Electronic Ballasts For Fluorescent Lamps

Fluorescent Lamp Ballast

Fluorescents are a family of light sources which offer widespread applications in backlights for LCD displays in computers and TVs, decorative lighting, signs, and more. Fluorescent lamps require a ballast to stabilise the current through the lamp, and to provide the initial striking voltage required to start the arc discharge.

Here are some reference designs which provide all necessary details for implementing fluorescent lamp ballasts:-

  • Dimmable Flourescent Lamp Ballast: This reference design describes a fully digital dimmable light ballast with power factor correction (PFC) control for two parallel connected fluorescent lamps. The design is implemented using the Freescale MC68HC908LB8 microcontroller (MCU), which is designed specifically for light ballast applications. This MCU includes a set of peripherals that are appropriate for light dimming and power factor correction. The design uses half-bridge topology, typical for this kind of applications. The reference design incorporates details of both hardware and software parts of the system. More on this Reference Design
  • Fluorescent lamp driver with PFC: This reference design describes an electronic ballast with PFC for fluorescent lamps. The design relies on ballast controller IC UBA2015 which combines Power Factor Correction (PFC) and half-bridge controller in one IC which reduces the component cost significantly and increases reliability. It has several protection mechanisms such as overvoltage/no ignition, coil saturation, overtemperature and on some pins, open/short protection to guarantee reliable and safe operation. This makes the IC suitable for dimmable or fixed current output fluorescent ballasts with a PFC for AC mains voltages up to 390 V. More on this Reference Design
  • High Efficiency Fluorescent Ballast: This reference design is a high efficiency electronic ballast designed for driving rapid start fluorescent lamp types. Providing high power factor and fixed output, the ballast design contains an EMI filter, active power factor correction, a ballast control circuit using the IR2166 Ballast Control IC and a resonant lamp output stage. The active PFC section is a boost converter operating in critical conduction mode, free-running frequency mode. The ballast control section performs lamp fault detection, shutdown and auto-restart. Other functions provided by the design include lamp filament preheating, low AC line protection and end of lamp life shutdown. More on this Reference Design
  • Fluorescent Ballast with Remote Control: The design is an incutive-based Fluorescent lamp driver with remote control feature to control lamp’s brightness and turn lamps on or off. The design includes active power factor correction (PFC), a microcontroller (MCU), and a Zilog’s 868 MHz RF wireless module which hosts a Z8F2480 MCU. The MCU sends PWM pulses to control the lamp’s brightness. The Fluorescent Ballast base power board with the RF module attached is controlled by a handheld remote control device to turn the lamps on and off, and adjust the brightness of the lamps within 10 per cent – 100 per cent range. The board runs from a 180 VAC to 230 VAC input and provides 80W output power. More on this Reference Design
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