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Re: wiring fluorescents

Hi Sylvia and all,

You wrote:

 >For further clarification, this is wiring in a switch _after_ the 
ballast, to one >socket only.  What's the verdict on this? Anybody done it?

I assume you mean a standard magnetic ballast, not an electronic one.  I 
have had a switch wired between a standard ballast and a standard 
fluorescent (one socket only) for a couple of years with no problems.  I 
don't see why a CF would be any different.

A magnetic is ballast is essentially just an inductor, which is a circuit 
element that limits the rate of change of current flowing in a circuit (so 
you can't go from no current to a lot of current instantly).  The ballast 
will function the same weather the switch is between the wall and the 
ballast, or between the ballast and the bulb, since the ballast limits 
current changes either way.

Electronic ballasts may be another story - you'd have to look at the 
ballast circuit, or consult the manufacturer.

 >also once it is wired for 55 watt bulbs, what is the problem with running 40
 >watt bulbs on there? I was advised not to do this, as it could be a 
 >fire hazard, as well as cause damage to the bulbs and/or ballast.

As far as running 40W bulbs, a "55W ballast" will just let more current 
flow in the circuit.  This MIGHT shorten the bulb life some, but I doubt it 
would be significant.  I also doubt that it would really be a fire 
hazard.  Manufacturers don't like to see their equipment used out of spec. 
due to liability issues, etc. This may be why you were advised not to.

Hope this helps.

Mark Gilmore
UCLA Electrical Engineering Dept.