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Re: [APD]working 115V lighting fixture in 220-240VAC region

Dear all,
I just received confirmation from a leading aquarium lighting fixture
manufacture that their 115V, 60Hz fixture will not work with 50Hz.  In
other words even though you step down your local voltage to 115VAC, the
fixture still can't work because it is design to intake 60Hz rather than
50Hz mains supply.
How do you see this?


Quite possible. Any magnetic ballast that isn't specifically designed to work on 50 Hz is going to have problems since the current limiting won't work the same and that is a big part of what a ballast does. You should be more likely to be able to find an electronic ballast that will work on both 50 Hz and 60 Hz than a magnetic one since many electronic ballasts simply rectify the incoming AC line voltage first to convert it to DC, and it's easy for manufacturers to make this process work at both line frequencies.

You shouldn't have any trouble finding a ballast locally in your area that is made to work on a 220-240 VAC 50 Hz line. That's a big standard used all over the world, and lots of products are made to work with it. Your best bet is probably going to be to check with a lighting supplier in your area, or an electrical supply house (just about all electrical supply houses carry a lot of lighting equipment).

Note that motors will also have problems switching frequencies since they will want to run at the wrong speed, and in many cases will also draw too much current and thus overheat. Simple transformers, however, can work on both but only one way -- a 50 Hz transformer can run on 60 Hz without problems, but a 60 Hz transformer will overheat when run at only 50 Hz. Just an FYI...


***************************** Waveform Technology UNIX Systems Administrator

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