03 Glossary for Ballast

By Lee Parker,2014-08-21 19:16
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03 Glossary for Ballast


    AC (Alternating Current)

    Current that passes from the generator in one direction and then the other, alternately. Ambient sound levels

    "Background noise" generated by electrical and mechanical equipment operating in a building. Low ambient sound levels are desirable for hospitals, libraries and similar applications where high noise levels are unacceptable.

    Ambient Temperature

    The temperature of the atmosphere of surrounding environment.

    Amperes ("Amps")

    A measure of electrical current.

    ANSI (American National Standards Institute)

    Group that generates product performance standards for many U.S. industries.

    ANSI Watts

    Measurement of electrical power used by the ballast and lamps when tested per ANSI standards Anti-Arc

    Circuitry used to restart the lamps without resetting the power to the ballast


    Circuitry used to prevent striations or spiraling in energy saving lamps due to low temperature or low current operation

    Arc (Arc Tube)

    Intense luminous discharge formed by the passage of electric current across a space between two electrodes. Arcing of output leads

    Generation of an electrical arc between output leads of a ballast or output leads to ground. Asphalt silica sand mixture

    A mixture of asphalt and silica sand used to fill the cases of electromagnetic and electronic ballasts to dampen sound, protect from moisture, improve heat removal and increase reliability.


    Circuitry used to restart the lamps without resetting the power to the ballast


    A tapped winding transformer that changes the voltage available locally to the voltage required by a particular load.


    Device for starting and regulating fluorescent and high intensity discharge lamps.

    Ballast Cycling

    Intermittent operation due to high temperature condition of the ballast or ambient temperature, which causes the thermal protector to open and turn off the ballast. After cooling down, the thermal protextor closes, turning on the ballast and starts the heating cycle over again.

    Ballast Efficacy Factor (BEF)

    Measure used to compare various lighting systems based upon light output and input power. BEF = Ballast Factor x 100 / Input Watts

    Ballast Factor (BF)

    Measure of light output from lamp operated by commercial ballast, as compared to laboratory standard reference ballast specified by ANSI

    Ballast Losses


Power that is supplied to the ballast but is not converted into light energy.

    Ballast Noise "Hum"

    Sound made by operating Core & Coil assemblies in both electromagnetic and electronic ballasts, generated by the vibration of laminations in the electromagnetic field that transforms the voltage and current used by discharge lamps. The sound made by high frequency electronic ballasts is lower Than electromagnetic ballasts with some designs virtually inaudible.

    Ballast Performance Factors

    Measurements that allow the comparison of various ballasts in terms of their power efficiency and ability to produce light.

    Ballast Regulation

    The ability of a ballast to control lamp wattage (and therefore light output) when subject to changes in line voltage.

    Bottom Exit

    A configuration with leads or a wire-trap on the bottom or base of the ballast. This type of Configuration is usually used when the ballast is mounted on to a junction box plate.

    Burn-in test

    Test performed on electronic product that simulates conditions encountered in actual operation to weed out initial failures.

    Canadian Energy Standards

    Indicates that ballast complies with Canadian Energy Standards and meets the requirements of CAN/CSA-C654-M91.

    Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

    Association that generates product performance and safety standards for many Canadian industries. Capacitor

    Device in ballast that stores electrical energy.

    Centigrade (C)

    Celsius temperature scale where 0?C = 32?F and 100?C = 212?F.


    Marking on ballast that shows compliance with Federal Ballast Energy Law.

    Circuit Ballast

    Reactor, high reactance CWTA, CWE, Reg


    Windings of copper or aluminum wire around the core in electromagnetic ballast that transforms the voltage from input to output.

    Color Rendering Index (CRI)

    An international system used to rate a lamp''s ability to render object color. The higher the CR, the better colors appear.

    Conformal Coating

    Material that surrounds and adheres to components and protects them.

    Constant Wattage Autotransformer (CWA)

    An HID ballast in which the primary and secondary coils are electrically connected.


    Steel laminations of electromagnetic ballast that transforms electrical power from input to output. Core & Coil Ballast

    Another term for electromagnetic ballast.

    Correlated Color Temperature


    A specification of the color appearance of a lamp relating its color to that of a reference source heated to a particular temperature, measured in degrees Kelvin (K)

    Crest factor (Lamp Crest Factor)

    A measurement of current supplied by a ballast to start and operate thelamp.


    Marking on ballast that shows compliance with Canadian Ballast Energy Law.

    Decibel (dB)

    Unit of sound measurement.

    Design Lumens

    The amount of light that the lamp produces after it has operated for approximately 40 percent of its rated life. DC (Direct Current)

    An electrical current flowing in one direction only.

    Discharge Lamp

    A device that produces light by using an electric arc, rather than a filament, to create illumination. DALI (Digitally Addressable Lighting Interface)

    An industry standard system protocol that allows components from different manufacturers (ballasts, controls systems, sensors, controllers, switches, etc) to be mixed together seamlessly into complete systems. Efficacy

    Lumen output per unit of power supplied to the lamp (lumens per watt).

    Electrical Testing Laboratory (ETL)

    Independent electrical testing laboratory, which performs ballast testing.


    Metal filament that emits electrons in a fluorescent lamp.

    Electromagnetic Ballast

    A low frequency (50 or 60 Hz) ballast that uses a "Core & Coil" assembly to transform electrical energy (voltage and current) to start and operate fluorescent and high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. Electromagnetic Radiation

    Radiation originating in a varying electromagnetic field, such as visible light, radio waves, x-rays, and gamma rays.

    Electronic Ballast

    A ballast that, with the aid of electronic components converts 50 - 60 Hz. input voltage and current to high frequency (> 20,000 Hz.) to operate fluorescent and high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)

    Any type of Electrical interference


    The electrode in a transistor where electrons originate


    A measure of work done by an electrical system over a given period of time. Expressed as Kilowatt-hours (kWh) ESCO

    Energy Saving Service Company

    Excessive Neutral Current

    Current overload created in the neutral wire of 4-wire, three phase Wye systems by load unbalance or high "third harmonic" current.

    FCC (Federal Communications Commission)


    Regulations Legally enforceable U.S. government standards for EMI and RFI that must be met by highly frequency electronic devices used in this country for Non-Consumer (Class A Industrial) or Consumer (Class B Residential) applications.


    Coated coil of special wire that emits electrons or light when heated.

    Filament Voltage

    Voltage applied to heat the lamp filament coil. Also called electrode or filament heating. Filter

    Functional grouping that limits interference feedback into the power source and protests internal ballast components.


    Feature within a ballast which gives you a choice of 5 different input



    Emission of visible light by the absorption of energy from another source.

    Fluorescent Lamp

    Gas filled lamp in which light is produced by the interaction of an arc with phosphors lining the lamp''s glass tube. footcandles (fc)

    Measure of light level on a surface that is being illuminated.


    The number of times per second that an alternating current system reverses from positive to negative and back to positive, expressed in cycles per second or hertz, Hz.

    Harmonic Distortion

    A measurement of the magnitude of voltage and current harmonics as compared with the amplitude of the fundamental frequency current.


    Refers to components of the overall frequency, an integral multiple of the fundamental sine wave frequency. Hertz (Hz)

    Current or voltage operating frequency equal to one cycle per second.

    High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamp

    A lamp containing a filled arc tube in which the active element becomes vaporized (a gaseous state) and is discharged into the arc stream to product light.

    High frequency ballast

    An electronic ballast that operates the lamps above 20 kHz - 20,000 cycles per second. High power factor ballast (HPF)

    Ballast with a power factor of 0.90 or greater.

    High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Lamp

    High Intensity Discharge light source which produce light by an electrical discharge sodium vapor operating at relatively high pressures and temperatures.

    High Reactance AutoTransformer Ballast (HX)

    This type of ballast can be used when the input voltage does not meet the starting voltage requirement for an HID lamp. The ballast will transform the input voltage to the required level.

    High Flux

    LEDs that are approximately 1.0 watts or more and provide a significantly high light intensity. Operate at 350mA. Hot Restart Time

    Time it takes for a High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamp to reach 90% of light after going fro on to off to on.


IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

    Organization of engineers that establishes standards for electrical and electronics industries. IES (Illuminating Engineering Society)

    Group of professional lighting engineers and designers.


    Emission of visible light by a heated material

    Incandescent Lamp

    Lamp in which light is produced by a filament heated by an electric current. Infrared Radiation

    Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than visible light but shorter than radio waves Ignitor

    A device that generates a voltage pulse to start certain discharge lamps without having to pre-heat the electrodes.

    Initial Lumens

    The measure of the amount of light a lamp produces after it has been operating 100 hours. Input Voltage

    Voltage, from the power line, which the ballast uses to power fluorescent lamps. Input Watts

    See "ANSI Watts"

    Inrush Current

    Initial surge of current when an electrical device is turned on.

    Instant Start

    An electromagnetic or electronic lighting circuit without lamp filament heating that produces instant light.


    Multi-Voltage feature of Advance electronic ballasts that allow the ballast to operate from an input voltage range

    of 120 - 277V

    Kilohertz (KHz)

    1,000 Hertz (cycles per second).

    Kilowatt Hour (kwh)

    The standard measure of electrical energy and the typical billing unit used by electrical utilities for electricity.


    Layers of thin steel making up the "core" of a Core & Coil assembly. Lamp Current

    Ration of peak lamp current to RMS or average lamp operating current. Lamp Current Crest Factor

    See "Crest Factor"

    Lamp efficacy

    Lamp efficacy is lamp light output divided by lamp power (lumens/watt). Lamp Filament

    See "Filament"

    Lamp Flicker

    Rapid visible light change occurring in fluorescent lighting systems Lamp Watts

    Power used to operate a lamp

    Lead-lag Slimline ballast

    Electromagnetic ballast that operates fluorescent lamps independently of one another. Light


    Radiant energy which can be sensed or seen by the human eye. Visible light is measured in lumens. Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

    A semiconductor device that illuminates by the movement of electrons in the material. Life (Average Rated) or Lamp Life

    The median time it takes for a lamp to burn out.


    A brief stoppage in the flow of current supplied by the electrical distribution system. Low Flux

    LEDs that are typically .1 to .4 watts each, and are arranged in clusters or arrays to create a collective light source. These systems operate a 12vdc or 24 vdc.

    Low Power Factor Ballast (LPF)

    Ballast with a power factor of 0.79 or less - also called normal power factor (NPF) ballast. LPF ballast requires about twice the line current of HPF ballast so fewer LPF ballasts can be installed on a circuit, which increases installation cost.

    Lumen Depreciation

    The decrease in lumen output of a light source over time. Also called Lumen Maintenance. Lumen Maintenance

    The rate at which light output declines over time.


    Measurement of light emitted by a lighted lamp.

    Lumens per watt

    Units of light produced per unit of power.


    A light fixture; the complete lighting unit, including lamp, reflector, ballast, socket, wiring, diffuser, and housing. Luminous Efficacy

    The light output of a light source divided by the total power input to that source. Expressed in lumens per watt. Mean Lumens

    Average light produced when lamp has been operating about 40 percent of rated life. Mercury Lamp

    A High Intensity Discharge (HID) light source in which the light is produced by radiation from mercury, plus halides of metals such as sodium, scandium, indium and dysprosium.

    National Electric Code (NEC)

    Safety requirements for electrical wiring and equipment in all types of buildings. National Energy Standards for Fluorescent Ballasts

    A federal law enacted in 1988 that sets energy standards for ballasts consistent throughout the United States. Non-PCB Capacitor

    Capacitor used in ballasts to help provide power factor correction.

    Normal Power Factor Ballasts (NPF)

    See "Low Power Factor Ballast"

    Parallel Circuit

    Ballast circuit in which the lamps connected to on ballast will operate independently of one another -- if one lamp fails, the rest will stay on.

    PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyls)

    Chemical pollutant used in oil-filled capacitors outlawed by the EPA in 1978.


    Material lining the interior of a fluorescent lamp, which emits light.



    See "Asphalt silica sand mixture".


    The rate at which energy is taken from an electrical system or dissipated by a load, expressed in watts (W); power that is generated by a utility is typically expressed in volt-amperes (V-A).

    Power Factor (PF)

    A measurement of how efficiently an electrical device uses power supplied by the power line. PF = Watts/(Volts x Current).

    Power Factor Corrected Ballast (PFC)

    Ballast with a power factor from 0.80 to 0.89.

    Preheat Ballast

    Electromagnetic ballast that requires separate starter in order to ignite the lamp.

    Preheat Lamp

    A fluorescent lamp in which the filaments must be heated before the lamp ignites.

    Programmed Start Ballast

    Electronic ballast that provides precise heating of the lamp filaments and tightly controls the preheat duration before applying starting voltage to ignite the lamp.

    Quality Assurance

    Term used in modern industry to describe procedures applied to design and manufacturing operations in order to obtain products of the highest possible quality, formerly called "Quality Control".


    Feature within a ballast which gives you a choice of 4 different input voltages.

    Rapid Start Ballast

    Electromagnetic or electronic ballast that provides both filament heating and starting voltage to the lamp at the same time in order to ignite the lamp.

    Rapid Start Lamp

    Fluorescent lamp that requires filament heating before igniting and producing light. Reference Ballast (standard reactor)

    Laboratory device used to provide ANSI specified operating parameters for fluorescent and HID lamps. RFI - (Radio Frequency Interference)

    Form of electromagnetic interference with radio communications as defined by the FCC. Series Circuit

    Ballast circuit in which the lamps connect to one ballast will operate as a group- it on fails, all lamps in the circuit will turn off.

    Series-Parallel Circuit

    Ballast circuit in which the lamps connected to one ballast will operate both as a group and independently - if one lamp in the series connected section fails, the rest of the lamps in that section will also turn off but the lamps in the parallel circuit will stay on.

    Series-Sequence Slimline Ballast

    Electromagnetic ballast that operates slimline lamps in series, with the lamps starting in sequence. Sine Wave

    A mathematical function used to represent AC voltage and current.

    Slimline Instant Start Circuit

    Circuit that produces light instantly in slimline, instant start fluorescent lamps.

    Slimline Lamp

    Fluorescent lamp, which has single pin contacts, that requires no filament heating to ignite.


Standard Reactor

    See reference ballast.

    Starting Temperature

    The minimum ambient temperature at which the lamp will start.


    Spiraling or swirling of fluorescent lamps at initial turn on or energy-saving lamps at low temperature or low current.

    System efficacy

    System efficacy (also lumens/watt) is lamp light output divided by the sum of the lamp power plus the ballast losses.

    T12, T10, T8, T5

    Industry standard naming for a fluorescent lamp. (T= Tubular and the numbers that follow represent the diameter in 1/8 inch increments.)

    Thermal Protector

    A self resetting switch that disconnects power to the ballast if internal temperatures rise above the trip point- typically 105C. Thermal protectors are used in some ballasts to limit maximum case temperature and meet UL Class P safety standards.

    Third Harmonic

    Third multiple of the fundamental frequency that will add in the neutral wire of a three phase, 4 wire, Wye system and will could cause over-heating of the neutral wire should it exceed 33 1/3 percent.

    Three Phase Current

    Current delivered through three wires with each wire serving as the return for the other two. Three- Phase Current

    Current delivered through three wires of a transformer with each wire serving as the return for the other two. Three-Phase 4-wire Wye

    Most popular electrical wiring system for building wiring in use today.

    Total Harmonic Distortion

    The combined effect of Harmonic Distortion on the AC waveform produced by the ballast or other device. Transients

    Transients are sudden but significant deviations from normal voltage or current levels. Trigger Start Ballast

    Electromagnetic ballast that starts and operates preheat lamps similar to a Rapid Start lamp. No separate starter is needed to ignite the lamp.

    UL (Underwriters'' Laboratories, Inc.)

    Laboratory that sets safety standards for building materials, electrical appliances and other products. Voltage (V)

    A measure of electrical potential, express in volts (V).

    Voltage Sag

    Drop in voltage levels of electrical distribution system, which interferes with the operation of electrical and electronic equipment. Commonly called "Brownout," Results when demand for electricity exceeds capacity of the distribution system.

    Watts (W)

    Unit for measuring electrical power



    发布时间;200719 1113

    1、镇流器!安定器,损失值!Ballast Loss

    这一数值代表电子镇流器!电子安定器,本身所消耗的能源转换成热能而非光能(此数值可由总输出功率减去全部灯管所消耗的功率(一般而言(传统40W 双灯之镇流器约消耗22W(而电子镇流器约为7W 2、光输出比值!Ballast Factor

    这一数值可以看出使用电子镇流器光输出的相对效果(其值是由测得电子镇流器的光输出值(除以标准镇流器点灯下的光输出值(所求得百分比(一般而言(此一数值愈高(代表光输出效果愈佳(对电子镇流器而言(不得小于0.9(但也有为专门强调高输出值而设计的电子镇流器(其光输出比值可高达1.181.28 3、镇流器效率值!Ballast Efficacy Factor

    这一数值可同光输出比值!Ballast Factor,除以镇流器输入功率值!Input Power,(在美国市场卖方通常以这一数值(来衡量比较各家电子镇流器效率的优劣(这一数值愈高(代表电子镇流器的效率愈佳。 4、波峰比!Crest Factor


    5、功率因素!Power Factor

    这一数值可以表示电子镇流器将外界输入电压和电流转换成可供使用功率的效率值(功率因素值愈高(峄供应电力系统之公司!指电力公司,十分有利(国外的电力公司为鼓励消费者使用高功率因素的电子镇流器(比采用补贴政策(但是一般消费者以为PF值愈高愈省电(这是一种错误的观念(其实省电的多少和PF值没有关联。 6、总谐波!Total Harmonic Distortion

    一般三相式供电系统频率周期!50/60HZ3的倍数!36912,容易对交流电的正弦波造成扭曲(导致引起不当的大电流(对电器设备有所伤害。对电子镇流器而言(各国安规皆有明确规定总谐波!Total Harmonic Distortion(THD,值必须小于一特定值(欧洲IEC、美国ANSI、台湾CNS、日本JIS规定THD值必须小于33%(但是在美国市场上将电子镇流器分成二种等级(THD小于20%一个等级(以及THD小于20%一个等级。一般而言(在大量使用电脑声所或者使用精密电子仪器或设备的场所(应该使用较严谨或较低的THD值。 7、并联式、串联式回路!Parallel vs Series Circuit




    8、噪音!Audible Noise


    9、主动功因!有源修正,/被动功因!无源修正,!Active/Passive Power


     10、高输出!High Output

    设计电子镇流器可以朝二个方向进行(一是走节约能源的路线(一是走提高光输出的路线(如果朝高输出方向设计电子镇流器(其配合的灯管必须要特别注意(不能选用一般传统灯管(必须选用专门开发给电子镇流器使用的灯管(方可以设计高输出型的电子镇流器(其特点系灯管本身的管压特别来得高(并且使用较粗的灯丝(例如(日本市场的HF高频灯管(欧美的T832W高频灯管均属于这一类灯管(打开其灯丝结构(就可以发现高频灯管的灯丝采用较粗厚的线径!Stick Coil,(可以承受较高的电流。


    任何高频电子产品均会产生那杂讯!Noise,(电子杂讯干扰可分为传导干扰和幅射干扰两方面来谈(一般而言(传导干扰会透过电源线去干扰影响其他电子或电器产品正常工作(而幅射干扰则是透过空间去干扰影响其他设备(对于电器用品的使用(一般国家的电气安规皆有制定防止电磁干扰的规范为(例如欧洲IECEN55015,、美国FCC PART 18、日本JIS等等皆有规定商业用及住家用防止电磁干扰的标准(其中以欧洲在这方面的规定最为严峻。一般而言(公司的电脑处理中心、使用精密电子仪器或测试设备的场所、医院、以及播音室等等(深怕电磁干扰的场所(应特别要求使用符合EMI/EMC规定的电子镇流器。

    12、交直流两用!AC/DC Exchangeable



    一般传统镇流器点灯(其点灯频率和供电系统频率一样(每秒种5060次周期!50/60Hz,(在这种情况下点灯闪烁程度约为33%(而电子镇流器因为高频点灯(其频率高达20K50K(其闪烁程度低于5%(如果使用主动功因(其闪烁程度可低于2%(此一数值愈高(对眼睛而言是愈舒适(愈不会产生疲劳现象。 14、保护回路


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