Carlo S. Bessone - Cambridge MA
Frank M. Latassa - Magnolia MA
GTE Sylvania Incorporated - Danvers MA
A ballast for a rapid start fluorescent lamp with heated filaments has a secondary winding supplying lamp current, tertiary windings for supplying heater current to the filaments, and solid state switching circuits in secondary circuits through the filaments. Each switching circuit, which may be integrated with the ballast circuit or connected to a filament within the lamp envelope, comprises two voltage divider resistors having a common junction coupled to the gate of a triac whose primary electrodes are connected in parallel with the voltage divider. The triac is in series with the filament and supplies heating current to the filaments prior to lamp starting. When the lamp starts and conducts rated operating current the voltage divider reduces the voltage at its junction and at the triac gate below triac breakdown level thereby substantially eliminating heater current. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Commonly used fluorescent lamp ballast are of the rapid start type which includes a transformer primary winding and a secondary winding supplying operating current to the lamp, and also one or more heater windings which supply current through the filaments at each end of the fluorescent lamp. The heating current is supplied when power is switched on to the ballast and resistively heats the filaments to emissive state.