Constitutionality of light bulb ban questioned - Environmental Protection Agency must be called for a broken bulb



T = Tubular
The number is the diameter in 8ths of inches. Another number in the full designation is usually the nominal wattage, but sometimes the length in inches.
Examples: F40T12/CW Fluorescent, 40 Watts, 1.5" diameter, Cool White halophosphate phosphor
F32T8/850 Fluorescent, 32 Watts, 1" diameter, 80+ CRI 5000K trichromatic phosphor
F96T12/D/HO Fluorescent, 96" length, 1.5" diameter, Daylight halophosphate phosphor, High Output (800mA)
and a really rare bird... F48PG17/D Fluorescent, 48" length, 2-1/8" diameter Power Groove dimpled tube, Daylight halophosphate phosphor, VHO (1500mA)
T8 and T12 use the same sockets and have the same lengths. High Output (HO) and Very High Output (VHO) are also available, those use RDC rather than bipin end caps and are slightly shorter to accommodate the larger sockets. Fixture lengths are the same for all those.
Not all ballasts are created equally. The wattage stamped on the tube is the nominal rating. The actual power is determined by the ballast, which is a constant-current source. The low energy retrofit tubes such as the 34W T12 accomplish this by changing the gas fill to have a lower voltage drop, so with the same current, the wattage is lower.
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On Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:00:11 GMT, James Sweet

I accidentally bought 34W T12 and they were slightly long and wouldn't fit my old T12 fixtures :-(
...Jim Thompson
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Jim Thompson wrote:

Sounds like you have HO or VHO fixtures with RDC sockets. Look at the ballast to make sure you get the right tubes, HO and VHO are physically but not electrically interchangeable.
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On Sat, 21 Jun 2008 00:00:30 GMT, James Sweet

How do I tell? The fixtures are 15 years old.
...Jim Thompson
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T8's were designed in Europe to retrofit into T12 fittings and provide energy savings. That doesn't work with the control gear used on US 120V mains, where I believe you require different control gear for the T8's and T12's of the same length.

That's how our first energy saving retrofit worked. In 1978, Thorn Lighting produced a 100W tube to retrofit into 125W 8' fittings. It used krypton rather than argon base gas fill. It just predated the move to T8 tri-phosphor tubes, which were used for all the shorter tube retrofits which followed on.
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A UK friend and I have discussed this at length and I've sent him some 4' T8 lamps to play with. As I recall, we concluded that US T8 lamps are electrically different than the UK lamps. They're 230mA and over here they all use electronic ballasts. I have some 40W choke ballasts from over there but I haven't tried running a T8 with one yet.
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Very likely -- they're different ratings too. A 4' T8 designed for a 40W ballast on 220-240V is rated 36W. Your 4' T8 is 32W IIRC. Likewise all the other T8 tube lengths are differently rated between US and elsewhere.

They're designed for switchstart operation here (known as preheat in the US). Of course, there are electronic ballasts available for many years, but not when they first came out.
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|> |> |>> |>> T8's were designed in Europe to retrofit into T12 fittings and |>> provide energy savings. That doesn't work with the control gear |>> used on US 120V mains, where I believe you require different |>> control gear for the T8's and T12's of the same length. |> |> |> A UK friend and I have discussed this at length and I've sent him some |> 4' T8 lamps to play with. As I recall, we concluded that US T8 lamps are |> electrically different than the UK lamps. | | Very likely -- they're different ratings too. A 4' T8 designed for | a 40W ballast on 220-240V is rated 36W. Your 4' T8 is 32W IIRC. | Likewise all the other T8 tube lengths are differently rated between | US and elsewhere. | |> They're 230mA and over here they all use electronic ballasts. | | They're designed for switchstart operation here (known as | preheat in the US). Of course, there are electronic ballasts | available for many years, but not when they first came out.
I wonder what it would be like in the USA if we wired our fluorescent lights to 240 volts instead of 120 volts. Virtually all homes have it (or at least 208 volts). Of course we'd need 2-pole switches. But at least it's still only 120 volts shock potential relative to ground.
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snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

It would be like it is in most of Europe, choke ballasts with glowbottle starters. A bit more efficient than our autotransformer ballasts, but still less than modern electronic.
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| | snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:
wrote:
|> |> |> |> |> |>> |> |>> T8's were designed in Europe to retrofit into T12 fittings and |> |>> provide energy savings. That doesn't work with the control gear |> |>> used on US 120V mains, where I believe you require different |> |>> control gear for the T8's and T12's of the same length. |> |> |> |> |> |> A UK friend and I have discussed this at length and I've sent him some |> |> 4' T8 lamps to play with. As I recall, we concluded that US T8 lamps are |> |> electrically different than the UK lamps. |> | |> | Very likely -- they're different ratings too. A 4' T8 designed for |> | a 40W ballast on 220-240V is rated 36W. Your 4' T8 is 32W IIRC. |> | Likewise all the other T8 tube lengths are differently rated between |> | US and elsewhere. |> | |> |> They're 230mA and over here they all use electronic ballasts. |> | |> | They're designed for switchstart operation here (known as |> | preheat in the US). Of course, there are electronic ballasts |> | available for many years, but not when they first came out. |> |> I wonder what it would be like in the USA if we wired our fluorescent lights |> to 240 volts instead of 120 volts. Virtually all homes have it (or at least |> 208 volts). Of course we'd need 2-pole switches. But at least it's still |> only 120 volts shock potential relative to ground. |> | | | It would be like it is in most of Europe, choke ballasts with glowbottle | starters. A bit more efficient than our autotransformer ballasts, but | still less than modern electronic.
Would electronic ballast be the same efficiency on both voltage systems?
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Yes, there's very little loss in an electronic ballast and it doesn't vary much by line voltage.
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writes: | | | > | > Here in Arizona's mild winters even regular fluorescents tubes flicker | > in my garage. | > | > ...Jim Thompson | | | They're probably those crappy 34W energy saver tubes with magnetic | ballasts that usually don't drive them harder than about 25W. Those were | a hack from the 70s energy crisis and hardly work in a drafty room | indoors.
I thought the 34W F40T12 energy miser tubes became common as a result of the 1992 EPACT that also brought us the horrible 60W F96T12 tubes. This was the law that was popularly described as banning (yes, I know, there's that word again) cool white tubes.
I remember having a lot of trouble with short lives on the "compatible" 34W F40 tubes until I replaced the ballasts with dual-rated 40W/34W ones. The 60W F96T12 tubes were just so dreary that I went for the much more expensive improved color rendering 75W products that were exempt from the requirements. These provided *almost* as much light as the original 75W F96T12/CW tubes, so slightly less efficiency at a much higher price.
In the past few years I've noticed that the commodity F40 and F96 tubes at the home centers are once again 40W and 75W respectively, so I assume they all now qualify for the good color rendering (or other) exemption from the requirements. (Or are they lying about the wattage?)
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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Trichromatic phosphor blends are much more common these days and a lot cheaper than they used to be, so you can easily get 40W high CRI lamps.
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writes: | | | > In the past few years I've noticed that the commodity F40 and F96 tubes | > at the home centers are once again 40W and 75W respectively, so I assume | > they all now qualify for the good color rendering (or other) exemption | > from the requirements. (Or are they lying about the wattage?) | > | >                 Dan Lanciani | >                 ddl@danlan.*com | | | Trichromatic phosphor blends are much more common these days and a lot | cheaper than they used to be, so you can easily get 40W high CRI lamps.
And 75W F96 tubes, though they cost a little more than the dirt cheap CW versions did. I guess this is great if you like a high color rendering index, but I'm still not clear on how it ultimately helped with energy conservation or efficiency. Now if they had gone on to produce 34W F40 and 60W F96 tubes that put out as much light as the older 40W and 75W versions I could see the justification for the higer costs, ballast replacements, and such in the meantime. But as it is, aren't we pretty much back where we started (from an energy usage point of view)?
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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On 22 Jun 2008 17:16:51 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote:

Hi Dan,
Twenty or thirty years ago, a conventional two-tube F96T12 fixture would draw about 180-watts. Today, with 60-watt lamps and energy saving magnetic ballasts, that number falls closer to 135 or 140-watts, so there's been at least some improvement.
In terms of operating efficacy, a 75-watt Sylvania F96T12/D41/ECO (4,100K/70 CRI) is rated at 6,420 initial lumens and powered by a standard magnetic-core ballast (0.88 BF), we obtain about 63 lumens from each watt. A 60-watt Sylvania F96T12/D41/SS/ECO (4,100K/70 CRI) at 5,600 initial lumens and driven by a newer energy saving magnetic ballast would bump that up to perhaps 71 or 72 lumens per watt.
Things do improve considerably once you move to T8. A 59-watt Sylvania F096/841/XP/ECO (4,100K/85 CRI) has a nominal rating of 6,100 lumens and a two tube fixture with a 0.88 BF electronic ballast draws approximately 110-watts -- that puts us in the range of 97 or 98 lumens per watt.
In addition to better colour rendering and higher system efficacy, there's also a 50 per cent improvement in lamp life (18,000 hrs. versus 12,000 at 3 hrs per start), plus no flicker or ballast noise; lumen maintenance is also notably better at 93 to 95 per cent versus 80 to 85 per cent. As an added bonus, T8s typically offer better cold weather performance (e.g., Sylvania's F96T8 lamps have a 0F starting temperature when used with Quictronic ballasts).
Cheers, Paul
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snipped-for-privacy@ns.sympatico.ca (Paul M. Eldridge) writes: | On 22 Jun 2008 17:16:51 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote: |
Sweet) writes: | >| | >| | >| > In the past few years I've noticed that the commodity F40 and F96 tubes | >| > at the home centers are once again 40W and 75W respectively, so I assume | >| > they all now qualify for the good color rendering (or other) exemption | >| > from the requirements. (Or are they lying about the wattage?) | >| > | >| >                 Dan Lanciani | >| >                 ddl@danlan.*com | >| | >| | >| Trichromatic phosphor blends are much more common these days and a lot | >| cheaper than they used to be, so you can easily get 40W high CRI lamps. | > | >And 75W F96 tubes, though they cost a little more than the dirt cheap CW | >versions did. I guess this is great if you like a high color rendering | >index, but I'm still not clear on how it ultimately helped with energy | >conservation or efficiency. Now if they had gone on to produce 34W F40 | >and 60W F96 tubes that put out as much light as the older 40W and 75W | >versions I could see the justification for the higer costs, ballast | >replacements, and such in the meantime. But as it is, aren't we pretty | >much back where we started (from an energy usage point of view)? | > | >                Dan Lanciani | >                ddl@danlan.*com | | | Hi Dan, | | Twenty or thirty years ago, a conventional two-tube F96T12 fixture | would draw about 180-watts. Today, with 60-watt lamps and energy | saving magnetic ballasts, that number falls closer to 135 or | 140-watts, so there's been at least some improvement.
I get kind of confused when several variables change at once. :( Assume that I use the same ballasts I was using 20-30 years ago and also assume that I don't like the lower illumination from the 60W tubes so I use the current more expensive 75W tubes. (Both assumptions happen to reflect reality. :) How does my energy usage today compare to my usage when I could get the cheap 75W cool white tubes?
| In terms of operating efficacy, a 75-watt Sylvania F96T12/D41/ECO | (4,100K/70 CRI) is rated at 6,420 initial lumens and powered by a | standard magnetic-core ballast (0.88 BF), we obtain about 63 lumens | from each watt. A 60-watt Sylvania F96T12/D41/SS/ECO (4,100K/70 CRI) | at 5,600 initial lumens and driven by a newer energy saving magnetic | ballast would bump that up to perhaps 71 or 72 lumens per watt.
Can I get energy saving magnetic ballasts to drive 75W tubes at higher efficiency or do they depend on using the 60W tubes?
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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On 24 Jun 2008 03:16:08 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote:

Hi Dan,
If your 75-watt replacement tubes are driven by the fixture's original ballast, wattage remains the same -- again, about 180-watts in total.

You can; as is true of your current ballast, energy saving magnetic ballasts are compatible with both 60 and 75-watt lamps. However, if you plan to replace the ballast, you might as well switch to an electronic version and pop in a couple T8 tubes; the benefits are:
* 40% energy savings (110-watts versus 180-watts) * 50% longer lamp life (18,000 hours versus 12,000 hours) * cooler operation (potentially helpful in warmer climates) * silent operation (no annoying ballast hum) * no flicker (important if you work with some types of machinery) * typically better colour rendering (improved light quality) * better lumen maintenance (more light over the life of the tube) * typically better cold weather performance (starting down to 0F) * better long-term availability of replacement lamps (???)
A 75-watt F96T12 + standard magnetic ballast is the technical equivalent of a 1978 Ford Granada. It may have been considered a good performer in its day (** snicker **), but thirty years later we've thankfully moved the goal posts a little further.
Cheers, Paul
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snipped-for-privacy@ns.sympatico.ca (Paul M. Eldridge) writes: | On 24 Jun 2008 03:16:08 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote: |
snipped-for-privacy@ns.sympatico.ca (Paul M. Eldridge) writes: | >| On 22 Jun 2008 17:16:51 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote: | >| | >| Hi Dan, | >| | >| Twenty or thirty years ago, a conventional two-tube F96T12 fixture | >| would draw about 180-watts. Today, with 60-watt lamps and energy | >| saving magnetic ballasts, that number falls closer to 135 or | >| 140-watts, so there's been at least some improvement. | > | >I get kind of confused when several variables change at once. :( | >Assume that I use the same ballasts I was using 20-30 years ago | >and also assume that I don't like the lower illumination from the | >60W tubes so I use the current more expensive 75W tubes. (Both | >assumptions happen to reflect reality. :) How does my energy usage | >today compare to my usage when I could get the cheap 75W cool white | >tubes? | | | Hi Dan, | | If your 75-watt replacement tubes are driven by the fixture's original | ballast, wattage remains the same -- again, about 180-watts in total. | | | >| In terms of operating efficacy, a 75-watt Sylvania F96T12/D41/ECO | >| (4,100K/70 CRI) is rated at 6,420 initial lumens and powered by a | >| standard magnetic-core ballast (0.88 BF), we obtain about 63 lumens | >| from each watt. A 60-watt Sylvania F96T12/D41/SS/ECO (4,100K/70 CRI) | >| at 5,600 initial lumens and driven by a newer energy saving magnetic | >| ballast would bump that up to perhaps 71 or 72 lumens per watt. | > | >Can I get energy saving magnetic ballasts to drive 75W tubes at higher | >efficiency or do they depend on using the 60W tubes? | | | You can; as is true of your current ballast, energy saving magnetic | ballasts are compatible with both 60 and 75-watt lamps.
Can you recommend a specific part? Mine are actually single tube fixtures so this would be for one F96T12 tube. I'm assuming that energy saving magnetic ballasts save energy by putting out less heat rather than, say, by not driving the tube as hard. Is there any downside at all to using them?
| However, if | you plan to replace the ballast, you might as well switch to an | electronic version and pop in a couple T8 tubes;
I tried electronic ballasts at one point but they generated too much RFI (interfering with, IIRC, low-band VHF television and AM radio) and they also caused problems for my X10 (power line control) devices. Based on more recent experience with neighbors' CFLs and even the "electronic transformer" on a reading lamp I'm a little skeptical about the value of the FCC label. :( Can I do anything useful with T8 tubes and magnetic ballasts?
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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On 25 Jun 2008 03:08:28 GMT, ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote:

Hi Dan,
There's really no downside as such, but not a whole lot of up either given that with the exception of the limited watts saved all the other limitations previously noted still apply. I'm afraid I can't recommend a specific part because I use electronic ballasts exclusively, but hopefully others in this group can offer their recommendations.

I haven't personally encountered any of the issues you mention and my firm installed several hundred of these ballasts at a major defence contractor, including their test labs where they use highly sensitive bench equipment (FWIW, we use only Osram Sylvania's Quictronic ballasts). I might suggest trying one out to see how it works, and if you're not completely satisfied exchange it for an ES magnetic; alternatively, give Sylvania a call at 1-800-LIGHTBULB and relay your concerns to them directly prior to making your purchase. Good luck!
Cheers, Paul
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Many of the ones exempt on basis of better color rendering do so with compromise in light output, *unless*: The CRI (color rendering index) is in the low-mid 80's! CRI around/above 90 "pretty much requires" significant to severe compromise in light output. Furthermore, if CRI is in the low-mid 80's the color distortions are often mostly *favorable* (main exception of reds being distorted slightly to orangish). Otherwise, color distortions are mostly to darker/duller for reds and greens, especially reds. The color distortions are less when CRI is around 90 or in the low 90's, but still usually largely in unfavorable directions.
As for F40 with uncompromised light output and color distortions mainly *not* dulling/darkening - Philips "Ultralume". I think that Sylvania's "Interior Design"/"Designer" is fairly similar. Watch for color temperature rating - these come in more than one, especially Philips "Ultralume"!
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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