- What’s unique about Green Ballast?
- How does Green Ballast save energy?
- What kind of lamps can I use?
- Can I use the 30 watt, 28 watt, or 25 watt Reduced Wattage T8 lamps with Green Ballast?
- Hasn’t LED lighting made fluorescent lighting obsolete?
- What about T5 lamps; will they replace T8 lamps?
- How much can I expect to save?
- How much does it cost?
- Are there financial incentives available to offset costs?
- Can I get a cost payback analysis?
- What about your product reliability?
- Does the Daylight Harvesting turn the lights off?
- Is the ballast difficult to install?
- Can I connect multiple ballasts to one photocell?
- Can Green Ballast be used with Occupancy Sensors?
- Will the Green Ballast system reduce lamp life?
- Is there a required burn-in period before I dim new lamps?
- Do I need a remote dimmer switch or photocell?
- Will it interfere with any of my building’s other systems?
- Where can I buy it?
What’s unique about Green Ballast?
Green Ballast offers a true form of simplified lighting control. It utilizes an integral adjustable ballast factor dimming control (tuning), with a daylight harvesting dimming control. Our controls are automatic, require no setup or maintenance, and are designed to operate without distracting room occupants. This integrated design is unique to Green Ballast, and offers the most economical path to energy reduction for cost savings, and to meet the coming regulatory mandates.
How does Green Ballast save energy?
Green Ballast allows you to use the minimum amount of electric light you need to illuminate a room to acceptable light levels. Green Ballast controls your lighting costs by:
TuningYour maximum light output can be adjusted to avoid over lighting. You can tune your fixed light output (and power) to only the amount you need, and avoid waste from over lighting.
Daylight HarvestingWhen natural daylight brightens the room, the Green Ballast reduces the electric light output in response, in effect using daylight to replace the electric lighting. The change is immediate, and in direct response to the ambient light level change in the room. The ambient light level change in the room is dominant, and “washes” the change inside the light fixture, allowing the changes to go unnoticed by room occupants.
Demand Response (available with the coming wireless ballast)The ballast will automatically reduce power use when signaled by a Utility Demand Response, or by a voluntary programmed demand response, during peak energy use periods.
Program Scheduling (available with the coming wireless ballast)The ballast can be programmed to schedule reduced light levels for Adaptive Eye Dimming, low occupancy time of day, and maintenance periods.
What kind of lamps can I use?
Green Ballast is available for 32 watt T8 lamps, in 4' length or 2' U-lamp style. We offer 2-lamp, 3-lamp, and 4-lamp 120/277V universal voltage ballasts. We recommend using the 32 watt high lumen, long life (up to 46,000 hours) T8 fluorescent lamps. We will soon be offering ballasts for the 28 watt T5, and 49/54 watt T5 High Output fluorescent lamps.
Can I use the 30 watt, 28 watt, or 25 watt Reduced Wattage T8 lamps with Green Ballast?
Our ballast will drive these lamps; however, we recommend that you confirm with your lamp manufacturer that their lamps are rated for dimming use (we have found some are, and some are not.) The Green Ballast tuning feature allows you to adjust the lamp output to your specific need, so we typically recommend using the 32 watt high lumen, long life T8, as it offers the best combination of cost, performance, reliability, and availability.
It's important to understand that the reduced wattage lamps all offer the same relative efficiency of lumens per watt (lighting's version of miles per gallon). There was some misunderstanding that, say, a 25 watt lamp put out the same amount of light as a 32 watt lamp. That's not true for the current generation of T8's. These lamps actually offer a form of tuning.
Hasn't LED lighting made fluorescent lighting obsolete?
No, far from it. Unfortunately, LED technology press reports would lead you to believe that all other forms of lighting are gone for good. In truth, the LED technology is still in development. It is only now coming under performance testing standards, and for years made performance claims that were non verifiable, due to non-existing industry testing requirements. That is now changing as new standards, such as IES LM-79-08, LM-82-11, TM-21-11, ANSI 1598-2008, and NEMA LSD-45-2009, allow a more direct comparison of LED to other technologies.
LED light output and service life performance is significantly reduced as it progresses from “open air” to being installed in a light fixture, often seeing a loss of 60% or more energy efficiency by the time it is installed in a finished light fixture. LED acquired cost is significantly higher than fluorescent, industry standard maintained energy efficiencies are lower than linear fluorescent, and the cost value still has a long way to go before it can truly compete with linear fluorescent technologies. LED may one day be the defined standard for general lighting, or it may not. Right now, it still has development challenges to overcome.
What about T5 lamps; will they replace T8 lamps?
No, but they complement each other. T5 lamps have the same general efficiency as T8 lamps, yet cost a little more. T5’s offer some advantages in specific applications, such as low profile architectural fixtures that take advantage of the thinner T5 lamps, and warehouse lighting that effectively uses the high output T5 lamps. We will soon be offering ballasts for T5 products.
How much can I expect to save?
Savings from reduced lighting power from Green Ballast's technology vary from application to application, but typically range from 30 to 70 percent. In addition, daylight harvesting can significantly reduce power use during peak demand periods (or high rate “time of day” billing periods), saving on high demand period costs. The best savings are achieved when retrofitting T12 standard magnetic fixtures and in applications with significant daylight and high visible transmittance windows.
How much does it cost?
The Green Ballast is competitively priced. We understand that the investment cost must be justified by the energy costs saved, and have priced the ballast accordingly. Our ballast is designed strictly for the energy efficiency market, and not architectural dimming. We're confident the ballast purchase and installation cost will prove to be a solid investment, with a favorable Life Cycle Cost return. A Life Cycle Cost Analysis provides the most accurate analysis of true return on investment; simple paybacks do not account for systems that provide higher annual savings after the initial cost is paid.
Are there financial incentives available to offset costs?
Local utility efficiency rebates are available in most areas for retrofits or remodels. New construction and major remodels may also qualify for local design efficiency rebates, can qualify for Federal Tax energy efficiency deductions, and our technology can assist in LEED building qualification. Always consider your Life Cycle Costs, since energy efficiency investments can have a very favorable long term financial reward that is often not considered in simple payback calculations.
Can I get a cost payback analysis?
Yes. Please contact us as we have a calculator that can be used for an initial evaluation. Additionally, you can request a cost analysis service from your energy service contractor, which should include all installed costs and associated rebate opportunities. We can assist you in finding a contractor or distributor if you do not have one.
What about your product reliability?
We have made reliability and performance a high priority in our ballast design and manufacturing. We provide a five year limited warranty and, using industry testing standards, our ballast design life is estimated to be 12 years. We also made it simple to install and operate, which minimizes installation and maintenance errors. All Green Ballast products are U.L. Approved and have a history of successful installation and operation since being introduced in 2003.
Does the Daylight Harvesting turn the lights off?
No, the daylight harvesting only dims. We could possibly achieve additional savings by turning the lights off completely when daylight conditions allowed, but have found most room occupants are distracted by lights turning off when they’re in the room. Occupants with systems that turn off lights automatically while they’re in the room often have them disconnected, eliminating all savings, and wasting the investment for the efficiency system. Green Ballast provides high efficiency without disturbing room occupants. Our system works fine with occupancy sensors and control panels, which can perform on/off functions.
The new wireless ballast will offer an on/off feature in its programming options.
Is the ballast difficult to install?
No, we designed the ballast to install much like a standard ballast. The fixed level (tuning) dip-switch can be set prior to installation. The photocell is designed for quick and easy installation, and has no adjustments. The dip-switch and photocell are hardwired to the ballast. No commissioning is required.
Can I connect multiple ballasts to one photocell?
Yes, but specifically for multiple ballasts in a fixture (such as a pendant linear fluorescent fixture). Our system is not designed to connect to a single room photocell. There are three reasons for this. The first is by having one photocell per fixture; we can maximize savings by “zoning” each fixture to the available daylight. The second is that we don't require any low voltage wiring for a central photocell, which reduces installation costs. The third is that we do not require any complicated commissioning after installation.
Can Green Ballast be used with Occupancy Sensors?
Yes, the ballasts are not affected by the sensors and vice versa. A quality occupancy sensor can offer additional savings. Occupancy sensors control the light circuit, our ballast controls the light fixture. Green Ballast products will also work with relay control panels that switch the circuit on and off.
Will the Green Ballast system reduce lamp life?
No, it will not. We use a programmed rapid start design, which offers longer lamp life compared to instant start designs, and comply with NEMA LL9-2009 dimming standards.
Is there a required burn-in period before I dim new lamps?
The American National Standards Institute ( ANSI ) recommends that you run the lamps overnight (approximately 12 hours), prior to dimming, in their publication # LSD-23-2002. This allows new lamps to stabilize to a consistent output. Please note that Green Ballast does not require any light measuring or adjustments to “commission” the system.
Do I need a remote dimmer switch or photocell?
No. Green Ballast is completely automatic and self-contained.
Will it interfere with any of my building’s other systems?
No. EMI / RFI shielding and low harmonic distortion are standard.
Where can I buy it?
Green Ballast is available through your energy services contractor or through your local distributor, energy services contractor and OEM fixture manufacturers. Contact us for a listing of contractors or distributors in your area.