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Fluorescent Starters

Dwayne Oxford

Registered
Bug zapper's got 2 50W u-bulbs. One of the bare bulb starters is dead. Soldered in a regular starter socket, ordered these from Ebay, 25 x Sylvania FS-11 Universal Fluorescent Light Tube Starter 4-65 Watt, which won't work because I failed to see they're 220/240V.
Anybody know where to get starters that'll work these bulbs? Or maybe use resistors or something to make lower watt starters work?
 

Dwayne Oxford

Registered
Re: Fluorescent starters

Thanky kindly Wayne.

---------- Post added at 02:31:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:11:14 PM ----------

Anybody know enough about them to know if there's range tolerance that'll work? And what happens when you put a smaller starter with larger bulb & vs. vs.? I've yet to see anything on how they work in language my ignorance level can understand.
 

DustyBar

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/14/2020
Re: Fluorescent starters

Those can type starters are a mystery to me too. Some have a small neon bulb inside and a hole in the can so light will shine into it when the fluorescent bulb is lit. Whats that all about? I realize the neon lights at about 90 volts. Does light shining on the neon bulb change that?
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
Re: Fluorescent starters

You could take a page from Diazor lights and install a push button to light the filaments.
No starter needed.
 

Harry

Administrator
Staff member
Fluorescent lamps are the most miserable lamp to keep going. Especially so in colder weather! If the lamps last a year, they've done good. The bulk of ours work with a so-called ballast and typically, that's what needs to be changed every five years or so. The old ballasts were super heavy compared with the newer lightweights and the older starters are no longer in my environment.

I've been in electrical and electronics all my life, but the fluorescent lamp retains its mystery. Maybe we should gather up some links or reading material.
 

Dwayne Oxford

Registered
Re: Fluorescent starters

Frank, got zappers plugged to dusk/dawn switches, hung on eaves. Have to take ladder around to do that.
 

Wayne 440

Registered
When the lamps in my "bug zapper" went bad, I replaced them with a porcelain socket and incandescent bulb. Now it provides light to see by and kills bugs just as well.

---------- Post added at 04:41:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:40:17 PM ----------

By the way, I eventually figured out that "bug zappers" serve me best when given to the neighbors.
 

Dwayne Oxford

Registered
Thanx Vanman, he does shed some light on fluorescents. My gather is there's little filaments at each end that the starter gives full power to, and when the gasses and mercury get lit, that reduces the power to the starter and it removes the power to the filaments. Wonder how long the "universal" starters been around? Wish I'da known about them earlier. Kinda makes me wonder if all the different starters wasn't a racket. Maybe material technology's improved to enable the universals.

Wayne, the black lights drawing the mosquitoes to the zapper give me pretty much mosquito free AMs and use good bit less TVA bill.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
I would say that the starters can interchange between different lamps so long as the filament current is the same. That's what heats up the bimetallic switch in the neon lamp. Needs to heat up enough to open the switch, but not so fast that the filaments don't get hot enough first.
 

Dwayne Oxford

Registered
The universal starters will now work a wide range of bulbs where use'ta they all had a limited range. Wonder what changed and how long they've been available?
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Hmmmm, I don't know. Perhaps the new ones are more of a compromise on some lamps? :shrug:
 

Tracy T

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/16/2019
The guy in the video was fun to watch. I didn't know there was that much happening in the tube itself.
 

Dwayne Oxford

Registered
I left a comment/questions there. Didn't much look like he's much responsive though. Wondering too if what he's calling a "choke" is what I call the ballast?
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Choke - reactor - ballast. In this instance I believe all terms are correct.

Many ballasts, however, also have a transformer function to step up the voltage as well as performing current limiting duty.

A choke or reactor is only an inductor and simply applies line voltage to the lamp, then limits current when the lamp starts. And, as indicated by the film, provides a brief, high voltage spike across the lamp when the starter opens.

Keith
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
After watching the video it is even more amazing that florescent lights work as well as they do. (Not very well.) I am glad we had them, and glad we can now substitute LEDs
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
While this hadn't occurred to me, though it makes sense, I've grown to have quite the disgust for LEDs that I did not have before Big Brother began interfering with our right to free choice when it comes to light bulbs.

Because of overpopulation and morons reducing generating capacity here in Kommiefornia, electricity has become absurdly expensive. So I purchased a couple dozen CREE brand LED lamps when they *finally* came out with one with a good enough Color Rendering Index that they touted it rather than kept it a secret like the purveyors of most of this crap do.

These were for our facility, where many of them would burn for most of the day, but they're supposed to have a 25,000 hour lifespan. Well, bull$4!t. Many began being noticeably dimmer and / or outright failing within months. I have replaced all of them with halogen bulbs, and the house looks much, MUCH better for it. The damned LEDs are in a pile on the workbench, waiting for me to decide what to do with them lol.

Now, about the ones they're putting on cars. None of them look as nice as incandescent bulbs behind colored lenses, nor do they last as long, and nor are they as cheap and easy to replace, but the brake lights. Oh my gawd, those damned retina-burning LED brake lights!!! I F-ing HATE being stuck behind those infernal abominations!!! :rant:
 
L

Lead Head

Guest
Cree has a very good warranty on their bulbs, and will likely replace them for free. I will agree that Cree has had a lot of reliability issues with their bulbs though. When buying LED bulbs, try and find ones with heatsinks on them. The ones without heatsinks usually run right on the ragged edge of what their components are rated for (usually around 160-200*F).

If you go look at commercial LED lighting (spot lights in stores, parking garages, etc...) almost all of them have very sizeable heatsinks. Most cheap consumer bulbs don't and just run way too hot because of it.

LED and Fluorescent bulbs are different from incandescent in that, you really do get what you pay for. Bottom dollar fluorescent stuff will get you old T12 fixtures and bulbs that barely squeak out 50 lumens/watt and only last 18,000 hours that emit harsh tinted light. A high-end T8/T5 setup on the other hand will get you bulbs pushing 100 lumens/watt with lifespans up to 80,000 hours with near perfect color rendering giving you light almost imperceptibly different than daylight.

Same thing with LEDs. You buy the $5 LED bulb, you're going to get something that probably has poor color rendering, runs hot and will have a short life.
 
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