on a nice new fitting (and in such insistance, she was elevated to the status of SWMBO).
Before I fitted the new fitting, I took the opportunity to compare the performance of the old and new in regard to light output and energy consumption.
The light output levels were, as far as I could discern (it hadn't occurred to me to use my camera as a light meter on this occasion) were on a par with each other. The power consumption, otoh, was a different matter. The new fitting showed a consumption of 36 watts whilst the old one showed something like 54 to 56 watts.
Since, given enough run time, the ballast inductor got very hot it was obvious were most of the vampire watts (some 14 to 16 of them) were being turned into heat. Mind you, the electronic ballast in the new lamp wasn't above turning some of the power into waste heat, it just wasn't as much.
It's been known for some 40 years or more that using a high frequency current (circa 20KHz) in place of mains frequency current (50 or 60 Hz) improves fluorescent lamp efficacy by some 10% or so. This is the main reason why electronic ballasting is usurping the old fashioned inductive ballast in fluorescent lamp fittings. The "Instant Start" just happens to be a useful by-product which, for most home users, is "The Icing On The Cake". For me, the only icing on the cake was the 16 watts or so power saving - I've been taking "Instant Start" for granted these past 3 decades or so.
Such electronically ballasted fluorescent tube fittings have an efficiency rating somewhere between 90 and 100 lumens per watt (the best CFLs, BTW, are only around the 70L/W mark).
For about a year now, it's been possible to buy LED based linear lamps with double that efficiency and better (ultimately reaching 400L/W efficiency for all LED based lamps over the next year or so's time). Unfortunately, you have to pay a hefty premium right now for the 200L/W lamps. The ones still being cleared out of the supply chain are only now approaching the 100L/W mark (typically 81L/W for most of the not quite so outrageously priced samples on the shelves of Aldididle and Asda).
The point of mentioning LED lamps is to warn you that you might be swapping your nice new fitting for a LED based unit in just two or three years time when the pricing on the 200L/W lamps finally drops out of the stratosphere.
[1] The big difference in startup characteristics between the modern lamp and the older one using half a century old technology was that the new lamp wasn't quite as instant in that it lit up immediately from stone cold but with about a half second's worth of half brightness flicker. The old lamp was fully lit up in something like a quarter of a second or less from switch on.
Since I was already used to the idea of 'instant start fluorescent lamps', this seemed a less than stellar performance. Not a major deficiency to be sure but a deficiency nevertheless in my mind. For anyone brought up with switch start fluorescent lamps, this would be considered a marvel of technical development.
Otoh, it could just be that I happened buy the one luminary in the stack that wasn't quite up to snuff (either the tube or the ballast - I don't have a spare T8 tube to test with). I wonder if I'm the only one to witness this startup behaviour?
[2] I can't be absolutely certain but I believe I'd only had to re-tube the fitting twice in all of those 25 years plus.
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Johnny B Good

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On Sunday, 28 June 2015 02:14:09 UTC+1, Johnny B Good wrote:

The delay improves tube life.
Maybe you missed out on thermal starters, that came before glowstarters. They behaved impeccably, and started every time with no flicker. Glowstarters took over because thermal starters wasted 1 watt, and watts aren't free.
Manual switching also doesn't flicker, but isn't very other-people compatible. (FWIW I also remember using a cast iron cased mercury lamp ballast with a manual switch to strike it.)
Modern electronics makes all that stuff obsolete now.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com a écrit :

I have a couple of bench lights on arms, which use manual switching. I tend to be impatient with both - not allowing them enough pre-heat time, before trying to get them to strike, so I have to repeat.
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What concerns me is the quality of the light from these super efficient LEDs. Or any LED, come to that. It may not matter much for just general illumination, but may well where quality florries would be used, where the ability to match colours etc matters.
In general at home I'm more concerned with having pleasant and convenient lighting than saving a few pennies.
The difficulty in dimming many LEDs also rules them out for me.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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A decent HF unit is more efficient and will also prolong useful tube life. Gives reliable starting too regardless of temperature. And less obvious flicker if you are susceptible to such things. Some types can be easily dimmed too.
Can't really think of any cons, apart from possibly price.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) a écrit :

You can buy electronic ballasts for not a lot, to convert a normal switch start system to electronic.
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On Friday, 26 June 2015 08:40:59 UTC+1, Corporal Jones wrote:

The only pros with iron lump ballasts are reliability/longevity & initial price.
NT
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But iron lump ballasts usually come with a starter. Which may not be that reliable.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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