EPE  Vol.2 No.1 , February 2010
The Implications of Fluorescent Lamp Electronic Ballast Dimming —An Experimental Study
Abstract: In recent years, fluorescent lamp dimming controls are an integral part of daylight artificial light integrated schemes intended for realization of energy savings. However, dimming, like any lighting option, presents its own particular challenges and potential tradeoffs. In view of this, the present manuscript depicts the preliminary work progress carried out to arrive at a comprehensive idea on dimming implications on key factors: electrical characteristics, photometric distributions of lighting systems and influence on quality as well as quantity of visual environment. The objective is to experimentally establish the acceptable range of dimming control voltage that would satisfy both electrical and photometric performance of luminaire. The vital part of the paper is devoted towards presentation of measurement results. For the experimental analysis, three representative samples of different commercial analog 1-10VDC electronic dimmable ballasts and fluorescent fixtures are compared and evaluated over their control voltage dimming range.
Cite this paper: nullS. Colaco, C. Kurian, V. George and A. Colaco, "The Implications of Fluorescent Lamp Electronic Ballast Dimming —An Experimental Study," Energy and Power Engineering, Vol. 2 No. 1, 2010, pp. 53-64. doi: 10.4236/epe.2010.21009.

[1]   S. G. Colaco, C. P. Kurian, V. I. George, and A. M. Colaco, “Prospective techniques of effective daylight harvesting in commercial buildings by employing window glazing, dynamic shading devices and dimming control-A literature review,” Building Simulation, Vol. 1, No. 4. P. 279–289, 2008.

[2]   C. P. Kurian, R. S. Aithal, J. Bhat, and V. I. George, “Robust control and optimization of energy consumption in daylight-Artificial light integrated schemes,” Lighting Research and Technology, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 7–24, 2008.

[3]   M. S. Rea, “Lighting handbook: Reference and application,” Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), 9th Edition, New York, 2000.

[4]   C. D. Louie, “Linear fluorescent dimming ballasts: Technology, methods,” Protocols Lighting Controls Association, 2004,

[5]   E. Tetri and V. Gligor, “Dimming according to daylight- effect on lamp life,” Right Light 5, Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Energy-Efficient Lighting. Nice, France, pp. 421–424, 2002.

[6]   Y. Akashi and J. Neches, “Detectability and acceptability of. illuminance reduction for load shedding,” Journal of Illuminating Engineering Society, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 3– 13, 2004.

[7]   M. Etezadi-Amoli and T. Florence, “Power factor and harmonic distortion characteristics of energy efficient lamps,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery lamps, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 1965–1969, 1989.

[8]   J. Yunfen, D. Robert, C. O'Rourke, E. Wai Mun Chui, “Compatibility testing of fluorescent lamp and ballast systems,” IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications Vol. 35, No. 6, pp. 1271–1276, 1999.

[9]   “Dimming Electronic Ballasts,” National Lighting Product Information Program Specifier Reports, Troy, Lighting Research Center, NY, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Vol. 7, No. 3, October 1999.

[10]   R. Benoit, A. Deneyer, P. D’Herdt, and S. M. Diga, “Performance evaluation of dimmable lighting sources with fluorescent tubes for indoor applications,” Proceedings of International Lighting Symposium, Modern Quality Solutions for an Efficient Lighting, Sinaia, Romania, October 12–14, 2006

[11]   L. Doulos, A. Tsangrassoulis, and F. Topalis, “Quantifying energy savings in daylight responsive systems: The role of dimming electronic ballasts,” Energy and Buildings, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 36–50, 2008.

[12]   Commission internationale de l'éclairage, “The measurement of absolute luminous intensity distributions,” CIE Technical Report, No. 70, 1987.

[13]   Commission internationale de l'éclairage, “The photometry and goniophotometery of luminaires,” CIE Technical Report, No. 121, 1996.

[14]   Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (1999), IESNA guide to lamp seasoning, IES committee on testing procedures IES LM-54- 9,. New York.

[15]   Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, “IESNA approved method for electrical and photometric measurements of fluorescent lamps,” IES comitee on testing procedures IES LM-9-99, New York, 1999.

[16]   Matlab R2009a version 7.5 user manual,

[17]   A. Choi, K. Song, and Y. Kim, “The characteristics of photosensors and electronic dimming ballasts in daylight responsive dimming systems,” Building and Environment, Vol. 40, pp. 39–50, 2005

[18]   F. V. Topalis, “Efficiency of energy saving lamps and harmonic distortion in distribution systems,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 2038– 2042, 1993.

[19]   T. Jednacz, “Power quality design implications of high frequency lighting ballasts and controls,” Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting, Vol. 2, pp. 1833–1835, 1991.

[20]   R. Wolsey, “Lighting answers: power quality,” Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1995,

[21]   Harmonic Emission Limits—Related Power Quality Requirements for Lighting, American National Standards Institute (ANSI), C82.77, New York, 1993.

[22]   IEEE recommended practice and requirements for harmonic control in electrical power systems, IEEE standard pp. 519, 1992

[23]   Limits for harmonic current emission equipment input current ?16A per phase (2004) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Edition 2.2

[24]   C. P. Kurian, R. S. Aithal, and S. G. Colaco, “Performance evaluation of lamp-luminaire combination: A software approach using MATLAB,” Journal of Institution of Engineers, Vol. 85, pp. 98–101, 2004.

[25]   G. Wyszecki and W. S. Stiles, Color Science, Wiley, New York, 1982.

[26]   “American national standard for electric lamps: Specifications for the chromaticity of fluorescent lamps,” American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C78.376, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Rosslyn, VA, 2001.

[27]   Code Bureau of Indian Standards, Code of practice for interior illumination: Part 1 General requirements and recommendations for working interiors IS 3646, Part 1, Section 0, 1992, Reaffirmed 2003

[28]   R. Yarham, Code for Interior Lighting Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), London, 1994.