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'[OT] Hyperikon Retrofit LED Tubes Without Ballast'
2020\11\05@111731 by Harold Hallikainen

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This discussion reminds me of just how interesting fluorescent lamps are.
Wikipedia has a nice article at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lamp .

Many years ago, I did some work on fluorescent lamps for television
lighting. I always thought the ballast was interesting. An oscillator with
an H-bridge drove the lamp. The H-bridge drove the lamp through an
inductor. The H-bridge with series inductor was connected to one filament
pin at each end of the lamp. A capacitor connected the other filament pin
at each end of the lamp. Before the lamp fired, the LC was resonant
causing a high current through the filaments, lighting them. The resonance
also created a high voltage across the capacitor and across the tube. The
filament heating and high voltage across the tube would ionize the gas,
shorting out the capacitor. The inductor then became a current limiter.

I always thought that was VERY clever!

Harold



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2020\11\24@214029 by Martin McCormick

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We just bought 4 Hyperikon retrofit LED tubes to replace some
25-year-old tubes that gave up the ghost.  Both pairs of tubes
worked just fine so we got 4 more for another fixture that has 2
RF-type ballasts of different design.  Both work properly with 2
pairs of old-school T8 fluorescent tubes but not with the new LED
tubes.
       The new LED tubes are 48-inch drop-in replacements for the
t8's and I seem to recall that the marketing information for the
LED tubes indicated they could work without ballasts if one
rewired the sockets.  The LED tubes are stamped with information
that they can work over a range of 100 volts to above 200 V so
they could be fed directly from the AC line without ballasts.

       In the ballast configuration, two gas discharge tubes are
in series on each ballast.  It sounds like the ballasts must double
the voltage so that each gas tube sees half that voltage or
somewhere about or slightly above the AC power line voltage.

       The LED tubes don't need the cathode heat voltage which
is somewhere around 1.5 to 3 volts and do need to see an
end-to-end voltage within the recommended range  for proper operation.

       Each old gas tube draws 40 watts and the new LED
replacements draw 18 watts each.  They also only shine in one
direction so that you orient the tube so that the clear side
points where you need the light.

       I was thinking about hooking one of the new tubes up to a
variac and transformer to see if my understanding is correct
before  ripping out the 2 electronic ballasts in the fixture that
does not work with the new LED's.  
       In theory, each tube has it's own current regulation
which is why the marketing literature mentioned ballast bypass
operation.

       The tubes come with stickers one can place on fixtures
indicating that old-style fluorescent tubes must never be used
here.

       Has anybody tried this already or is my understanding
flawed?

       When I discovered that the electronic ballasts in one
fixture didn't work correctly with the LED's, I picked out 4
newer glass tubes and was able to prove that both ballasts work.

       I would rather cart all the glass tubes off to our local
recycler, though, and use the LED tubes which save energy and are
not as fragile.  At 48 inches or 1.2 meters, they are just
begging to be accidentally hit/broken against some object when
one is climbing a ladder or carrying them around.  I've been
working with these for 30 years and finally bumped one against
the inside of a wooden box built around one fixture.  The blow
wasn't much but the tube shattered and made quite a low-grade
hazardous waste incident in our house.

       Any constructive ideas as to documentation are
appreciated.

       Martin McCormick
WB5AGZ
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2020\11\24@230433 by James Cameron

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I can't confirm the data you have on your product, but I've changed two
fittings over to LED tubes and have another nine not yet changed.  The
change for my tubes was to wire 240V to each end of the tube,
isolating the ballast and starter.

I halted my upgrade because;

* emission was not omnidirectional; with slanted white ceilings and
 the fittings suspended about 500mm below them, it felt oppressive
 not to have the ceiling lit,

* total lumens emitted to the floor area was not as great,

* the colour rendering index was poor.

Then I overspecified on solar panels and battery to compensate.  ;-)

-- James Cameron
http://quozl.netrek.org/
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