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Fundamentals of Lighting

Module 2
Light Sources and Ballasts

Module 2: Learning Objectives

Welcome to the second module in Lighting Fundamentals. After successfully completing Module 2, students will:

Understand the basic operation and performance characteristics of electric light sources
Understand how discharge light sources operate as part of a lamp/ballast system Be able to identify commonly used electric light sources and understand where and how they are applied Ready to begin? Lets start with..

Brief History of Light Sources

1880 Thomas Edison patents a carbon filament vacuum incandescent lamp. The first gas discharge source, NEON, is invented. Mercury Vapor (MV), Low Pressure Sodium (LPS), and the first fluorescent sources are developed. High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH) & colorcorrected MV lamps introduced. Color-improved HPS and MH. High CRI fluorescent lamps. Electronic fluorescent ballasts developed. CFL, T10 & T8 fluorescent lamps introduced. LED & Electroluminescent exit signs. Energy-efficient magnetic fluorescent ballasts. High-CRI HPS, Ceramic MH, Induction, Sulfur, T5 & T2, and reduced mercury fluorescent lamps, electronic HID ballasts introduced. High output blue LED developed Large scale market acceptance of CFLs; proliferation of white LEDs and colored LEDs for general illumination and signage;

1900 --1910


1950 --1960s




2000 ---


The Incandescent Lamp

Lamp Efficacy

Incandescent/Halogen 10 - 30 LPW Fluorescent 60 - 109 LPW Mercury 40 - 58 LPW Metal Halide 67 - 115 LPW High Pressure Sodium 71 - 145 LPW Low Pressure Sodium 100 - 180 LPW
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

Lumens Per Watt - Including Ballast

Incandescent Lamps
Definition: an incandescent lamp (generally known as a filament lamp) produces light using the principle of incandescence when a tungsten filament is sufficiently heated by passing electric current through it, it will glow and emit light.

Types: there are two general families of filament lamps: incandescent and halogen (more on halogen a little later).

Filament lamps are still the most common light source. They are available in a myriad of shapes, sizes, light output, and cost. Anybody for a flame-shaped yellow bug light?

Incandescent Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages Low initial cost High CRI Instant on Not ambient temperature sensitive No ballast Large variety of shapes, sizes, bases, wattages Ease of dimming Disadvantages Lowest efficacy (10-20 lpw) High infrared output (heat) Short life (750-1000 hours) Voltage sensitivity Environmental impact

Wattage Interchangeability


Envelope (Bulb) Tungsten Filament Gas Stem Press Supports Fuse, within the
lead-in wires


Lamp Shapes




Linear 2-base



PAR 46, 56, 64 Screw Term. R ER PAR 38 Med. Skt.

PAR 46, 56, 64

PAR 38, 46 Med. Side Prong

Lamp Size Designations

Lamp Life
Mortality Curves

Percent Survivors

60 40 20 0 0 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180
50% Survivors

Percent Rated Life

Tungsten Halogen Lamps

Tungsten Halogen Lamps

Tungsten Halogen lamps
An extension of the incandescent family Often called quartz halogen or just halogen lamps They have a more complex construction in order to increase life, efficacy, and color temperature (whiter light). Many halogen lamps are a lamp within a lamp a small halogen capsule is mounted in a reflector Halogen lamps can be either line voltage (120V) or low voltage (12V).

The Tungsten Halogen Cycle

Standard Incandescent vs. Halogen

Standard Incandescent

Large Surface Area to Minimize Bulb Blackening 750 - 1000 Hour Life Atmospheric Pressure

Compact, High Pressure Capsule High Density Fill Gases Halogen Cycle

Types of Halogen Lamps

Line Voltage
PAR 20, 30, and 38 Halogen A lamps Double-ended Bayonet base PAR Halogen A-lamps Double-ended

Low Voltage
Bi-pin Halogen MR-11 and MR-16 AR-70, AR-111 AR-111 Bi-pin MR-16 Bayonet base

More types of halogen lamps

PAR30 Long Neck


MR 16

Advantages of Tungsten Halogen Lamps

Higher Efficacy: 15-30 lpw (compared to incandescent) High Luminaire Efficiency 2X 3X Life vs. Standard Incandescent Excellent Optical Control Whiter Light: 3000K

Easily Dimmable
Wide variety of shapes and sizes

Common Line Voltage Halogen Lamp

Halogen PAR Technology "A Lamp Within a Lamp"

Lens Bonded or Flame Sealed


Halogen Capsule

Medium Skirted Base

MR-16 Low Voltage Lamp

Dichroic reflector coatings Low voltage halogen capsule (usually 12V) Bi-Pin base

Glass Substrate Infra-red Radiation (Heat)


Approx. 19 Layers of Optical Coating

Advantages of Low Voltage

Smaller filaments provide improved beam control Typically longer life than line voltage lamps

Some types have higher color temperature

Lamps are smaller in size

Tungsten Halogen Filaments

Filament Wire Diameter as a Factor of Design Voltage

100 Watts
Low Voltages Use Thicker, More Rugged Filaments

12 Volt

270 m Diameter

120 Volt 220 Volt

Human Hair 35 m Diameter

70 m Diameter
45 m Diameter

Lumen Maintenance

105.0 100.0 95.0

Tungsten Halogen

Percent Initial Lumens


85.0 80.0 75.0 70.0 65.0 60.0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120


Metal Halide

Percent Rated Life

IR (Infra-Red) Halogen Lamps

Halogen IR lamps have increased efficacy over standard halogen

IR-reflective coating on OUTSIDE of bulb

Reflects IR energy (better known as heat) back onto the filament Bulb is shaped to maximize reflected IR back onto the filament Filament reaches operating temperature at lower current (and therefore less power) than standard halogen

Can Halogen Lamps be dimmed?

Halogen and Dimming The halogen cycle only works when the inside wall of the capsule is above 250 C. If you dim a halogen lamp too low, the cycle stops and the inside of the capsule becomes gray. To fix the problem, just operate at full power for a short while and the capsule will be cleaned.

Spectral Characteristics

Filament lamps have a continuous spectrum

By definition, for warm sources, the CRI is 100

Strong in red/orange

Weak in blue

Fluorescent Lamps

Lamp Efficacy

Incandescent 10 - 30 LPW Fluorescent 60 - 109 LPW Mercury 40 - 58 LPW Metal Halide 67 - 115 LPW High Pressure Sodium 71 - 145 LPW Low Pressure Sodium 100 - 180 LPW
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

Lumens Per Watt - Including Ballast

Fluorescent Advantages and Disadvantages

High efficacy

Requires a ballast

Long life
Good CRI Variety of Color Temperatures Low cost per lumen Wide array of fixture types Low glare source Dimmable

Difficult to focus not a point source

System cost (lamp and ballast) higher than filament sources Fixtures are large Temperature sensitivity Life affected by switching cycles

Construction & Operation


Bulb Visible Light


Hot Cathode



Ultraviolet Radiation

Mercury Atom

General Categories of Fluorescent Lamps

Linear fluorescent Most common for general lighting Compact fluorescent Commonly used as replacement for incandescent Electrodeless lamps More recent development used as replacement for some HID lamps

Phosphor Coatings
A substance that converts one wavelength to another Typically, inorganic compounds that fluoresce when exposed to 254 nm radiation

Typically blended to produce various colors or versions of white

Halo phosphors
Calcium halophosphate compounds

Phosphor Coatings

Tri phosphors
Also called rare earth phosphors Many are compounds of rare earth elements


Lamp Circuits
There are several types of fluorescent lamp circuits:

Preheat Oldest type; not in common use today Rapid Start Mostly used in T12, T12 HO, and T12 VHO systems; not energy efficient Instant Start

Most popular for T8 systems

Low cost and energy efficient Programmed Start Softest starting method; allows frequent switching and long life

Fluorescent Lamp Identification

Example: 4-foot T8 lamp

F = Fluorescent 32 = Nominal Lamp Wattage T = Tubular 8 = Bulb diameter in eighths of an inch 7 = 700 series phosphor CRI between 70 and 79

35 = 3500K CCT

Lamp Lumen Depreciation*

Percent of Initial Lumens

100 90 80 70 60 50 0 20 40 60 80 100 Percent of Average Rated Life

T8 (265 mA) T12 (425 mA) T12 (430 mA) T12 (800 mA) T12 (1500 mA)

IES LLD factor is at 40% of rated life

* Also known as lumen maintenance

Lamp Life

Lamp type Average rated life can vary from 6000 hours for some compact fluorescent lamps to 24,000 hours for some T8 lamps. Lamp life is based on a burn cycle of 3 hours on and 20 minutes off. With longer on cycles, life can be as high as 36,000 hours for some T8 lamps. As with incandescent, average rated life is based on 50% survivors of a large sample size.
Compact fluorescent Screw base Compact fluorescent Pin base F40 CW/RS F96T12/HO


6,000 10,000 20,000 12,000

F32T8 RE
F96T8/HO F28T5 Electrodeless

18,000 20,000 60,000+


Starting Cycles

Effect of Starting Frequency on Lamp Life


Percent of Rated Life


100 0 5 10 15 20

Hours per Start ANSI cycle - 3 hours on, 20 minutes off

Temperature Effects

110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35


T5 T8






Spectral Characteristics of Fluorescent Lamps

Most contemporary fluorescent lamps (triphosphor types) have a discontinuous or line color spectrum

Different ratios of the red, green, and blue phosphor produce the variety of CCTs CCT typically 3000K 4100K

CRI typically 70-86

Electrodeless Fluorescent Lamps

Developed in the 1990s Design eliminates one failure mode of standard fluorescent lamps: the cathode Operates on the principle of induction

Life from 15,000 hours (self-ballasted) to 60,000 hours.

Life based on lumen maintenance and/or ballast life Cost higher than for standard fluorescent Used in areas where lighting maintenance cost is high low-bay industrial, street lighting, signage, tunnel/bridge, etc.

Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts

Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts

Coils Made of wound copper or aluminum wire.

Provide necessary electrical conditions to start and operate lamps Two general categories electromagnetic (or just magnetic) and electronic

Thermal Switch (Class P) Core Consists of stacked steel plates laminated together. With the coils, transforms the current to control the lamps.

Almost all new fluorescent fixtures today employ electronic ballasts

Lamps and ballasts are generally matched to ensure electrical compatibility

Capacitor For power factor correction, phase displacement and current limiting. Found only in high power factor ballasts.

Electro-magnetic Ballast

Electronic Ballast

North American Linear Fluorescent Ballast Market Transformation

120 100 80 60 40 20 0
92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 15

Electronic Magnetic

Source US Census 2005

Characteristics of Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts

Simple construction; few components Large and heavy Low energy efficiency Typically only operate 1 or 2 lamps Potentially noticeable flicker Potentially audible noise

Greater number of components Smaller and lighter than magnetic More energy efficient lower losses and operates lamp more efficiently No flicker due to high frequency operation Used in majority of new T8, T5, and CF fixtures Variety of operation rapid start, instant start, programmed start, dimmable

Mostly found in older T12 fixtures and outdoor applications

Difficult to integrate into automated control systems Market decreasing rapidly

Can operate up to 4 lamps

Parallel operation Easily integrated into control systems Available with several different ballast factors Universal input voltage Cost effective

Ballast Factor
Definition: Ratio of lamp lumens when operated on a commercial ballast (actual lumens) to the lamp lumens when operated on a reference ballast (catalog lumens) B.F. = lamp lumens on commercial ballast lamp lumens on reference ballast Ballast Factor Ranges: Can vary from 0.60 to 1.28, but normally listed as 0.78 (Low), 0.88 (Normal), and 1.20 (High). Application Examples: For retrofit from T12 to T8 lamps, ballast factor can be used to tune the light levels relative to the original level. If original level is too high, low ballast factor ballast can be used to increase energy savings (rather than de-lamp). For new fixtures, high ballast factor ballast might allow use of 2-lamp fixture rather than 3-lamp fixture.

System Efficacy
For discharge light sources, there are actually two efficacy metrics: Lamp efficacy as we have learned, nominal lamp lumens per nominal lamp watts. However, when the power losses and operating characteristics of the ballast are considered (type of circuit and ballast factor), then a second, more useful metric is used: System efficacy actual lamp lumens per total system wattage. The actual lamp lumens in this case includes adjustment for ballast factor. Total system wattage is defined as the input watts to the ballast which includes lamp operating wattage and ballast power losses.

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps

Lamp Efficacy

Incandescent 10 - 30 LPW Fluorescent 60 - 109 LPW Mercury 40 - 58 LPW Metal Halide 67 - 115 LPW High Pressure Sodium 71 - 145 LPW Low Pressure Sodium 100 - 180 LPW
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

Lumens Per Watt - Including Ballast

Types of HID lamps

Mercury Old technology; soon obsolete for general lighting Metal Halide (MH) Popular choice for white light source Used both for interior and exterior High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Used mainly for outdoor street and area lighting Higher efficacy than MH Low Pressure Sodium (LPS) Highest efficacy of all HID sources Monochromatic yellow

Mercury Lamps
Oldest HID technology Lowest efficacy of HID types Not much better than halogen Poor Fair CRI High CCT Poor lumen maintenance Strong color shift as they age turns green! Basically obsolete due to recent legislation banning mercury ballasts Allows replacement lamps, but no new fixtures

Metal Halide Lamps

Enhanced version of the mercury lamp

Elements are added to the arc tube to improve performance (e.g., sodium, scandium, along with argon gas)

Most complex of the HID sources

Popularity growing due to variety of types, wattages, color temperatures, etc.

MH Advantages and Disadvantages

High light output (white light) High efficacy Long life (6,000 20,000 hours) Virtual point source for good optical control Premium types available with good color (80-95 CRI) and improved lumen maintenance (due to pulse start, ceramic arc tube) Large range of wattages (39W 1500W) Dimmability (although limited)


Some color shift over life

Possible color inconsistency lamp to lamp

Sensitive to burning position Higher cost Some MH types and certain applications should be group relamped. Limited dimmability Limited availability of electronic ballasts (costly if available)

Key Lamp Components

Arc Tube Light source Quartz or PCA (Polycrystalline Alumina)
Electrodes, radiating elements, gas fill Mount Supports/Centers arc tube in Outer Jacket (aka: bulb) Provides electrical path to arc tube Frame, straps, getter, resistor, bi-metal switch, etc. Stainless steel, nickel plated steel Stem Allows for hermetic seal of outer bulb Hard Glass (Borosilicate) Provides electrical path to Mount

Flare, lead wires and exhaust tube

Key Lamp Components (cont.)

Outer Jacket (OJ) - Envelope Provides clean/temp controlled environment for arc tube Filters out UV Hard Glass (borosilicate) Sizes BT56, BT37, BT28, ET18, E17, PAR38, T6, etc.

Letter refers to bulb shape

Number refers to bulb diameter in eighths of an inch Base Provide electrical path from socket to stem lead wires Brass or Nickel plated brass Glass or ceramic insulator

Outer Jacket Shapes












MH Lumen Maintenance

25,000 22,500 20,000 17,500

Premium MH


Standard MH

7,500 5,000 2,500 0





Operating Hours

High Pressure Sodium

Most efficient of the popular lamp types Contain mostly sodium and small amount of mercury plus xenon gas Used almost exclusively for outdoor lighting roadway, security, flood lighting, faade, airport Various types available ECO, non-cycling, high CRI, standby

Characteristics of High Pressure Sodium Lamps

Highest efficacy of popular lamp types up to 140 lpw Arc tube of translucent alumina (ceramic) contains sodium, small amount of mercury, and xenon gas Light is yellow-orange CCT = 2100K; CRI ~ 22 Up to 140,000 lumens
Outer Jacket Getter Stem Base Dome Mount Supports Frame Starting Aid Alumina Arc Tube

Lamp cycles at end of life (non-cycling types available)

ECO types with low mercury, leadfree designs

Low Pressure Sodium Lamps

Highest efficacy light source: up to 200 lpw Monochromatic yellow light @ 589nm Used where color rendering is not of primary importance: Roadway lighting, tunnel lighting, security lighting, lighting near observatories

HID Ballasts

Most HID ballasts are magnetic

Electronic types available for some lower wattage lamps, mainly 20W 400W MH
Newer magnetic types (for pulse start MH) use a special starting component called an ignitor

Electronic ballasts have an integral ignitor

HPS magnetic ballasts have always used ignitors Magnetic ballasts are available in a variety of types for outdoor use, remote mounting, and mounting inside of poles

Characteristics of HID Ballasts

Large and heavy Fair to good lamp power regulation Available in myriad of types for many applications

Smaller and lighter than magnetic Can have very good power regulation Do not increase lamp efficiency (as in fluorescent) Not high frequency Can provide improved lumen maintenance and reduced color shift, therefore potentially longer life Not available in higher wattages; more expensive than magnetic types

The Light Emitting Diode (LED)

LED Light Sources

Generically known as Solid State Lighting (SSL)

Depending on type, can emit IR, UV, or light

LEDs and luminaires are available from numerous manufacturers, not just the traditional lighting companies

The lighting market for LEDs is still very small, but growing
New product development more akin to electronics industry than to lighting industry

Product life cycles are short (12 18 months)

LED Construction and Operation

Consists of a multi-layer, semiconductor material N-type layer of material has excess electrons (negative charge) P-type layer has a deficiency of electrons, the absence of which are called holes (positive charge) The active layer is not a separately applied layer it forms at the junction of the p and n material With the application of an external DC voltage, the electrons and holes combine at this active layer When an electron fills a hole at the active layer, it drops to a lower energy state; the energy it loses in doing so is given up in the form of a photon

LED Packages
LED chips are packaged with various configurations Simple twin lead (original method) Flat package (SMD) with single LED Flat package with multiple LED chips

LED Packaging Considerations

Optical Light extraction from the chip (key factor in determining efficacy) Total light output of the package Primary and secondary optical components Electrical Physical connection of lead wires to chip

Power leads into the package

Thermal Heat extraction from the p-n junction

Heat transfer to an external heat sink

White Light from LEDs

Since the introduction of the blue LED in the mid-90s, white light from LEDs became possible Several ways to produce white light
1. 2. 3. Mix the light from discrete red, green, and blue LEDs Use a blue LED to excite a yellow phosphor coating Use a UV or violet LED to excite a multi-component phosphor

Easiest method from a cost and simplicity standpoint is #2 above. CCT, lumens, and CRI are fixed for #2 and #3. To dynamically adjust CCT, lumens, and CRI, discrete R, G, and B LEDs are necessary

Application Issues
LED life ratings Based on 70% lumen maintenance point, not mortality Different maintenance requirements for various applications IES LM-79 and LM-80 have been adopted to define LED life and lumen maintenance Thermal design Proper heat sinking required to achieve rated life Auxiliary forced cooling may be required (air or water)

Optical performance
Secondary optics can be selected for various beam spreads Ambient conditions While an LEDs light output is not as temperature sensitive as fluorescent, high ambient temperatures must be taken into account when heat sinking Humidity and dirt conditions must also be considered

Other Light Sources

Cold Cathode (Neon) Special type of low pressure discharge using robust electrodes Can be pure gas discharge or phosphor-coated with mercury discharge Typically used in sign or linear decorative applications (check out the food court at your shopping mall) Electroluminescent Uses phosphors directly excited by an electric field Typically used for instrument panel or cell phone keypad backlighting, signage, or decorative effects Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) Special type of LED using polymers (plastics) for the light emitting layer Used in displays for cell phones, MP3 players, and now small video screens

Daylight Can be used to supplement or replace electric lighting Needs to be integrated into the architectural and lighting design for buildings to properly take advantage of it for energy savings

Module 2: Quiz Time!

Congratulations you have concluded Module 2. Now, its time for the quiz.

Good luck!