Fluorescent ballast

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Old 03-13-08, 09:46 AM
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Fluorescent ballast

I recently got a 4 ft. 2 bulb fluorescent fixture from the electrical supply house and it had a "mult-voltage" ballast. After I got it home, there was only two leads (black and white). It was a GE with a rating of 120 - 277 volts. I called the supply house but they weren't any help, so I called an electrican friend and he told me that I could connect either voltage to those two wires and it would work. I am used to working with different "taps" for different voltages. Does anyone know of a web site where I might find some theory on these ballasts?
 
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Old 03-13-08, 10:51 AM
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It's magic.

Couldn't find anything for you to read on the web but from what I remember in the Lighting Institute I attended at GE there is electronic circuitry in the ballast that senses voltage and adjusts the ballasts characteristics to match.
 
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Old 03-13-08, 02:35 PM
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Thanks Mattison for the rapid response...I'm sure that its something like what you said. I'm determined to try and find some information though, if I find anything I'll report it back to this forum. Technology is always improving things.
 
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Old 03-13-08, 03:01 PM
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Here you go.

http://www.irf.com/technical-info/designtp/irpllnr1.pdf

Not GE, but you get the idea. These convert a wide range of AC into DC, then deal with the now wide DC range with pulse width type regulators, etc.
 
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Old 03-13-08, 03:33 PM
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Thanks for the excellant web site. It'll take a while to absorb all the great information.
 
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Old 03-13-08, 08:46 PM
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The ballasts for T8 bulbs ( the "thin" ones ) are usually electronic. They do not use magnetic components ( transformers, coils). Everything is done electronically, and they are "smart" in the sense that they detect the input voltage operate accordingly. It is very common for T8 ballasts to be "universal" like that, not separate input taps.
 
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Old 03-13-08, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for the information 594. Let me ask you another question. Can T8 bulbs be used in a device designed for T12 bulbs.
 
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Old 03-14-08, 12:21 AM
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Jack B.

the 2 lamp 4 foot flourscent luminaire with the GE ballast that is the common type i useally run into pretty often.

to hook up just take the line lead to hook up to black and white lead from ballast.

Just make sure you get good ground connection some of them are pretty picky with it.

and don't run the T-8 bulb with the T-12 ballast they can work but shorten the bulb life a bit.

only way you can use the T-8 bulb in the T-12 luminaires if you have allready reballasted to the T-8 electronic ballast then you can run it as long you follow the connection very carefully.

[ a side note just mark it near the tombstone to remind that it only take T-8 bulbs instead of the T-12 ]

Merci, Marc
 
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