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Electronic ballast for fluorescent lamps (EB)

Electronic ballasts are essential for the operation of fluorescent lamps. They primarily perform four tasks:
1) Ignition and thus starting of the lamp
2) Supply of high-frequency current to the lamp
3) Current limiting and regulation of the lamp current
4) Monitoring of the lamp

Functions of the ECG's

ECGs can replace the arrangement of conventional ballast and starter when operating fluorescent tubes. There are some advantages compared to the CCG: 

  • Avoidance of significant reactive power 
  • Faster, more reliable starting
  • Reduced power loss for lamp and ballast
  • No mains hum
  • Flicker-free operation
  • Shutdown in case of lamp failure
  • Many allow dimming of the lamp
  • Energy efficiency

Compared to conventional ballasts, ECGs usually have a significantly higher energy efficiency. There are low energy losses in the electronics and in the choke coil. In addition, the fluorescent lamp operates more energy-efficiently because an ECG significantly reduces the otherwise quite long times of zero crossing.

Increased lamp life

The service life of your fluorescent tube when operated with ECGs depends to a large extent on the type of starting method: cold-start ECGs only apply an ignition voltage for ignition, which causes the lamp cathodes to age quickly and which leads to failure of the lamp due to cathode rupture after only a small number of lamp starts (sometimes < 2,000). 

In contrast, a warm start ECG first preheats the incandescent cathodes of the fluorescent lamp before it is ignited. With such a preheating time and energy matched to the lamp, a service life almost independent of the switching frequency is achieved. This means that a 50% increase in service life can be achieved compared with starter circuits (up to 18,000 h for tubular fluorescent lamps).

Disposal of the ECG  

Ballasts of all types contain electronic and electrical components. Therefore, at the end of their service life, they do not belong in household waste, but must be disposed of properly. In case of doubt, you can obtain information on proper disposal from the local municipal authority or from specialized disposal companies.