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Fluorescen​t Lamp Technology


LEDVANCE offers a wide variety of fluorescent lamps in compact, linear, U-bend, and circular types. Our focus has been on providing energy efficient and long life T8, T5, and CF lamps, enabling end-users to take advantage of utility rebates to lower the initial costs to install. SYLVANIA Fluorescent lamps are optimally paired with QUICKTRONIC electronic ballasts offered in standard and dimmable versions. When lamps are paired with QUICKTRONIC ballasts the system is covered by the QUICK 7XL warranties.​


 What Is a Fluorescent Lamp? 

Fluorescent lamps produce light by creating fluorescence through the use of a phosphor coating. It is a glass tube filled with a mix of vapors and metal electrodes on each end. Those ends are coated with an alkaline earth oxide that produces electrons. When current flows through the vapors between the electrodes, it causes the gas to ionize. That creates UV radiation that fluoresces the coating to create visible light. Since fluorescent lamps don't produce heat, they consume considerably less energy than incandescent bulbs. This technology also needs up to four times the initial operating voltage when turning on the lamp, which is why a ballast is necessary to create light. The ballast is located in the lamp on older fluorescents, separate from the bulb. That's why some people can hear buzzing or humming when the light switch is turned on. With the new compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), the ballast is a cup at the base of the bulb assembly to reduce noise. ​Fluorescent lamps provide longer life when used in residential and commercial applications.



 What to Do with Fluorescent Tubes 

Fluorescent tubes are available in circline, U-bend, and straight tube shapes. They all generate light in the same way. Circline tubes are typically used in single and double options with diameters from six to 16 inches. Some fixtures require a specific bulb. U-bend tubes have the linear shape bent into a “U.” They’re designed to be 2x2 luminaries with a 1.525-inch or a six-inch leg spacing. They’re used in various applications. Linear tubes are the standard product seen in most fixtures. They’re used in home and commercial applications. When the fluorescent tubes are no longer functional, they must be disposed of correctly. Your community's stores and disposal centers can help you determine where the items should be delivered according to local rules.


 Fluorescent Lamps and Ballasts 

Fluorescent lighting systems use a ballast to create illumination. This technology regulates the current sent through the tube while providing enough voltage to start the lamp. If a ballast were not available to deliver limitations, the fluorescent light connected to a high-voltage power source would rapidly increase its current draw without any control. It would overheat within seconds and burn out, becoming unusable. When the switch is turned on, the ballast briefly supplies high voltage to establish an arc between the lamp’s electrodes. Once this job is finished, it quickly reduces the voltage supplied and begins the current regulation process to offer steady illumination.



 How Do Fluorescent Lights Work? 

Fluorescent lights generate illumination from collisions of accelerated electrons in a hot gas with atoms. It’s filled with low-pressure mercury vapor and noble gases in most designs to excite a fluorescent coating on the glass envelope. Electronic circuitry is necessary to start the fluorescent lamp and maintain currents that create the required illumination. High voltage gets delivered with the help of a ballast before moving to the regulation phase, where the current flows through the tube. Several constructions are currently possible. Only a resistor is needed to produce enough energy with a simple lamp, while ballasts are typically seen with alternative current voltage. With today's CFLs and other fluorescent upgrades, the ballast can be inside the bulb or connected to the exterior.​