Fluorex 85W Fake CFLs

ropoctlJuly 15, 2007

I bought some Fluorex bulbs thinking that the ballast was built into the base. I tried running them on a 4xF32T8 electronic ballast, but was only able to get a filament glow. I'm assuming either that the ballast did not have enough voltage to ignite the plasma or that the bulb was designed for instant start, when it was a rapid start ballast. I think I'll just overdrive 2 plant & aquarium 2' bulbs with this ballast. Any ideas on a ballast for these Fluorex bulbs?

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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

How did you wire up the ballast? Did you wire all four 32W outputs into the one bulb? Perhaps wiring up the ballast a suitable screw-in socket rather than directly to the bulb?

Yes, the Fluorex bulbs are instant start and I can't imagine they would light on a rapid start ballast. No pre-heat cathode, probably would never start. You might try warming up the whole thing or trying the old rubbing tricks and seeing if you can coax if into life, at least you'd know then that an instant start ballast would work.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 4:40PM
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I went out and got an instant start ballast meant for 8ft tubes. That also did not work. In both cases, I was wiring the ballast to a mogul socket. While I was out shopping for lighting, I found a cheap Lights of America 2ft fixture, so I'll just use that with GE Pl/Aq tubes, maybe overdriving them with another ballast.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 9:05PM
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The FloureX bulbs are instant-start and are part of a proprietary bulb-ballast combination. The manufacturer achieves this "proprietary circuitry" by removing the a small capacitor from the electronic ballast's circuit board and embedding it in the base of the bulb instead. This relocated capacitor ensures that the bulb will NOT be able to use any other ballast, and the fixture will NOT be able to light any other bulb.

The electronic ballasts that are on the market today are quite remarkable. Although they are each designed for a paricular series of bulbs, their output generally will drive a larger range of bulb sizes within various bulb families than they usually specify. Obtaining the ballast design literature often shows it is a much more capable ballast than they let on.

Just for the fun of it, I have tried to light the FloureX bulbs using a variety of electronic ballasts, both Normal and High Output ranging from 265ma to 800ma design outputs. The "relocated" capacitor in the base of the bulb always prevents any other ballast from driving it.

Unfortunately, you have to destroy the bulb to remove the capacitor fron the base. This prevents adapting the FloureX bulb to any standard electronic ballast.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Wow, that's kind of evil, but it makes sense. Do you know if the LOA 8050 electronic ballast (the Wal-Mart shop light kind) is any good? Should I just get a GE high efficiency electronic ballast for 4 lamps online and overdrive the two bulbs in the fixture?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 8:17PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Very sneaky!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 6:58PM
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