Electronic ballasts

FAQ: Frequently asked questions

  1. Why is there space in a more compact casing for PC Basic?
    • All electronic ballasts in the PC Basic series are designed for a total output of ≤ 25 W. For this restriction IEC 61000-3-2 allows higher THD values (Total Harmonic Distortion). It is therefore possible to do without a PFC (power factor corrector) and have a very compact casing.

  2. What are the approved lamp/ECG combinations?
  3. The lamp/ECG combination you require is not in the lamp matrix. Can this combination still be used?
    • If you cannot find the lamp/ECG combination you want in the lamp matrix you can put in a request to your sales organisation. Basically we recommend only using lamp/ECG combinations that we have tested and which are therefore covered by our guarantee.

      See lamp matrix

  4. Do non-dimmable ECGs have to be earthed?
    • Non-dimmable electronic ballasts from Tridonic do not have to be earthed and are suitable for protection class 2 luminaires. Earthing of electronic ballasts is recommended however to optimise the EMC behaviour of the luminaire.

  5. Insulation testing of luminaires
    • Electronic operating devices for lamps are sensitive to high-voltage transients. This must be taken into consideration when subjecting luminaires to routine testing during manufacture.

      According to IEC 60598-1 Annex Q and ENEC 303-Annex A, each luminaire should be subjected to an insulation test for 1 second at 500 VDC. The test voltage is applied between the linked phase/neutral conductor terminal and the protective earth terminal. The insulation resistance must be at least 2 MΩ.

      As an alternative to measuring the insulation resistance, IEC 60598-1 Annex Q describes a dielectric strength test at 1500 VAC (or 1.414 x 1500 VDC). To avoid damaging electronic operating devices, we urgently recommend that this dielectric strength test should not be performed.

  6. What is the IP rating of the Tridonic devices?
    • IP ratings are given in the relevant data sheet.

  7. How many ECGs can be connected to an automatic circuit breaker?
    • You will find this information in the relevant data sheet.

  8. Which ECGs have which approval marks/certificates?
  9. What are the guarantee conditions for Tridonic products?
  10. How does the Intelligent Voltage Guard (IVG) protect the ECG?
    • Intelligent Voltage Guard is the new electronic monitor from Tridonic. If the voltage rises above or below certain thresholds it immediately indicates that there must be a fault on the ac supply side. Countermeasures to prevent any damage to the operating devices can then be taken without any delay.
      • If a mains voltage of 306 V is exceeded the lamps will start flashing on and off
      • This signal “demands” that the entire lighting circuit be switched off
      • If the mains voltage falls below 150 V the devices automatically switch off the lamp circuit to potect the operating devices against damage

  11. What are the permitted lamp cable lengths?
    • The permitted lamp cable lengths are given in the relevant data sheets.

  12. How can I improve the EMC behaviour of my luminaire?
    • RI suppression:
      Tridonic ballasts are RI suppressed in accordance with EN 55015: 2006 + A1: 2007. In order to achieve reliable operation and non-critical RI suppression values for the luminaire we recommend the following guidelines: 
      • Keep wiring for lamps with hot lines as short as possible (labelled *)
      • Do not run power cables together with lamp cables (ideal spacing: 5–10 cm)
      • Do not route power cables along the ECG or the lamps
      • Twist the lamp cables
      • Keep lamp cables well away from earthed metal surfaces
      • Connect the function earth to the ECG, via attachment or terminal
      • Twist the power cable in the case of through-wiring
      • Keep the power cable short within the luminaire.

  13. What is “automatic shutdown”?
    • In the event of a lamp fault the ballast switches off and goes into standby mode. An automatic restrike takes place immediately after relamping.

  14. What is the correct procedure for detaching a wire in a terminal?
    • Please see the technical documentation Disconnect wires at plug-in contacts of IDC terminal.

  15. Can a single lamp be operated on a 2-lamp ECG?
    • No.
      All dimmable and non-dimmable electronic ballasts always shut down all lamps if a lamp is not working correctly or is not connected.

  16. How harmful is it to exceed the allowed secondary cable length?
    • The cable length has no influence on the light output. An overly long cable length however leads to capacitive currents too high to earth. This can cause undefined ballast shut-down and decreased heating current, which will have negative influence on the life time of the lamp. Additionally starting problems can occur and the EMC behaviour is worse.

      Short summary: Don't exceed the maximum allowed cable length. (the length of the wires is not really the issue, the capacitance of the wires is what counts (depends on wire type). Typical value is 1 m = 100 pF (varying from  wire type to wire type). As it is almost impossible to measure the wire capacitance we recommend to calculate with 1 m.)

  17. Is it possible to use two lamps of different power at a PC 2/xx PRO M ballast?
  18. If a lamp connected to a 2-lamp or multi-lamp device goes out does the other or others continue to work?
    • No.
      All dimmable and non-dimmable electronic ballasts always shut down all lamps if a lamp is not working correctly or is not connected.

  19. What is the difference between warm start and cold start technologies?
    • Warm start:
      Correctly optimised ignition of fluorescent lamps, where the cathodes at the ends of the lamp are preheated to the right temperature, allowing controlled discharging to take place. This creates the best conditions for maximising the fluorescent lamp's life span.

      Cold start:
      Igniting fluorescent lamps without preheating the cathodes, causes the cathodes’ emissions-material to be consumed quicker.