Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo

Electrical Control Gear for Lamps

  • Wout van Bommel
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_259-4


Device(s) in the electric lamp circuit of gas discharge and solid-state lamps which limits the lamp current to the required value and ensures that the lamp can be started and once started can be operated stably over a longer period.

The devices needed are called igniters, ballasts, and, for LEDs, drivers.


Most of the gas discharge lamps have such a high internal resistance that they need a voltage peak, higher than the normal operating voltage, to initiate the discharge.

Igniters for Fluorescent Lamps

In most fluorescent lamp circuits, the electrodes are preheated for a few seconds before a high-voltage peak is applied across the lamp to initiate the discharge. Preheating of the electrodes facilitates the emission of electrons. Glow-switch starters were often used for this purpose. However, their harsh peak voltages have a negative effect on lamp life. Electronic starters with exactly the same functions as the glow-switch starter, but with a better-controlled...


Fluorescent Lamp Voltage Peak Main Voltage Lower Power Loss Electronic Ballast 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.van Bommel Lighting ConsultantNuenenThe Netherlands