Lighting terms

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Lighting terms

Post by Phil White » Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:22 am

Is anyone aware of a generic term for any of the several different types of auxiliary devices used to start up and run an electric lamp, i.e. transformers, ballasts, igniters.

My gut reaction is that we don't have an umbrella term in English.
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Lighting terms

Post by gdwdwrkr » Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:46 am

Starters, for starters.
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Lighting terms

Post by dalehileman » Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:38 pm

power supply, hookup, power pack

Though it's in my line of "expertise," I have to guess that there just simply isn't a suitable term. But I will keep thinking about it
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Post by Shelley » Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:03 pm

fuse-ilage?
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Lighting terms

Post by dalehileman » Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:23 pm

"line device" is a term used by the power company
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Lighting terms

Post by daverba » Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:43 pm

As an EE, I can tell you that "starter" is a fairly good general word that is rather descriptive, and I specifically recommend "fluorescent lamp starter" or "lamp starter". However, apparently a technical difference exists between "ballasts" and "starters". Myself, I always thought of them as the same until I checked McMaster for you.

McMaster is a well-known industrial supplier --

http://www.mcmaster.com/

(check pages 650 and 652)

Also check out Light Corp --

http://www.lightcorp.com/FAQs.cfm
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Lighting terms

Post by Phil White » Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:56 pm

"Starter" doesn't cut the mustard, as some (not all) also control the voltage during operation. "Power supply" is a different beastie.

Found "control gear" from several distributors, which sounds excellently vague to me.
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Lighting terms

Post by hsargent » Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:42 pm

You have to specify if it is incandescent, florescent, mercury vapor, sodium vapor ......

I don't believe there is an answer for most of these. You give it power and the element radiates, or the gas is ionized and glows. Starters and ballasts have in been incorporated into florescent lights now.
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Lighting terms

Post by dalehileman » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:38 pm

Phil: Yes in the usu parlance "power supply" doesn't fit. However, if you plow through the usu on-line dicts, you will find a def or two that might apply
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Lighting terms

Post by hsargent » Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:41 am

Possibly the term you are looking for is "transformer". A transformer changes the voltage to that which is necessary to ionize the gas.

This would not apply for incandescent.
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Lighting terms

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:00 am

Perhaps 'starting device' is sufficiently vague to be a universally applicable catch-all term.
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Lighting terms

Post by dalehileman » Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:29 pm

hs: A transformer might be only a part of the apparatus between pole and appliance. Erik's "starting device" may contain besides the transformer, a starter, a ballast, a capacitor, a switch

Incidentally, in the interest of swimmer safety I converted my 115-v in-wall pool light to 12 v, entailing wherewithal including a GFI as well as the stepdown transformer

Edited to include "a switch" per spiritus
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Lighting terms

Post by spiritus » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:26 am

I've always favored "switch". But, on the other hand, I once entered a darkened room and opened my umbrella, expecting the lights to come on.
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Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:50 pm

Silly! You should have opened a parasol!
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Lighting terms

Post by spiritus » Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:25 am

The "switch" you infer does not make me light up.
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