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'[EE] How can I stop light bulbs dying at switch on'
2006\03\15@030806 by Roy

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Is there a device that will slow down the initial in rush current when
you turn a light on?

Maybe an inductor?
If so then what value?


_______________________________________

Roy Hopkins
Tauranga
New Zealand
_______________________________________


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2006\03\15@032506 by Matt Pobursky

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On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 21:08:03 +1300, Roy wrote:
> Is there a device that will slow down the initial in rush current
> when you turn a light on?
>
> Maybe an inductor? If so then what value?

I'm not sure if they still sell them (or if they sell them in NZ) but
there used to be such a device in the US. It was a circular disc NTC
thermistor that was inserted in the base of the lamp socket. On turn-on
the device added resistance to the circuit until it (and the lamp
filament) warmed up.

Not sure how well they work, but I have seen them before. I would think
they are probably more effective in countries that use 200V+ as mains
voltage vs. the lower line voltages here.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2006\03\15@032637 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 09:08 PM 3/15/2006 +1300, you wrote:
>Is there a device that will slow down the initial in rush current when
>you turn a light on?
>
>Maybe an inductor?
>If so then what value?

Why do you care if they die at switch-on or an hour later?

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
spam_OUTspeffTakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\03\15@033403 by Matt Pobursky

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On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 21:08:03 +1300, Roy wrote:
> Is there a device that will slow down the initial in rush current
> when
>
> you turn a light on?
>
> Maybe an inductor?
> If so then what value?

Here's an interesting article on the subject:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3726/is_200302/ai_n9222171

I think that one of your fellow kiwis, jinx, discussed his trials and
tribulations with this same problem some time ago...

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2006\03\15@033613 by Russell McMahon

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A small series resistor helps substantially.
See Jinx's earlier posts on this.
Best, use "energy saving " CFL bulbs :-)

   RM

> Is there a device that will slow down the initial in rush current
> when
> you turn a light on?
>
> Maybe an inductor?
> If so then what value?



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2006\03\15@040641 by Jinx

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> I think that one of your fellow kiwis, jinx, discussed his trials and
> tribulations with this same problem some time ago...

http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/joecolquitt/0bulblife.html

Still no bulbs blown - that's about 10x normal life so far !!! As Roy
said, turn-on was always the time when they went poof

2006\03\15@051308 by Enrico Schuerrer

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Roy" <.....roy.hKILLspamspam@spam@ihug.co.nz>
To: "'PICLIST'" <piclistspamKILLspammit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 9:08 AM
Subject: [EE] How can I stop light bulbs dying at switch on


> Is there a device that will slow down the initial in rush current when
> you turn a light on?
>
> Maybe an inductor?
> If so then what value?
>
>From my point of view the bulb filament always dies on the inrush current
due to the switch on point with momentarly high voltage --> cold resistance
of the filament very low -->  resulting in extraordinary high inrush
current. If you use a simple dimmer, which you can turn on from low voltage
(that means the dimmer cuts most of the sine wave out) the inrush current
will be reduced to a safe level for the bulb.

All my dimmed bulbs have much longer life than my ordinary switched bulbs.

Regards

Enrico
--
Vienna, Austria

2006\03\15@060412 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu]
>Sent: 15 March 2006 08:36
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [EE] How can I stop light bulbs dying at switch on
>
>
> A small series resistor helps substantially.
>See Jinx's earlier posts on this.
>Best, use "energy saving " CFL bulbs :-)

Agreed, I use them where ever I can, but the majority of these lamps are not dimmable which is a significant drawback for some applications.  No excuse not to buy them now, the prices have really fallen, at least in the UK they have.

Regards

Mike

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2006\03\15@061951 by Jinx

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> Best, use "energy saving " CFL bulbs :-)

That's OK if you can get the style. I replaced the 100W filament
bulb in my desk lamp with a CFL and don't get roasted now. Most
I've seen are too long for the shades though. I made an extension
for the desk lamp shade out of aluminium sheet. The spot bulbs
are better for directed lighting and a CFL isn't quite the same



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2006\03\15@063927 by Vasile Surducan

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On 3/15/06, Roy <roy.hspamspam_OUTihug.co.nz> wrote:
> Is there a device that will slow down the initial in rush current when
> you turn a light on?

The problem is the cold filament. Delay should be pretty long till
the filament becomes dark red. Then slowly current must be increased
to the nominal current.
Then you shut it off and BANGGG! Next time at turning on you're
wandering: what the hell was hapent ? I've turned it on corectly !

I've seen quite complex PCB board used for powering halogen lamp.On
these boards a short time mains power down always kill the bulb.

success,
Vasile

2006\03\15@064935 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> Best, use "energy saving " CFL bulbs :-)
>
>That's OK if you can get the style. I replaced the 100W filament
>bulb in my desk lamp with a CFL and don't get roasted now. Most
>I've seen are too long for the shades though. I made an extension
>for the desk lamp shade out of aluminium sheet. The spot bulbs
>are better for directed lighting and a CFL isn't quite the same

I find there is considerable variation in CFL bulbs.

Some come on at full brightness immediately, others take a little time to
"warm up" to full brightness, starting at about 1/4 brightness.

I have some others that I suspect have some form of radioactive compound in
them.  When turned off they will flash about every 10 seconds, slowly
getting longer between flashes. I do not think this is stored charge in
capacitors, as it will still flash some 5 to 6 hours later, although at a
significantly longer interval between flashes, and at lower brightness.



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2006\03\15@074612 by Russell McMahon

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>> Best, use "energy saving " CFL bulbs :-)

> That's OK if you can get the style. I replaced the 100W filament
> bulb in my desk lamp with a CFL and don't get roasted now. Most
> I've seen are too long for the shades though. I made an extension
> for the desk lamp shade out of aluminium sheet.

The bulbs with spiral construction tend to be shorter. Also you can
get some bulbs with very short loops that make them better suited to
desk lamps.

Best by most measures are the Philips "Tornados".
Consumer magazine published efficiency figures for a range of CFL bulb
brands. Many but not all brands looked unfamiliar - I think it was
Australian Consumer data. However, the Philips Tornado was top in
efficiency with the worst ones being 50% of that. The PT has a 23W
version which makes it a nominal 115W equivalent. Allowing for the
higher than others efficiency and extra wattage it should be about a
100W true equivalent. many aren't.

Note that CFL light output diminishes significantly over lifetime.and
the equivalenance claims are made at initial light levels.

Most CFLs are ghastly "warm white".
Philips do a "cool daylight" which is similar to the "daylight blue"
lamps of yore.
Warm White is about 2700K colour temperature while "cool daylight" is
6500K.
The difference is substantial.
Most people seem to prefer the yucky yellowish light over the daylight
coloured one but I can't imagine why.

Warm white claims 70 Lumens'/Watt while Cool-Daylight claims 66
Lumens/Watt.
Effective lighting is, to my eyes, superior from the CD.

My experience of Philips consumables has been very good (YMMV) and
their CFL bulbs are no exception. Even though the Tornados are
probably made in the same (very very large) country that most other
CFLs are made in I confidently expect the Philip's products to not
only have the best efficiency (which they have) but good overall
reliability. Philips bashers may now step up to the plate ....


       RM



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2006\03\15@074634 by Russell McMahon

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> I find there is considerable variation in CFL bulbs.

Buy Philips Tornados. Buy Philips Tornados. Buy Philips Tornados. Buy
Philips Tornados. Buy Philips Tornados. Buy Philips Tornados. Buy
Philips Tornados. Buy Philips Tornados. Buy ...

NO financial interest in Philips.
Just an invariably (so far) satisfied customer over many years.

And I've visited the shrine er 'original' factory in Eindhoven.
(resurrected to "original condition" after being bombed flat in WW2).




       RM



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2006\03\15@083606 by Vasile Surducan

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On 3/15/06, Michael Rigby-Jones <@spam@Michael.Rigby-JonesKILLspamspambookham.com> wrote:
>
>
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: KILLspampiclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu]
> >Sent: 15 March 2006 08:36
> >To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> >Subject: Re: [EE] How can I stop light bulbs dying at switch on
> >
> >
> > A small series resistor helps substantially.
> >See Jinx's earlier posts on this.
> >Best, use "energy saving " CFL bulbs :-)
>
> Agreed, I use them where ever I can,


Except for your desk,  I hope.
CFL are nasty for the eyes, exactly like TFT screens used without
ambiant light source.
Plants dislike heavily TFL with other colour than 3600 K.

Some schematics of TFL:
http://www.geocities.com/vsurducan/electro/BEC/Neon.htm

greetings,
Vasile

2006\03\15@114956 by Mark Jordan

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On 15 Mar 2006 at 15:36, Vasile Surducan wrote:

> Some schematics of TFL:
> www.geocities.com/vsurducan/electro/BEC/Neon.htm
>
> greetings,
> Vasile
>

       Nice page!  
       Wish I had found it some months ago, before reverse engineering
some electronic ballasts that sometimes didn't start.
       Just one more turn on the feedback coils and problem solved.

       BTW, do you know that fluorescent lamps with broken filaments
can be easily repaired by just shorting the filament pins with
a piece of wire?
       I'm using eight 40W fluorescent tubes with broken filaments for
some months now.
       Don't know if they will turn on using conventional ballasts.

       Mark Jordan



2006\03\15@130240 by Vasile Surducan

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On 3/15/06, Mark Jordan <spamBeGoneenkispamBeGonespamcpovo.net> wrote:
> On 15 Mar 2006 at 15:36, Vasile Surducan wrote:
>
> > Some schematics of TFL:
> > www.geocities.com/vsurducan/electro/BEC/Neon.htm
> >
> > greetings,
> > Vasile
> >
>
>        Nice page!
>        Wish I had found it some months ago, before reverse engineering

All this page is based on reversed engineering.


> some electronic ballasts that sometimes didn't start.
>        Just one more turn on the feedback coils and problem solved.
>
>        BTW, do you know that fluorescent lamps with broken filaments
> can be easily repaired by just shorting the filament pins with
> a piece of wire?

Some chinese bulbs are comming from factory with short circuited filaments.
I really don't know, maybe this is the future, 1 euro/ 1000-3000 hours of
running. This is the record for chinese CFL's.


>        I'm using eight 40W fluorescent tubes with broken filaments for
> some months now.
>        Don't know if they will turn on using conventional ballasts.

Certainly not.

Vasile.

2006\03\15@131723 by Martin McCormick

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"Alan B. Pearce" writes:
>I have some others that I suspect have some form of radioactive compound in
>them.  When turned off they will flash about every 10 seconds, slowly
>getting longer between flashes. I do not think this is stored charge in
>capacitors, as it will still flash some 5 to 6 hours later, although at a
>significantly longer interval between flashes, and at lower brightness.

       I read about this behavior, once, and the problem has to do
with light switches that have components such as neon lamps, etc,
which sit across the switch such that you get a glowing switch.  This
is neat if you want a lighted switch or switch plate, but it allows a
tiny amount of current to still flow through the light bulb when it is
supposed to be off.  For an incandescent bulb, a few milliamps may
raise the filament temperature a degree or two which is insignificant
and will certainly not cause the bulb to glow, but CFL-type bulbs with
electronic ballasts are a different kettle of fish.

       What happens is the bridge rectifier ahead of the oscillator
circuit very slowly charges any filter capacitor there causing the
voltage on the output side of the bridge to slowly climb until it
reaches some point at which the oscillator tries to start.  When that
happens, the bulb attempts to light and you see the flash.  The input
current is so miniscule, however, that the charge in the capacitor
depletes quickly and we are back to charging again and waiting until
the next start of the oscillator.

       Any sort of electronics in the switch such as a motion sensor
or timer will create the same effect so it doesn't have to be a
lighted switch.  The point is that any trickle of current could cause
this flashing effect.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
Systems Engineer
OSU Information Technology Department Network Operations Group

2006\03\15@133804 by Harold Hallikainen

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>  A small series resistor helps substantially.
> See Jinx's earlier posts on this.
> Best, use "energy saving " CFL bulbs :-)
>
>     RM
>
>> Is there a device that will slow down the initial in rush current
>> when
>> you turn a light on?
>>
>> Maybe an inductor?
>> If so then what value?
>


I agree that fluorescent lamps are the best fix, since they have a longer
life and higher efficiency. However, if you want to stay with
incandescent, and the light is controlled by a toggle switch on the wall,
try replacing it with a dimmer that has the same form factor (looks like a
toggle switch but dims up and down as the lever is moved). The slower turn
on as it takes a while to move the lever reduces inrush current. Also, you
get the benefit of "mood lighting" (and radio interference).

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com

2006\03\16@041144 by Alan B. Pearce

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>What happens is the bridge rectifier ahead of the
>oscillator circuit very slowly charges any filter
>capacitor there causing the voltage on the output
>side of the bridge to slowly climb until it reaches
>some point at which the oscillator tries to start.

While discussing it with a colleague after sending that email, I realised
that both the lights that do this are on 2-way switches - it also happens
that these two bulbs are the only ones of that model that I have. I suspect
that there is enough leakage through the 2-way switch system for the charge
to build up as you describe.

2006\03\16@042641 by Richard Prosser

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It wouldn't need to be resistive leakage either - there may be enough
capacitance between the wires in the loop cable to produce the effect.
RP

On 16/03/06, Alan B. Pearce <TakeThisOuTA.B.PearceEraseMEspamspam_OUTrl.ac.uk> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\03\21@081757 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Russell McMahon wrote:

> Most people seem to prefer the yucky yellowish light over the daylight
> coloured one ...

I do too (in non-technical areas) -- not the "yucky yellowish light"
though, but the "warm light" :)

> ... but I can't imagine why.

If you're interested, I could try to dig deep into my subconcious and help
your imagination as to why exactly that is :))


> My experience of Philips consumables has been very good (YMMV) and their
> CFL bulbs are no exception.

FWIW, I just replaced a Philips Essential that has been in use for less
than a year, and for substantially less than the claimed 6000h.

Gerhard

2006\03\21@130703 by Vasile Surducan

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On 3/21/06, Gerhard Fiedler <RemoveMElistsspamTakeThisOuTconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> Russell McMahon wrote:
>
> > Most people seem to prefer the yucky yellowish light over the daylight
> > coloured one ...
>
> I do too (in non-technical areas) -- not the "yucky yellowish light"
> though, but the "warm light" :)
>
> > ... but I can't imagine why.
>
> If you're interested, I could try to dig deep into my subconcious and help
> your imagination as to why exactly that is :))
>
>
> > My experience of Philips consumables has been very good (YMMV) and their
> > CFL bulbs are no exception.
>
> FWIW, I just replaced a Philips Essential that has been in use for less
> than a year, and for substantially less than the claimed 6000h.

Agree.
Osram is much better, I had one running from 6 years.

Vasile

2006\03\21@133430 by Steve Smith

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Easy :

Imagine they are turned on but leave them turned off they will never blow
then!


Sorry Flippant comment

Steve
{Original Message removed}

2006\03\21@154958 by William Chops Westfield

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On Mar 21, 2006, at 10:32 AM, Steve Smith wrote:

> Imagine they are turned on but leave them turned off they
> will never blow then!

I have a lot of CFLs in my home, and I haven't been very impressed
with their lifetime.  The fluorescent TUBE technology may have a
very long life, but it looks like the the electronic ballasts are
suitable to a number of early failures.  The most common failure
seems to be that the "large" filter electrolytic caps overheat and
either burst or become electrically leaky enough to cause other
components to overload.  I've had CFL bulbs emit significant smoke
as an internal resistor overloaded and gave it up, which is not a
very comfortable failure mode...

BillW

2006\03\21@160748 by Roy

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That is like the theory that lights actually suck blackness into them
when turned on.

The blackness returns when you turn them off. :-)

_______________________________________

Roy Hopkins
Tauranga
New Zealand
_______________________________________

> Easy :
>
> Imagine they are turned on but leave them turned off they will never
blow
> then!
>
>
> Sorry Flippant comment
>
> Steve
>

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2006\03\21@161335 by Jose Da Silva

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On March 21, 2006 10:07 am, Vasile Surducan wrote:
> > > My experience of Philips consumables has been very good (YMMV)
> > > and their CFL bulbs are no exception.
> >
> > FWIW, I just replaced a Philips Essential that has been in use for
> > less than a year, and for substantially less than the claimed
> > 6000h.
>
> Agree.
> Osram is much better, I had one running from 6 years.

I notice that we are getting less than 6000hr for our philips
fluorescent lamps too but we do live in a noisy neighbourhood
(electrically speaking) and may have to investigate in filtering the
power somehow.
Electrical spikes are particularly nasty on energy saving lamps
containing electronic type ballasts from what I was told recently.
It was described as:
First spike takes-out the MOV, second spike takes-out the electronics.

...which makes sense in a way considering appliances appear to rely on
MOVs for spike suppression instead of a good reliable-type spark-gap.

2006\03\21@172306 by Steve Smith

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Not a flippant comment this time:
I have had a problem with HF ballast and conventional on the same circuit
(from memory 55w HF and SON E contactor switched in a warehouse). The
problem occurs when they are switched off and the energy in the inductors in
the son lamps escapes and ends up in the HF front end thus either over
current or over voltaging the input rectifier bit difficult to say whether
the current into the bulk cap or a voltage spike caused their demise but the
result was always the same dead rectifier. The protection wasn't very good
only a small like to line c no mov's. best not to mix hf and inductive
ballast on the same circuit problem solved !

Stteve..

{Original Message removed}

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