How does a fluorescent starter work? | HowStuffWorks
A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy- saving light, . Integrated lamps combine the tube and ballast in a single unit. . The light output decay is exponential, with the fastest losses being soon after the . However, industry sources claim the UV radiation received from CFLs is too. used in one formerly imported compact fluorescent lamp model. Radioactive material is used in starters and lamps, in small quantities, to aid in quick .. Radioactive Material. Facility. Authority. Number. Date. Authorized. starters with glow switches for first generation fluorescent tube systems, also head of a radioactive decay chain called the natural thorium decay series (see.
The major exposure pathways are through the skin and lungs.
Pm is a rare earth metal, similar to the tristimulus phosphors used for coating the fluorescent tubes. It is a solid and emits beta particles. Its half-life is 2. Under international standards, the maximum permissable body burden for Pm in the critical organ bone is two microcuries, or six times the amount in one lamp.
The maximum permissable continuous exposure level for the public is 0. Tritium is also a beta emitter.
Compact fluorescent lamp - Wikipedia
It has a half life of In its elemental form, tritium is a gas, and in that form is considered much less dangerous than in its oxidized form as tritiated water or water vapour. Much smaller quantities constitute a serious risk if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Fire is a serious consideration here, since it would result in the immediate oxidation of exposed elemental tritium. Among the controversial aspects of using radionuclides in CFLs is the question of labeling.
Compact fluorescent lamp
For example, Philips PL boxes are labeled with the following wording: That's all well and good, except it does not tell the consumer outright that the product contains radioactive material, and it uses scientific short forms for nanocuries and radioisotopes which would not be understandable to the average person.
Still, it's at least something.Fluorescent Glow Starters
In Canada, there's no labeling at all, making it impossible for most consumers to make an Informed choice. In addition to concern about the lamps themselves, there is the question of safety during the manufacturing process, as well as the transport and storage of the radionuclides prior to manufacturing. Then there's the matter of uncontrolled disposal of the lamps.
And, says the author, in a more general sense, it is also unfortunate that the use of these radionuclides in consumer goods offers more economic support and justification for the commercial and military nuclear industry, which is the supplier. The Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado founded by soft-energy advocate Amory Lovinshas argued that the benefit in energy savings from CFLs far outweighs the disadvantage of containing radioactive material.
Compact fluorescent lamps: a radioactive surprise
By contrast, Nuclear Free America, based in Maryland, has taken a position strongly against the use of CFLs, arguing that they foster a continuing reliance on the nuclear industry and the risks and costs simply outweigh the benefits. They are promoting the use of a more efficient incandescent lamp. But, says Martin, the good news is that there are CFLs that do not contain radioactive material: The fluorescent starter is a time-delay switch that opens after a second or two.
When it opens, the voltage across the tube allows a stream of electrons to flow across the tube and ionize the mercury vapor.
Without the starter, a steady stream of electrons is never created between the two filaments, and the lamp flickers. Without the ballast, the arc is a short circuit between the filaments, and this short circuit contains a lot of current.
The current either vaporizes the filaments or causes the bulb to explode. The most common fluorescent starter is called a "glow tube starter" or just starter and contains a small gas neon, etc. While all starters are physically interchangeable, the wattage rating of the starter should be matched to the wattage rating of the fluorescent tubes for reliable operation and long life.
The glow tube incorporates a switch which is normally open. When power is applied, a glow discharge takes place which heats a bimetal contact. A second or so later, the contacts close and provide current to the fluorescent filaments. Since the glow is extinguished, there is no longer any heating of the bimetal and the contacts open.