Operation of FL luminaires

Besides the fittings required for mechanical accommodation and electrical supply of lamps, they often require additional equipment (e.g. control gear units, starters, ignitors, transformers) for operation.

Discharge lamps (fluorescent lamps, high-pressure lamps) feature negative current-voltage characteristics. With constant voltage, current rises extremely due to increasing conductivity of the gas discharge and would destroy the lamp. Therefore, current limitation through control gear units is required. Said current limitation can be implemented using magnetic (inductive) or electronic control gear.

In fluorescent lamp operation, the type of control gear unit (CCG, LLCG or ECG) significantly influences the luminaire’s power consumption, the lamps’ service life and the lighting quality. Particularly when considering the energy-saving potential – and thus the economic efficiency – of refurbishing existing installations with fluorescent lamps, the existing switching type can be a substantial factor.

Table 2.8: Thresholds for lamp and control gear performance (system performance) and control gear classification created by the Federation of National Manufacturers Associations for Luminaires and Electrotechnical components CELMA based on former EU directive 2000/55/EC.