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2014 Edition, 2014

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Power Quality Implications of Self-ballasted Lamps in Residences

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Description / Abstract:

This white paper provides information about self-ballasted lamps and the implications these lamps present from a power quality perspective. It focuses on the use of self-ballasted lamps in residences and on residential power quality. Self-ballasted lamps have dedicated ballasts that are part of the lamp itself, which allows the lamp to be used in some sockets that originally were meant for incandescent lamps.

The ballast intercepts the electrical current before it enters the bulb itself, and it cannot be removed from the base. Some CFLs and some LED lamps are examples of self-ballasted lamps. Utilities are often internally conflicted on the issue of residential power quality. Engineering departments tend to be conservative, since they are entrusted with the reliability of the system. Accordingly, they also tend to be risk averse regarding power quality issues, even when the loads are small and experience indicates that problems have yet to occur with products, such as non–power factor (PF) corrected selfballasted lamps (also called normal power factor, but the terms low power factor and non–power factor corrected will be used interchangeably in this document). This white paper presents information from work started in the late 1990s using CFLs in aggregate and with other loads to try to better understand why non-power factor corrected CFL usage posed no problems during introduction of self-ballasted lamps into the residential marketplace. It is hoped that this paper also will help to justify why utilities should not hesitate to support and endorse the use of self-ballasted lamps, even non–power factor corrected versions.
ANSI/NEMA MW 1000, 2014