Discussion:
Ott light ballast?
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Jeff Jonas
2014-11-09 04:48:55 UTC
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I'm trying to build a fixture for a
model B181S3 Ott-lite.
It's an 18W T5 straight fluorescent tube
but only 16 inches long (not counting pins).
Does that make it a HO: High Output lamp?

Will a plain old magnetic ballast and starter work
or will that stress the electrodes?
What electronic ballast is the best match?

thanks in advance
Andrew Gabriel
2014-11-09 10:01:34 UTC
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Post by Jeff Jonas
I'm trying to build a fixture for a
model B181S3 Ott-lite.
It's an 18W T5 straight fluorescent tube
but only 16 inches long (not counting pins).
Does that make it a HO: High Output lamp?
It's about the same loading as an HO lamp (around 45W/meter)
but it's not a standard T5 tube size, so you may struggle to
find a ballast that works.

The standard sizes are listed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent-lamp_formats#T5_tubes
Post by Jeff Jonas
Will a plain old magnetic ballast and starter work
or will that stress the electrodes?
What electronic ballast is the best match?
You could try an electronic ballast for a 24W tube, but I would
try it on a power meter to make sure the power consumption is
not more than 18-20W. A ballast which can run several sizes of
HO tube (24W/39W/54W) may work if it's just a constant current
source, but a ballast which can auto detect different tubes from
the HO and HE ranges from their electrical characteristics is
much less likely to work correctly as it certainly won't
recognise yours correctly.

T5 HO and T5 HE ranges are no longer intended for use on old
magnetic ballasts (they were at launch, but no one manufactured
any magnetic ballasts for them). Of course, that might not apply
to your tube since I don't know exactly what range of tubes it
comes from. It sounds like a special made for some specific
application.
--
Andrew Gabriel
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]
m***@att.net
2014-11-09 17:31:35 UTC
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I'm trying to build a fixture for a model B181S3 Ott-lite.
It's an 18W T5 straight fluorescent tube but only 16 inches long
(not counting pins).
Of course, that might not apply to your tube since I don't know
exactly what range of tubes it comes from. It sounds like a
special made for some specific application.
Ott-lites are a line of tubes that are claimed to have a different
phosphor mix than "regular" tubes, resulting in "natural daylight
illumination". IIRC the company used to make a lot of wild health
claims about how wonderful this light was for you, but their current
advertising seems to have toned that down a lot. Now their marketing
is mostly aimed at handcrafts people and artists, and a little bit at
plant growing. They also sell fixtures. As far as I can see, they
don't provide any lamp technical information (like current ratings)
on their site; it's mostly "use our lamps in our fixtures".

The tubes/lamps are expensive - a 15 W CFL (60 W equivalent) sells for
US$10 each on Amazon. A "regular" 60 W equivalent CFL at the general
store might be $1.50 each when bought in a 4-pack or 6-pack. The 18W T5
Ott-lite that OP has sells for $26 on their web site. I've never used
one extensively so I don't know about the light quality.

Standard disclaimers apply: I don't get money or other consideration
from any companies mentioned.

Matt Roberds

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