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Specialty and Architectural Lighting — Fluorescent

What is the Voltage of Fluorescent and Ultraviolet Bulbs?

What is the Voltage of Fluorescent and Ultraviolet Bulbs?

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You may have noticed that the specifications for fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent bulbs, and ultraviolet lamps provide watts, but almost never volts. Why not? Ballasts, invisible inside the fixture, are required for all fluorescent bulbs to operate. Ballasts modify the line voltage they are connected to (120V, 277V, etc.) so the proper current is supplied to the bulb. Because ballasts are hidden, it is easy to assume the bulbs are simply operated directly off line voltage from the...

What Are Amalgam Fluorescent and Ultraviolet Bulbs?

What Are Amalgam Fluorescent and Ultraviolet Bulbs?

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The performance of fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and low pressure mercury ultraviolet bulbs deteriorates in ambient temperatures that rise above certain design parameters. At high fixture and room temperatures, light output and color characteristics deteriorate. CFLs are particularly affected by this, as anyone who has had a CFL bulb in a porch light or the garage fail on a hot summer day has learned. But this effect on ultraviolet germicidal bulbs can be...

What to Know About Mercury in Fluorescent, Ultraviolet, and HID Bulbs

What to Know About Mercury in Fluorescent, Ultraviolet, and HID Bulbs

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Reasonable care should be taken in both the handling of broken light bulbs and the disposal of burned out bulbs that contain mercury. For decades, fluorescent and CFL bulbs have been used widely in commercial and residential general lighting settings, but there has been a vast increase in homeowners, businesses, and institutions utilizing ultraviolet bulbs to purify air and sanitize surfaces due to the COVID-19 situation. Fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent, UVC germicidal, UVA blacklight, metal...

Comparing Fluorescent vs. Metal Halide Aquarium Bulbs

Comparing Fluorescent vs. Metal Halide Aquarium Bulbs

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Lighting for aquariums is an incredibly complicated task. Too little light can endanger plant and fish life and growth, while too much light can lead to a high rate of algae growth. There is also a heat factor, in too much heat can kill fish and plants. Aquarium owners will often combine several types of light sources to achieve the spectrum and intensity of light they are trying to achieve. Traditionally, fluorescent and metal halide...

LED Troffers Offer Strong Case To Replace Fluorescent

LED Troffers Offer Strong Case To Replace Fluorescent

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When comparing LED troffers and retrofits to fluorescent troffers, the most LED fixtures will either exceed or match the specifications of the fluorescent fixtures. LED lumen output often matches that of various fluorescent configurations but it, along with control compatibility, requires careful consideration to ensure the LED installation will meet the needs specific to the application.

How to Choose an Electronic Fluorescent Ballast

How to Choose an Electronic Fluorescent Ballast

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Fluorescent lighting is a system that relies on the compatibility between the lamp and ballast for reliable lamp starting, desired illumination level, energy efficiency, and achieving rated lamp life. The ballast controls the voltage and current applied to the lamp(s). Beyond these basics, ballasts also have many additional characteristics that need to be considered so the selected ballast is the best match for the lamp and the application. The operational and energy efficiency of the...

Comparing Three LED T8 Retrofit Options

Comparing Three LED T8 Retrofit Options

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Currently, T8 fluorescent tubes dominate the commercial and institutional lighting sector both in number of lamps and in lumen output. The USDOE estimated in 2010 that there were 1 billion fluorescent fixtures in the U.S. It is no surprise that LED manufacturers have focused on this potentially huge retrofit market with a large number of LED options. Unlike other LED replacement bulbs, T8 tubes have some subtle, but critical differences in how they are installed....

Flickering Fluorescent Tubes and Buzzing Ballasts

Flickering Fluorescent Tubes and Buzzing Ballasts

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If you've ever had to work for 16 months in an office with overhead fluorescent tubes that flicker or buzz, you know how annoying they can be. If you work in an office with flickering lights AND buzzing ballasts, you may have a permanent headache (in addition to your boss). While the effects are headache-inducing for some people, you may wonder why no one has called the maintenance manager to replace what appears to be...

Fluorescent Electronic Ballast Starting Technology Options Affect Lamp Life

Fluorescent Electronic Ballast Starting Technology Options Affect Lamp Life

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Commercial fluorescent lighting systems consist primarily of T8 lamps and electronic ballasts. While LED linear tubes now compete as replacements for traditional fluorescent, the vast majority of existing and replacement ceiling lighting in offices, schools, hospitals, and other institutions is fluorescent. At it's best, fluorescent lamp/ballast systems can offer efficiencies, lamp life and cost effectiveness that rival LED. A key feature of fluorescent lighting is the type of lamp starting technology used. There are three...

What's the Difference Between Fluorescent and Germicidal Light?

What's the Difference Between Fluorescent and Germicidal Light?

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Most germicidal bulbs look like linear fluorescent light bulbs. They have the same shape. They share similar base types. Both use low pressure mercury arc technology. They both have hot cathode and cold cathode lamp types. They both use external ballasts to regulate voltage between the building and the lamp. And both produce the same ultraviolet radiation inside the bulb. However, germicidal light bulbs can't usually be purchased in general home improvement stores, where fluorescent...