HF Information

The first HF ballast came onto the market in the mid-80s. At first the price was relatively high and the benefits were low. Prices and quality have now stabilised at a more acceptable level. Most people who choose luminares with HF ballast do so to reduce running costs. The user-benefits of this are a reduced number of light replacements and reduced running costs. Research has shown that lighting using HF ballast causes less tiredness and better concentration. A simple and cheap way to improve the interior environment would be to install new luminaires with HF ballast.

We only use ballasts from Europe’s most respected suppliers. All of our HF ballasts have inbuilt innovations, such as warm start and constant light, independent of mains supply.

Description of functions a HF ballast consists of:

Mains filter
Prevents the mains supply from damaging the ballast and any disturbances in the ballast reaching the mains supply.

Converts AC to DC power.

High frequency generator
Transforms the DC to a high frequency lamp current.

Control circuits
Logic circuits that control, among other things, correct start-up and also deactivation of failed tubes. Compared to conventional ballasts the start-up is completed by the ballast itself. First, the cathodes are pre-heated to the right temperature. This takes approx. 1 - 2 seconds, then the starting pulse begins  the charging process. It is the high-frequency lamp current, which makes the light tube more efficient. The thin fluorescent layer inside the tube makes the light constant and not fluctuate with the mains frequency. This makes the light even more efficient.

Flicker free
Conventional control gear gives a light that fluctuates in tune with the mains supply. The light flickers, and in some cases this can cause headache and concentration problems. Using a HF ballast gives the tubes a higher operational frequency (approx. 40kHz) and the result is a flicker free light. See figure.

Conventional control gear with a starter will continue trying to restart the light tube if it fails to start the first time. HF control gear provides a one-time controlled start for the light tube.

Using warm start, the cathodes are preheated prior to the actual starting process. This reduces stresses on the emission materials, which emit electrons, resulting in a longer lifecycle of the light tube.

Constant light
Constant light means that the HF control gear gives a constant light current to the light tube independent of mains voltage. This means that the light tube gives a constant light level despite irregularities in the network.

Deactivated tubes
Conventional control gear will repeatedly try to start defect lamp/s causing flickering light tubes. After a time the starter will lock and leave the lamps glowing.A rapid rise in temperature occurs, which in some cases can be a fire risk ! Using a HF ballast, lamps that can’t be started will be automatically deactivated. Note! In a two lamp ballast both tubes will be disconnected even if only one of them stops working.

Mains supply
HF ballast works with a mains supply of 230V +/-10%. It can have a frequency of between 50 and 60Hz. Most also function with a DC power source. Contact us for further information.

Leak current
The network fi lter in the HF always contains a capacitor connected between phase and ground. This results in a minor but constant leak current in the luminaires. The luminaire standard limits this to 1mA, and this should be used as a rule of thumb when you plan to scale the number or luminaires on an earth circuit breaker. Note! Remember the max. values for an earthed circuit breaker.


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