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  1. Join Date
    Dec 2004

    I've stumbled upon this contraption while browsing the 'net looking for electronic fluorescent ballasts. Among other things, it claims "30-40% energy savings" and "prolongs lamp life up to 7 years". Upon further browsing however, I find that it's probably nothing but an electronic version of the glowstarter for preheat lamps.

    How much does one of these things cost? I might substitute them on our less frequently used fixtures if it's economical. I'm a big skeptic though, I find the claims to be quite exaggerated:

    Oookay. We've had fluorescent lamps, both CFL's and conventional tube lamps last TEN years on conventional preheat ballasts. These lamps are started once a day - when it gets dark, and shut off before people go to bed. The frequently started lamps last around 3 years for the tube lamps and 2 years for CFL's. If you do start your lamps frequently, this claim might make sense - those failed starts and wrong restarts (not to mention those bad starters) are HARD on those filaments. Otherwise, it just echoes an advantage inherent to fluorescent lighting.

    The NUTEC vs Electronic Ballast page states that this claim applies for lamps running 10h/day. 10 hours/day x (365 days/year x 7 years + 1 leap day) = 25560 hours. Frankly, that's a bit of a stretch even for the super extra everlast long life tube fluorescent running at a perfect 25C and on perfectly regulated mains voltage. It's not unheard of though (hence "up to"). The comparison is also unfair to the electronic ballast setup by giving it a 6-8 MONTH lifetime - definitely not unless you're using a super el cheapo mismatched P100 Made in China instant start ballast on the cheapest tube.

    P.S. at 25k hours, your fluorescent lamp will be so dim as to be unusable. You'll probably replace it before 20,000, even if it still starts fine, it'll be too dim. Most lamps will be dead by 15,000 anyway - lamp life (not considering start-up frequency) is primarily a function of the lamp, not the ballast.

    SAVES AND CUTS ELECTRICITY COST of the fluorescent lamp up to 30%-40%
    Uhmm... not likely. Unless you're comparing a perfectly functional NUTEC to a perfectly defective regular starter unable to start a lamp properly. In the latter case, the ballast, filaments, and starter suck up all the power, and you'll probably have a fire.

    Energy consumption of a preheat with a NUTEC will probably be on par with a normal preheat that's working properly, and slightly lower than a magnetic rapid-start ballast (5% or less). Any well-made, properly working electronic design will be better than any of those still. Note that once the lamp gets going, it'll be the ballast and the lamp sucking up the power - not the starter.

    RESURRECTS TO LIFE “burnt out” lamps!
    Probably not. A more likely description would be "allows the use of lamps with marginal filaments". Chances are you've seen it before, those flickering lamps that never start, until you physically take the starter out - alluvasudden it works perfectly (because the starter isn't there to mistakenly restart the lamp). Again, the starter is unneeded once the lamp gets going. Incidentally, I've operated a lamp with a dead filament on one side with an electronic ballast. However, the bad side overheated a lot, which is probably bad for the ballast, the electric bill, and the fire safety - I discarded the lamp.


    On top of that, the NUTEC only addresses the drawbacks associated with the glowstarter on a preheat setup. All the other disadvantages of the preheat setup, like the 120Hz flicker, ballast power consumption, ballast noise (for old/bad/cheap ballasts), electromagnetic interference, and bad power factor, are still present and unaddressed.

    There are valid uses, however. It's cheaper than a full-blown proper electronic setup, and more reliable than the good ol' preheat glowstarter. Which is why I'm interested. How much does this contraption cost anyway, and where can I get one?

    While we're at it, where can I get decent single- and dual-lamp electronic ballasts for reasonable prices? I've got a few Econo-Watd's from Ace and I'm satisfied so far, but they are expensive! Tronix (the digital photography place) sells their own electronic ballasts (with 3-year warranties, if you're interested!) but they're too big to fit in the fixtures of interest. I specifically need a low ballast factor (0.7-0.8 or so, a normal ballast factor would be too bright = bad for power consumption for that size room), rapid start or programmed start, 2x40w ballast - any idea where I can get one?

    I don't want new fixtures - they're part of the current decor. Unless you would be willing to give for the redecoration too. :D

  2. Join Date
    Nov 2005
    according to my japanese boss, they are looking for electronic ballast because it already the common practice among households in japan to reduce cost of electricity. one of the suppliers of pldt is currently looking for such electronic ballast which should not exceed P5.5k.

NUTEC Energy Savings Device (for fluorescent lamps)