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6. Like other resistance elements, incandescent lamps have a unity power factor.
7. Since the resistance of cold tungsten is lower than that of hot tungsten, the
initial surge of current when voltage is applied to a lamp is many times greater than
the stabilized current a few seconds later; the transient current often is as much as
10 times normal current.
8. On series circuits, socket cutouts or other automatic devices may be used to
short-circuit individual lamps upon burnout.
9. Stand-by battery service can be used for both a-c and d-c systems, provided a
pure resistance load is supplied as in the case of incandescent lamps.
Arc- and Gaseous-Discharge Lamp Characteristics Important in Wiring Design
Electric-discharge lamps, unlike incandescent-filament lamps, are capacitance
rather than resistance elements. Because they have a negative volt-ampere charac-
teristic, a resistance or reactance "ballast" must be connected in series with them so
as to maintain the circuit current at the desired value and to prevent immediate
failure of the lamps.
The following factors are pertinent to wiring design for electric-discharge-lamp
1. Because of the negative resistance of the typical arc, and because certain com-
pensating features can be built into the ballasting equipment, the attainment of rated
line voltage is not as essential to good lamp performance as with incandescent lamps.
2. On direct current, the line voltage must be sufficiently higher than the voltage
drop of the lamp to permit arc stability.
3. Though incandescent lamps operate satisfactorily at reduced output and in-
creased life from almost to 100 per cent rated voltage, discharge lamps are more
limited. Sudden voltage drops, even if not a very large percentage of rated voltage,
may cause lamps to flicker or to cease operating. Similarly, low initial voltages may
prevent lamps from starting.
4. Series operation of some discharge lamps is quite feasible, provided they are
not of a type wherein there are appreciable characteristic differences between cold and
hot operation. On high-voltage series circuits lamps can be dimmed satisfactorily
to a small percentage of normal output by reducing the current in the circuit.
5. The light output of discharge lamps follows the input current very closely.
Therefore, cyclic variations caused by alternating current are quite noticeable on all
low frequencies. This stroboscopic effect is perceptible at 60 cycles when moving
objects are illuminated. Lead-lag ballasts or operation on different phases of mul-
tiple-phase circuits minimize this characteristic.
6. Discharge lamps have less than unity power factor. The combined power factor
of lamp and ballast will be less than unity also if a means for power factor correction
is not provided.
7. Except for lamps with preheat cycles or lamps that change characteristics
appreciably during warm-up periods because of pressure build-up, there is no basic
difference between starting and operating circuit requirements.
8. Many types of discharge lamps can be used on direct current, although d-c
operation is not as flexible as a-c operation.
9. Although discharge lamps operated on alternating current require ballast, the
latter may be simpler and cheaper if the supplied voltage can be used directly instead
of through a transformer.
10. Long, tubular, low-pressure, gaseous-discharge lamps can be operated in series
and, if mounted end to end, require no secondary wiring system, because the lamps
themselves act as the circuit conductors.
Electrical Distribution Systems for Building Interiors
An electrical system should take care not only of the existing known loads, but also
the foreseeable future loads. The voltage drop should be a practical minimum. Last
but not least, the electrical system should be installed in such a manner that safety
to life, limb, and property will be assured. See Fig. A-l.