9.2 Lamps and Fixtures, Fluorescent
This part of the Energy Efficiency Manual shows how to lower the cost of lighting by the efficient use of fluorescent lamps, ballasts, and lighting fixtures (also called “luminaires”).
Fluorescent lighting is popular because it provides an excellent combination of efficiency, good color rendering, long lamp life, low lamp cost, and other desirable characteristics. Fluorescent lighting provides most of the illumination inside commercial buildings, and it is used widely in industrial applications. Fluorescent lighting is even rapidly into residential applications, largely in the form of compact screw-in lamps.
Here you will learn to optimize fluorescent lighting design in new applications and to improve or retrofit fluorescent lighting in existing facilities. Explained here are the selection factors for fluorescent lamps, including light output, wattage, efficiency (called “luminous efficacy” by specialists), lamp color, color rendering, lamp life, voltage sensitivity, operating temperatures, cost, and other factors.
Also explained are the selection factors for fluorescent ballasts, which must be matched precisely to the lamps. The basic types are magnetic ballasts, electronic ballasts, and hybrid ballasts. Their characteristics include wattage input, ballast factor, crest factor, efficiency, lamp connections, lamp current frequency, filament operation, dimming capability, acoustical noise, power factor, and harmonic distortion.
For improving existing fluorescent lighting, you will learn the correct methods of removing excess lamps from fixtures, called “delamping,” and disconnecting excess ballasts, called “deballasting.” You will learn the facts about controversial fluorescent “reflector” retrofits. And, you will learn about the application of fluorescent dimming.
It appears likely that fluorescent lighting will continue to dominate. The technology is presently undergoing major changes, oriented primarily toward improved efficiency and color rendering, but also driven by style and marketing. A dark cloud on the horizon is environmental concern about the mercury content of fluorescent lamps.