The following Amtek features can be incorporated into your lighting ballast design:
Instant Lamp Starting:
Amtek lighting ballasts with Instant Lamp Starting are designed to operate lamps designated as either “Instant Start” or “Slimline” by the lamp manufacturer. This style of lamp has only one connection on each end of the lamp and does not provide for preheating of the lamp filaments prior to lamp ignition. Instant starting the lamps in the simplest of all lamp/ballast configurations but is not recommended for compact fluorescent lamps or applications which require more than 10,000 On/Off cycles over the lifetime of the lamp.
Rapid Lamp Starting:
Amtek lighting ballasts with Rapid Lamp Starting are designed to operate lamps designated as either “Rapid Start” or “Preheat” by the lamp manufacturer. This style of lamp has two connections on each end of the lamp to provide for preheating of the lamp filaments prior to lamp ignition. There are a number of different types of filaments used in fluorescent and UV lamps and the Rapid Lamp Starting feature of the ballast must be appropriately matched to the lamp. Rapid lamp starting is not recommended for applications that require more than 20,000 On/Off cycles over the lifetime of the lamp.
Programmed Lamp Starting:
Amtek lighting ballasts with Programmed Lamp Starting are designed to maximize lamp life and reduce lumen maintenance (blackened lamp ends) in applications where frequent on/off cycles are experienced by drastically reducing lamp filament degradation during lamp starting.
The primary cause of fluorescent lamp failure is degraded lamp filaments, and the vast majority of filament degradation occurs during lamp starting. The Programmed Lamp Starting feature insures that the lamp filaments are preheated into thermal emission prior to application of the starting voltage to the lamps. The degree of improvement in lamp life is directly proportional to the number of On/Off cycles of the application. Using this technique, Amtek ballasts are capable of exceeding 100,000 lamp starts without lamp failure (instant-start and rapid-start techniques typically yield between 6,000 and 20,000 lamp starts).
Note: This feature is very important in compact fluorescent applications, where instant starting and rapid starting of the lamps typically yields only 2,000 to 5,000 lamp starts.
Flasher Lamp Starting / Rapid Cycle:
Amtek lighting ballast with Flasher Lamp Starting are designed for applications like UV/Photographic where it is necessary to cycle the lamp On/Off an extended number of times in rapid bursts over the lifetime of the lamp. Amtek lighting ballasts with this feature are capable of rapid On/Off cycling up to 10 cycles per minute and allow for several hundred thousand On/Off cycles without degradation of the lamps.
Cold Lamp Starting:
Temperature has a significant effect on starting of fluorescent and UV lamps. The colder the lamps are the harder it is to start them. It is important to define the coldest temperature at which lamp starting will be necessary when selecting a ballast design.
Temperature has a significant effect on starting of fluorescent and UV lamps. Excessive temperatures make it more difficult to start the lamp. Typically, hot restrike of the lamps is only an issue in applications were the lamps are operated at temperatures well above the norm. The most common occurrence is an application like UV Curing where the lamps are located inside a heated chamber. In such applications it is important to define the highest temperature at which it will be necessary to restrike the lamp so that an appropriate ballast can be selected.