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An electrician for himself: a choke for fluorescent lamps

Luminescent lamps have long found wide application both in everyday life and in other (very different) spheres: lighting in the workplace and public institutions, operating chambers, outdoor and indoor advertising , etc.

"Pros" of fluorescent lighting

In comparison with incandescent lamps, fluorescent lighting devices have a number of undeniable advantages:

  • High intensity of luminescence with a wide range of light propagation;
  • Increased reliability of lighting devices;
  • A wide temperature range in which fluorescent lamps can operate without interruption;
  • Small self heating of lamp housing or other lighting device;
  • Radiation of light in a strictly defined spectrum and mode, sparing for the eyes;
  • Excellent performance and durability - up to 20 thousand working hours.

Auxiliary elements

Uninterrupted work of lighting devices are called upon to provide such details as a starter and a throttle.

A starter for fluorescent lamps is necessary when the electrical discharges in them are "ignited". If the device is off, the starter is not short-circuited. The process of closing occurs at the time the electricity is applied to the circuit. Then, when the lamp is lit, the voltage in it goes "to nothing", and the starter again comes to the initial (idle) state.

A choke is an inductive coil, into which a core in a metal frame is inserted. Usually for lamps it is selected the same power as the device itself for lighting. Otherwise, the lamps are threatened with overloads and failure much earlier than the due time. The role of the throttle is to limit the supply of current to the level required by a specific lighting device.

Throttle Functions

A choke for fluorescent lamps performs several important functions. First, they ensure the ignition of the filament, and secondly, the necessary current is regulated . In the lighting fixture, it is a kind of ballast, taking on extra watts in the electrical circuit. According to the level of absorbed power, this element is divided into three groups:

  • A throttle for Class D fluorescent lamps with an average absorption level;
  • Class C - with a low level;
  • Class B - with a super-low.

A quality throttle for fluorescent lamps, whose power is from 36 to 40 watts, takes on about 6 watts, i.e. 15% of the total capacity. And the smaller the lamp power, the more significant is the difference with the throttle parameters. Therefore, the luminous intensity of the lighting device in real conditions is always somewhat less than those specified in the instructions to them.

A choke for fluorescent lamps creates a phase shift effect between voltage and current. Electric networks create tension in the form of a sinus. In conventional incandescent lamps, the shape is the same. But in luminescent "throttle" current lags behind the main (and the curve curves are already different).

Alternatively, in many constructions of lighting devices and advertising stands, a starter and a choke for fluorescent lamps are replaced by a special device that converts electrical frequencies at the automation level. It "launches" lamps at any external temperatures, increases the stability of work and the intensity of light emission. Devices with such a device work much longer.

Thus, electronic ballast can have several types and different performance. Naturally, this affects the cost of devices.

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