Fluorescent lamp ballasts – January 2017

Notice

This updated bulletin is being issued in order to correct an error in the previous bulletin regarding the implementation of the increased scope of fluorescent lamp ballast regulations. In Amendment 13, only the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) were aligned with the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE), while the scope of coverage for fluorescent lamp ballasts remained the same as it had been prior to the publication of that amendment. This bulletin clarifies that the increased scope of coverage for fluorescent lamp ballasts (including T12 dimming ballasts), effectively aligning with the U.S. DOE, will come with the publication of Amendment 14.

Technical bulletin on amending the standard

Webinar - June 2016

On April 30, 2016, Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency issued a Notice of Intent to align Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) for T12 dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts with standards in the United States.  The intended scope of the fluorescent lamp ballasts regulations in Amendment 14 will be greater than the addition of only T12 dimming ballasts in order to effectively align with the U.S. DOE.

This technical bulletin has been released to provide additional information for the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the requirements being considered for fluorescent lamp ballasts.

Input received during this stage of the process will inform the development of the Amendment 14 proposal.  In addition, the department will undertake a cost-benefit analysis using the best-available Canadian market data to assess the economic and environmental impacts of aligning these standards and to ensure Canadian consumers and businesses benefit from its implementation.

The Government of Canada intends to pre-publish a regulatory proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I within approximately six month of this bulletin.

Background

Fluorescent lamp ballasts were first regulated in Canada in 1990.  On November 14, 2011, the U.S. DOE issued a final rule, which increased the stringency of the minimum energy performance standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts and expanded the scope to include a greater variety of ballasts, including many common types of ballast for T12, T8 and T5 lamps.

In Amendment 13 to the Regulations, NRCan increased the stringency of the MEPS without expanding the scope, in alignment with the U.S. DOE. With this amendment, NRCan is considering expanding the scope of the Regulations to include the fluorescent lamp ballasts remaining for regulatory alignment. If implemented, this proposal would ensure that the Regulations for fluorescent lamp ballasts are, to the extent possible, aligned with those of the U.S. DOE.

Product description

The scope of fluorescent lamp ballasts will be expanded to cover a wider range of operated lamp types and configurations as well as include previously excluded products, such as cold temperature sign ballasts manufactured after November 14, 2014, as well as T12 dimming fluorescent lamp ballasts.

A fluorescent lamp ballast is a device that is designed to start and operate fluorescent lamps for nominal input voltages at or between 120 V and 277 V or 347 V, within the scope established by the appropriate CSA standard.

It does not include:

  • cold temperature sign ballasts manufactured before November 14, 2014;
  • dimming ballasts, other than T12 dimming ballasts;
  • low-frequency T8 ballasts for use in an electromagnetic- interference-sensitive environment and sold in a package of 10 or fewer; or
  • program-start ballasts for 1 200 mm (4ft), medium bi-pin, T8 lamps, delivering an average current of less than 140 mA to each lamp.

A T12 dimming ballast is a fluorescent lamp ballast that is designed to operate T12 lamps and by means of an integrated dimming capability, to reduce the output of the lamps by 50% or more.

For the purpose of the proposed Regulations, T12 dimming ballasts will be limited to those designed for nominal inputs of 120 V or 277 V at 60Hz and to operate with F34T12, F96T12ES or F96T12HO ES fluorescent lamps.

Energy performance test procedure

For fluorescent lamp ballasts other than T12 dimming ballasts, NRCan is proposing that CSA standard CAN/CSA-C654-14, Fluorescent Lamp Ballast Efficacy Measurements, be referenced as the energy performance test procedure.

The test procedures can be ordered from:
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
Telephone: 1-800-463-6727
In Toronto, call 416-747-4044
Email: sales@csagroup.org
Website: http://www.shop.csa.ca

CSA test standards are available at no cost on their website: https://community.csagroup.org/community/energy-efficiency/standards-access-portal

To access the standards you will first need to create an account to join the CSA Communities of Interest.

For T12 dimming ballasts, NRCan is proposing that the US Department of Energy (DOE) Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Title 10, Part 430, Subpart B, Appendix Q - Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts, be referenced as the energy performance test procedure.

The CFR test procedure may be viewed at:
U.S. Government Publishing Office – Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

Energy performance standard

Proposed MEPS for fluorescent lamp ballasts are described below.

Power factor

For ballasts designed and labeled for use in residential applications at 120 V, a power factor greater than or equal to 0.5 shall be considered acceptable. All other regulated ballasts shall have a power factor greater than or equal to 0.9.

Ballast luminous efficiency (BLE)

  1. The minimum ballast luminous efficiency levels for non-dimmable fluorescent lamp ballasts are to be calculated using the BLE equation below with the variables provided in Tables 1, 2 and 3.

    BLE ≥ A ÷ (1 + B × [average total lamp arc power]-C)

    Where BLE = Total Test Ballast Lamp Arc Power / Ballast Input Power
    Where A, B, and C are defined in Tables 1, 2 and 3 for specific ballast voltages

  2. The minimum ballast luminous efficiency levels for T12 dimming ballasts are provided in Table 4.
Table 1 - Minimum BLE variables for 277V ballasts
Product Category Description A B C
1 Instant start and rapid start ballasts (not classified as residential) that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as: 0.993 0.27 0.25
4-foot medium bipin lamps
2-foot U-shaped lamps
8-foot slimline lamps
2 Programmed start ballasts (not classified as residential) that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as: 0.993 0.51 0.37
4-foot medium bipin lamps
2-foot U-shaped lamps
4-foot miniature bipin standard output lamps
4-foot miniature bipin high output lamps
3 Instant start and rapid start ballasts (not classified as sign ballasts) that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as 8-foot high output lamps 0.993 0.38 0.25
4 Programmed start ballasts (not classified as sign ballasts) that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as 8-foot high output lamps 0.973 0.70 0.37
5 Sign ballasts that operate lamps commonly referred to as 8-foot high output lamps 0.993 0.47 0.25

 

Table 2 – Minimum BLE variables for residential only class (120V ballasts)
Product Category Description A B C
6 Instant start and rapid start residential ballasts that operate lamps commonly referred to as 0.993 0.41 0.25
4-foot medium bipin lamps
2-foot U-shaped lamps
8-foot slimline lamps
7 Programmed start residential ballasts that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as 0.973 0.71 0.37
4-foot medium bipin lamps
2-foot U-shaped lamps

 

Table 3 – Minimum BLE variables for 347V ballasts
Product Category Description A B C
1 Instant start and rapid start ballasts (not classified as residential) that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as 0.963 0.27 0.25
4-foot medium bipin lamps
2-foot U-shaped lamps
8-foot slimline lamps
2 Programmed start ballasts (not classified as residential) that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as 0.963 0.51 0.37
4-foot medium bipin lamps
2-foot U-shaped lamps
4-foot miniature bipin standard output lamps
4-foot miniature bipin high output lamps
3 Instant start and rapid start ballasts (not classified as sign ballasts) that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as 8-foot high output lamps 0.963 0.38 0.25
4 Programmed start ballasts (not classified as sign ballasts) that are designed to operate lamps commonly referred to as 8-foot high output lamps 0.944 0.70 0.37
5 Sign ballasts that operate lamps commonly referred to as 8-foot high output lamps 0.963 0.47 0.25

 

Table 4 – Minimum BLE requirements for T12 dimming ballasts

Proposed MEPS for the ballast luminous efficacy of fluorescent lamp ballasts
Designed for the operation of Ballast input
voltage
Total nominal lamp watts Ballast luminous efficiency
Low frequency ballasts High frequency ballasts
One F34T12 lamp 120/277 34 0.777 0.778
Two F34T12 lamps 120/277 68 0.804 0.805
Two F96T12/ES lamps 120/277 120 0.876 0.884
Two F96T12HO/ES lamps 120/277 190 0.711 0.713
  • ES means Energy Saving
  • HO means High Output

Effective date

These Regulations will come into force six months after the date of publication in the Canada Gazette Part II.

NRCan proposes that the updated standards will apply to fluorescent lamp ballasts that have been manufactured on or after November 14, 2014.

Verification requirements

There is no change proposed for the energy efficiency verification requirements for this product.

Reporting requirements

Energy efficiency reports

There are no changes proposed to the energy efficiency report requirements for fluorescent lamp ballasts.

The Regulations apply to products imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada. This report must be submitted, by the dealer, to NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded inter-provincially for the first time.

Import reports

There is no change proposed for the energy efficiency verification requirements for this product.

Comments invited

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide stakeholders with technical detail required to comment on the requirements under consideration for fluorescent lamp ballasts. 

Additional information on Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations including a current list of Standards Council of Canada accredited certification bodies can be found in the Department’s website at: www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/regulations-codes-standards/6861

We welcome your comments. All correspondence should be forwarded to:

Office of Energy Efficiency 

Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0E4
E-mail: nrcan.equipment.rncan@canada.ca