Why use electronic starters for fluorescent tubes?
- Increase tube life by up to double
- Save time and money by reducing maintenance costs
- Stop the flickering and flashing caused by normal “flicker” starters
Fact 1: Almost all Fluorescent Lamp Failures are Caused by Filament Depletion
The service life of a fluorescent lamp is primarily dictated by the durability of the cathode filament assemblies. These filaments are similar to those in an ordinary lamp but instead of producing light are used to ionise the internal gas to the point where current will flow through the tube. The ionised gas produces ultraviolet light that is then converted to visible light by the white phosphors coating the tube wall. Rare earth metals covering the filament produce the ionisation required for operation. When this emissive coating is exhausted, no ionisation possible and the lamp ceases to operate.
Fact 2: CONVENTIONAL starters considerably REDUCE service life of a fluorescent lamp
Once a lamp is burning constantly only a very small amount of emissive material is consumed. During ignition by a conventional (flicker) starter a large amount of emissive material is dislodged from the cathodes – often equivalent to more than a full day of normal operation. This is due to very rapid heating of the cathode and the “explosive” nature of the high energy starting pulse that seeks the path of least resistance i.e. weak spots on the filament.
Fact 3: ELECTRONIC starters considerably EXTEND the service life of a fluorescent lamp
By minimising stress on the filaments during the starting process lamp life is maximised. An electronic starter achieves this by gradually heating the cathodes, at low voltage, to full ionisation temperature and then delivering a low energy starting pulse At the end of the pre-heating period, the cathodes will be emitting freely over their entire area thus avoiding the explosive start of a conventional starter described above. The starter automatically adjusts pre-heating time in accordance with ambient conditions.
Due to the complete pre-heating and low energy pulse, the cathodes suffer no measurable wear during the start cycle and the lamps burn for as many hours as if they were operated continuously without restarting.
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