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Corallife fixture and T8's, con't
I do not know if the "Instant Start" ballasts would light your PennPlax
bulbs, but if they are the "new" 32 watt four foot tubes or any of the other
"new" higher efficiency tubes (e. g. 25 watt or 17 watt T8), the ballast
SHOULD work. No guarantees, I have NOT tried a Penn Plax bulb with my
The "Instant Start" ballasts do not use the filaments at the ends of the
tubes. The filaments are used by both Rapid Start and Preheat bulbs, by
running current through the filament. This boils off electrons into the
partial vacuum in the tube, until the cloud of electrons supports the "arc"
through the tube that runs everything. The Arc gives off UV, which excites
the phosphor powder lining the inside of the Fluorescent bulb, thereby
generating the light. Sorry about the tangled sentence. :-)
Instant Start Ballasts are one kind of "Electronic Ballasts," but do not use
the filaments to start the tube. I must now "presume," which means I _think_
this is what happens, but have no hard evidence! :-[ The Instant Start
Ballast generates a very high frequency alternating current, and to start the
bulb gives a big "kick in the pants" pulse of voltage to FORCE the arc to
start. The Instant Start Ballasts I am using are GE / Motorola, model no.
G4-in-T8-120, and I got them from Grainger. I was referred to them by other
List members. They are "parallel" ballasts, in that each of the four tubes is
independent of the others, so if a tube wears out, it does not affect the
operation of the other three tubes. They will take 32, 25, and 17 watt T8
tubes. These are the "new" super efficient tubes. I do not know if the
ballast would light an ordinary T8 40 watt tube, but I "presume (:-[) it
would not. The "6,000 Kelvin" tubes were also purchased from Grainger, at
$6.70 per. LOTS of light, very low cost.
Hope this will be helpful.