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Fluorescent lamps in series using electronic control gear?

seanspotatobusiness

Sep 11, 2012
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I would like to make a lamp using many small T5 fluorescent tubes (maybe 12 or 16). I would like to use a dimmable high frequency electronic control gear (not a starter and ballast). You don't seem to be able to get dimmable control gear for 6 W tubes. I was wondering if I could put four 6 W tubes in series and connect to a 14-24 W control gear? Then a 4x14-24 W control gear could power 16 6 W tubes. If the strike voltage needed would be too high then I could connect three in series instead.
 

Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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There used to be twin series 20W fluro tubes controlled via 1 40w ballast and 2 starters of a particular rating (P2 if I remember correctly)

However, you are dealing with an entirely different kettle of fish here in that electronic ballasts are 4 wire ( 2 to each heater at each end of the tube) and no way I know of that would get 2 tubes in series to strike correctly let alone 4.
 

seanspotatobusiness

Sep 11, 2012
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There used to be twin series 20W fluro tubes controlled via 1 40w ballast and 2 starters of a particular rating (P2 if I remember correctly)

However, you are dealing with an entirely different kettle of fish here in that electronic ballasts are 4 wire ( 2 to each heater at each end of the tube) and no way I know of that would get 2 tubes in series to strike correctly let alone 4.


Thanks. I suppose making my own dimmable high frequency control gear for 16 6 W fluorescent bulbs isn't feasible for someone with no background in electronic engineering? They don't seem to make dimmable control gear for wattages less than 14 and 14 W tubes are too long for my application.
 

Harald Kapp

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Nov 17, 2011
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Why insist on tubes? Use LEDs. These are easy to dim, easy to scale, no mercury.
 

seanspotatobusiness

Sep 11, 2012
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LEDs flicker at a rate detected by video camera and high frequency control gear don't plus the LED tubes don't light up 360 degrees and my plan is all about aesthetics.
 
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