40 watt Electronic Ballast

Simple electronic fluorescent ballast circuits are difficult to find and build. A simple homemade electronic 40 watt ballast circuit is neatly explained in this article. The PCB layout of the proposed electronic fluorescent ballast is also provided along with the torroid and the buffer choke winding details.

Introduction


Even the promising and the most talked about LED technology is perhaps unable to produce lights equal to the modern electronic fluorescent ballasts lights. The circuit of one such electronic tube light is discussed here, with efficiency better than LED lights.



Just a decade ago electronic ballasts were relatively new and due to frequent failures and high costs were not generally preferred by everyone. But with passing time the device went through some serious improvements and the results were encouraging as they started becoming more reliable and long lasting. The modern electronic ballasts are more efficient and fail proof.

Difference between Electrical Ballast and Electronic Ballast


So what’s the exact advantage of using electronic flourescent ballast compared to the age old electrical ballast? To understand the differences correctly it is important to know how ordinary electrical ballasts work.

Electrical ballast is nothing but a simple high current, mains voltage inductor made by winding number of turns of copper wire over laminated iron core.

Basically, as we all know a fluorescent tube requires a high initial current thrust to ignite and make the electrons flow connect in between its end filaments. Once this conduction is connected the current consumption to sustain this conduction and the illumination becomes minimal. Electrical ballasts are used just to “kick” this initial current and then control the supply of the current by offering increased impedance once the ignition is completed.

Use of a Starter in Electrical Ballasts


A starter makes it sure that the initial “kicks” are applied through intermittent contacts, during which the copper winding’s stored energy is used to produce the required high currents.

The starter stops functioning once the tube gets ignited and now since the ballast is routed via the tube, starts getting a continuous flow of AC through it and due to its natural attributes offers high impedance, controlling the current and helping sustain optimal glow.

However, due to variation in voltages and lack of an ideal calculation, electrical ballasts can become quite inefficient, dissipating and wasting a lot of energy through heat. If you actually measure you will find that a 40 watt electrical choke fixture may consume as high as 70 watts of power, almost double the required amount. Also, the initial flickers involved cannot be appreciated.

Electronic Ballasts are More Efficient


Electronic ballasts on the other hand are just the opposite as far as efficiency is concerned. The one which I built consumed just 0.13 Amps of current @ 230volts and produced light intensity that looked much brighter than normal. The have been using this circuit since last 3 years without no problems whatsoever (though I had to replace the tube once as it blackened at the ends and started producing lesser light.)

The current reading itself proves how efficient the circuit is, the power consumption being just around 30 watts and an output light equivalent to 50 watts.

How the Electronic Ballast Circuit Works


Its working principle of the proposed electronic flourescent ballast is rather straightforward. The AC signal is first rectified and filtered using a bridge/capacitor configuration. The next comprises a simple two transistor cross-coupled oscillator stage. The rectified DC is applied to this stage which immediately starts oscillating at the required high frequency. The oscillations are typically square wave which is appropriately buffered via an inductor before it is finally used to ignite and illuminate the connected tube. The diagram shows a 110 V version which can be easily modified into 230 volt model through simple alterations.

The following illustrations clearly explains how to build a homemade electronic 40 watt electronic fluorescent ballast circuit at home using ordinary parts.


40 watt electronic fluorescent ballast circuit

PCB Component Layout

WARNING: PLEASE INCLUDE A MOV AND A THERMISTER AT THE SUPPLY INPUT, OTHERWISE THE CIRCUIT WILL BECOME UNPREDICTABLE AND MIGHT BLOW-OFF AT ANY MOMENT.

ALSO, MOUNT THE TRANSISTORS OVER SEPARATE, 4*1 INCH HEATSINKS, FOR BETTER EFFICIENCY AND LONGER LIFE.

PCB Track Layout


PCB design for 40 watt ballast

Torroid Inductor

T13 torroid winding details

Choke Inductor

choke filter EMI

Parts List


R1,R2,R5 = 330K MFR 1%

R3,R4,R6,R7=47 Ohm, CFR 5%

R8=2.2 Ohms, 2watts

C1,C2=0.0047/400V PPC for 220V, 0.047uF/400V for 110V AC input

C3,C4=0.033/400V PPC

C5=4.7uF/400V Electrolytic

D1=Diac DB3

D2……D7=1N4007

D10,D13=B159

D8,D9,D11,D12=1N4148

T1,T2=13005 Motorola

Heatsink is required for T1 and T2.

Need Help? Please send your queries through Comments for quick replies!




Comments

abhishek mankar said…
Please snd me circuit daig....
githin said…
hai myself githin

Iam interested to know details about ur design, i got the concept but i want to know the design parameters.

could u please tell me.
1) which freg the oscillator works
2) need of chock and the value
3) need of Torrid Inductor
4) how can i calculating the watts
( u discussed earlier changing the capacitor value need calculation method)

i hope u will guide me my mail address vgithin@gmail.com contact no 09345772248.
need ur contact details

Swagatam said…
Hi Githin,

I copied this from a ready made sample, so I don't know much about the calculations.

The choke can be any type of coil wound over any type of ferrite core...use maximum possible number of turns, example you can try with 200 turns of 30 swg wire.

I have explained the torroid detail in the article.
Swagatam said…
Initially please connect a 60 watt bulb in series to confirm the results first.... if the tube illuminates would confirm your circuit and then we can proceed with further improvements like adding thermister, MOV etc.

please also note that D2 cathode is connected to the track which is passing just under it
Elango Mani said…
PLEASE GIVE CLEAR CIRCUIT DIAGRAM
dhaneesh said…
sir please send choke circuit for the 40W tublight and also clear pcb layout.
thank you
Trevor Barber said…
Hi. I want this to run only from 12 or 24volts dc. Can you help please I want to power a 42 or 57 watt cfl lamp. Osram dulux te plus
Sir can you please explain the full circuit working and please give the circuit diagram

Saeed Abu said…
Bro how can i drive 40w fused(1 end/ 2 end)Tube light by electronic ballast like as electrical ballast? Although i have tried it by shorting the fused end of the light but it do blink when power on then it run.Sometime in the mid of running of light it start blinking then get stable.In this way i reuse that fused light some day but my ballast burst out.So what is the safe solution of it?
Swagatam said…
Bro, the one that is shown in the above article can be used for the same purpose, I have already tried it and it worked for me
Saeed Abu said…
Bro how long i can reuse the fused tube light in this way(shorting fused end) safely without bursting my electronic ballast?
Swagatam said…
bro, shorting the tube ends will never affect a good quality ballast in anyway, so you can expect a normal operation from it even with the ends shorted
Saeed Abu said…
bro today im again try to reuse fuse tube lite also CFL as per ur instruction(shorting lite ends) but when i give power then lite start blinking with some time then it run.Is this normal condition or i continue this way will my ballast or CFL burst?
Swagatam said…
bro connecting or shorting the two pins of the tube is not required.

simply take out single wires from the corresponding sides of the ballast and connect them to any one pin on either side of the tube
Saeed Abu said…
Bro make i clear it first.U said i have to take only 2 cables from each pairs of cable from out put section of the ballast.then i have to connect that 2 cables individually with any one pin on either side of the tube.is This configuration is allowed for 2 end fused tube or 1 end fused tube?if possible pls make it clear with diagram.
Swagatam said…
yes this wiring method will work for fused tubes.
Akarsh V said…
in that pcb track layout, where is the line that does not touch a point touches...?
thank you
Swagatam said…
at the bottom center edge of the PCB, you will find three pads closely placed.
the rightmost pad needs to be linked with the track passing just below it.
Akarsh V said…
sir,
i dont get you..
i asked you that, there is a track which does not touches any pad.I asked you to which pad that track should be linked.?
thank you
Akarsh V said…
sir, can u please correct the track layout and post....
please please...
Swagatam said…
it's linked to the central large copper containing 6 pads
RAMAN S said…
i want to manufacture choke can u guide me
RAMAN S said…
Can u guide me to manufacture a ftl electronic choke
RAMAN S said…
how to manufacture a electronic choke
Swagatam said…
you will need to invest minimum 10 lacs initially and wait for 6 months for the first payment to arrive without stopping the production.

you can try the following circuit, it will work with ftls also:

https://homemade-circuits.com/2014/04/single-chip-electronic-ballast-circuit.html
Hi,

For Electronics Ballast,how we can decide the number of turns for E type inductor an torroid.And how we can calculate it.
Swagatam said…
I have no idea about it, it will depend on the given manufactures specifications.
Skl Dj said…
please provide me some idea to use irf840 in place of 13005 in this circuit
Swagatam said…
mosfet will not work properly in place of a BJT in a ballast circuit...because the components are specifically selected for a BJT operation and not for a mosfet.
Skl Dj said…
well not in this circuit but how to connect mosfet with this type of circuit? i mean how to provide gate voltage with zener when supply is 240v dc
Swagatam said…
here's one example you may refer to:

4.bp.blogspot.com/-q2OdIb3tOWQ/UvcbVFrEzKI/AAAAAAAAGRo/ROKukGqYUx4/s1600/surge+suppressed+led+driver+circuit.png
SURESH P said…
Hi,
Can you please explain how the alterations can be done to use directly in 230 V 50hz Supply.With Corrected printed pcb.Please help me.


Thanks in advance.

Swagatam said…
Hi, the circuit is designed for 220v AC, and the PCB is also correct except one small error which I have explained in one of the above comments
SURESH P said…
sir,
which date you posted the comment pl tell me.Tell me the specification of coil inductor,terriod and Mov.
Swagatam said…
suresh, see the comment replies from Akarsh above
Skl Dj said…
finally i able to make 40w cfl design using mosfets,they are more efficient and more reliable than transistor.i made 3 of them and they are working great.
Swagatam said…
mosfets circuits are always better
M4D D4M said…
Hi...
i did everything as you stated. only thing am stuck with is..with the choke & torroid coil. can you please specify much more details or mention some equivalent parts avail in the market.

TIA
M4D D4M said…
Hi...bro...
if you can send me any clear pic of PCB diagram or layout diagram....i can post the clear schematic diagram for you & everyone else..this will also helps me too...
waiting for your esteemed reply....
TIA
Swagatam said…
Bro, everything is shown quite clearly in the article above, if you are having difficulty understanding, you can specify those... I'll clarify them immediately.

If possible I'll try to produce a clearer PCB diagram.
Kaushik Mondal said…
please publish a circuit of electronics starter for 40 watt fluorescent tube light with magnetic ballast.
Swagatam said…
OK I'll try to design and publish it soon....do keep in touch
bug menot said…
To all the people asking for values and such, you should try LTSpice or another analog electronics simulator. It even has power analysis if you're trying to figure out how much wattage is going to be dissipated by the transistors, for example. Sadly, it does require some knowledge of how to make a schematic and figure out their 'unique' interface. Luckily, tons of good tutorials with pictures, though!

I haven't seen if they simulate a fluorescent bulb, but you can add devices with custom behaviors/curves. Even without that, these programs are wonderful for learning electronics and well worth the effort to learn!
Unknown said…
can i do it on pcb ie pro-ject board GLno.12 i am a wireman and most of my client call me to replace electronic ballast tube light. but by reading you 40watt electronic ballast i feel i should try to repair all broken ballast it will hwlp my clent in some way. other they have to bring new one from the market.
Swagatam said…
I won't recommend the above circuit since the technology is quite old and not very reliable, today there are IC based much improved circuits which are very reliable and long lasting, you could try one of those circuits...here's one article that may help you regarding the subject:

www.irf.com/technical-info/appnotes/an-995a.pdf
Ritish Kumar said…
hi sir i want to make a robot that can implement the Swach Bharat Abhiyan for school science exhibition .
for this i had planned to make three robo cars - first will work like a vaccum cleaner which took light weight things like paper and leaves to clean ,second will clean the splits on road or anywhere ,third will took off heavy things .but sir i have one problem with third robot.if anything comes in front of it ,it will took off that object but suppose there is a valuable object like a money purse than it will also took it .sir what can i do so that my robot took off only the waste things not any valuable things.
Swagatam said…
Hi Ritish,

that's not feasible, you cannot make a vacuum cleaner understand the difference between a valuable material from a scrap material....but this can be handled by a human being at the other end who could segregate the materials appropriately...,...but I don't think you will get too many valuable things on road.... 99% will be scrap and garbage.
Ritish Kumar said…
sir i think for taking off light weight objects like paper or leaves a hi speed C.P.U fan is sufficient with a net in front of it to stop collision between paper and fan.
Ritish Kumar said…
thank you sir for your advice
Swagatam said…
It should work, a practical test will confirm it....
Ritish Kumar said…
thank you sir for your kind advice
Madahana Gopal said…
Sir ..i require 11-18 watts electric ballast..can i proceed this same procedure
Ritish Kumar said…
hello sir , i have one more problem regarding to my project swatch bharat abhiyan robot that described before , sir i thought that i will use solar pannel as a source of energy but how to run three dc motor and a c.p.u fan using a solar pannel . if i use batteries then the heavy weight will create problem .if i use ac current then the wire and the plug point will create problem .sir please advice me what to do .
Ritish Kumar said…
sir, i have made a robot that implement swatch bharat abhiyan . in project i have a problem that is "what source of energy i should use 1)solar energy but it cannot run 3 dc motors and 1 c.p.u fan 2)batteries but the weight will create problem 3)a.c. current but the plug point and the wires will create problem .so sir please kindly advice me .
thank you for your kind advice
Swagatam said…
hello Ritish,

batteries will not create any problems, your trolley will easily run on the road with the CPU fan operating along with the batteries.....

use good quality motors for the wheels.

for more info you can read the following article:

https://homemade-circuits.com/2015/04/remote-controlled-trolley-circuit.html
Swagatam said…
You can try the following circuit instead:

https://homemade-circuits.com/2014/04/single-chip-electronic-ballast-circuit.html
Swagatam said…
use batteries, sealed SMF type 12V 25AH,, and build the trolley as suggested in the previous comment.
Ritish Kumar said…
sorry for your disturbance ,sir i have one more problem regarding my project . my trolley run in a straight path so sir what can i do so that it can change its path automatically
Swagatam said…
how do you prefer it to take the turns? depending on what?
Ritish Kumar said…
it should take turn after certain time intervals
Swagatam said…
how will it know the obstacles and the turns of the road??
Ritish Kumar said…
no sir it should take turn after certain time interval
Swagatam said…
you will need a relay timer circuit for that but adjusting the turning angle will be complicated...or you can make it through a remote control design that will be more sensible and manageable
How can I get the ready made PCB card & spares part, kindly provide the link or address.
Also, Can you please provide a schematic diagram?
Swagatam said…
I am sorry, PCB is not available ready made for this project
Hello Mr. Swagatam Majumdar,
Thank you very much for all the information you posted on your website. It's very interesting and informative.
I am sorry if this question is sort of off topic but you know alot about electronics and I can't seem to find the answer.
I have been making portable insect traps that I use with a 12 volt Gel cell battery and a 40 watt fluorescent UV light bulb (u shaped type bulb).
I have been buying simple DC ballasts from China that are rated to be used for fluorescent bulbs that are 10-40 watts. The ballasts work, however, they don't seem to reach their full brightness. When I measure the current, it only measure 1.2 amps with a 40 watt bulb. This seems much too low and I assume it should be 3.3 amps. So I'm assuming that this ballast is really only a 20 watt DC ballast and I am using the wrong ballast.
I have ordered some other 40 watt DC ballasts to test them.
My question is:
1. If a DC ballast is rated at 40 watts and you use a 40 watt lamp, should the current be 3.3 amps? If it is lower, does that mean you are not getting the full wattage of the lamp?
2. I have read that it's ok to use a 20 watt bulb on a 40 watt ballast. It may shorten the life of the bulb somewhat but it will run ok. If you use a 20 watt bulb on a 40 watt ballast, will the current drop to 1.7 amps or will it remain at 3.3 amps because the ballast is 40 watts?
I am sorry if these questions or off topic. Unfortunately, i do not have the skills to build my own ballast and must purchase them but it is often difficult to find quality DC ballasts.
Thank you
Swagatam said…
Thank you Consumer Watchdog,

if the operating voltage is 12V then yes it should 40/12 = 3.33 amps
if it's lower then simply multiply it with 12 to get the effective wattage output from the ballast.
technically a 20 watt load can be operated with a 40 watt source if the voltage is compatible with the load, because if the voltage is as per the load spec then current will not matter or affect the load in any manner.
the current consumed by the 20 watt load will be 1.7amp
Thank you so much for your fast reply and informative answer. It is very much appreciated.
best regards,
Thank you so much for your helpful response. I'm sorry but I have one other question regarding the 20 watt lamp with the 40 watt ballast.
If I connect the 20 watt bulb to the 40 watt ballast and the current measured is high, say for example 2.5 amps, does that mean the bulb is being overdriven? i talked to a company that sells dc ballasts and he told me that there cheaper dc ballasts will over drive the 20 watt bulb connected to a 40 watt ballast and it will shorten the life of the lamp. However, they have more expensive dc ballasts that will adjust the current to match the bulb and they will not overdrive the 20 watt bulb and it will instead be only 1.7 amps as it should be.
Does this sound correct to you?
Thank you again.
Swagatam said…
Technically the current cannot become high, however since we are dealing with high frequency circuits, compatibility could be a critical factor and things could get unpredictable so if you see more current being consumed than the specified range then definitely the load is being overdriven and could get adversely affected in the long run.
Thank you for your fast and helpful replies.
Best regards.
HOW CAN I CHECK MY CHILD IS ON?
Nelio Abreu said…
Hi Swagatam,
I'm looking for a 12V inverter circuit to power 2 T8 fluorescent lamps of 36W each. The circuit mas include a battery charger to work with a 12V SLA battery. Do you have anything like this?

Thanks.
Best Regards.
NĂ©lio
Swagatam said…
Hi Nelio,

for the inverter you can try the following circuit:

https://homemade-circuits.com/2012/07/simplest-and-best-100-watt-inverter.html

and for the charger the following design can be used:

https://homemade-circuits.com/2012/02/how-to-build-automatic-6-volt-12-volt.html
Nelio Abreu said…
Thank you Swagatam.
Best Regards.
N.A.
Swagatam said…
You are welcome Nelio
Rajkumar v said…
Dear sir, Please help me .In my home 2 tube light Electronic choke had burned after I have checked it i realized transister 13005ED and Cap 682J was burned but it is very rare to find kindly provide equivalent TRANSISTOR and cap

Thanks
Swagatam said…
Dear Raj, the transistor MJE13005 is very popular and should be available in almost parts of the world...moreover there's no easier alternative to this part.

the cap 682J can e replaced with 0.0068uF/250V
Swagatam said…
sorry jayanth, it would be impossible for me to judge the issue without practically investigating your circuit...
Jayanta Nath said…
Dear broth what will happen if I put 22 mf 400 volt as c capacitor. In 40 watt electron ic blast. And if I use 13003 mje transistors
Jayanta Nath said…
Dear brother I have connected an electronic choke with ac like this way as it phase is connected directly to the input supply and it's neutral is connected via switch. But after some days of its working it choke blown away. My question is that is this due to the wrong input connection of ac supply to the choke. Please reply and thanks in advance jayanta
Swagatam said…
Jayanta, the phase neutral connections are not critical for any AC device....you can freely connect the phase/neutral anyway you like across the ballast it won't harm anything in the circuit.

Your ballast burned because of voltage fluctuations....you could try employing an NTC at the input along with an MOV for preventing such mishaps.
Jayanta Nath said…
Thanks brother for your reply is there any specific code value for mov if so kindly providemail me the number code for mov.
Swagatam said…
Jayanta, you can try an MOV having 300V as its clamping voltage....

you can read the following article for more info

https://homemade-circuits.com/2016/05/how-to-select-mov.html
Yash Mahajan said…
Hi!! I didn't get where the cathode of diode D2 is connected.. Please help..
Swagatam said…
Hi, please click on the on the diagram under the PCB Component Layout, you will be able to see the enlarged view of it...D2 could be clearly seen with its cathode downwards.
bissonath said…
how the output can be reduced to 33 watts sir?
bissonath said…
can u also please make the diagram sir.
Swag said…
by reducing C3/C4 to some lower value
Umapathi said…
Hi sir .I have one doubt .36 watts tube light ballast use for 2* 14 watts 2 feet lamb (T5 essential lamb) . Its connected to parallel.if it is possible .it will work.
Swag said…
Hi Umapathi, sorry, that won't work.
Ananth said…
Hot to calculate the choke coil inductor number of turns guage and diameter for different watt.
26 w, 36 w, & 40 watt.
Swag said…
I did not calculate I just used maximum number of turn that could fit inside the bobbin
Ananth said…
Okay, I tried with different windings and air gaps, according bright ness also was changing. But still I need to see the exact windings, gaps for max efficiency
Swag said…
yes the choke acts like a current limiter and could affect the brightness if not optimized correctly.
Please remember I had used a 100 watt bulb in series while using it in my home with 220V AC, for 3 long years. The bulb safeguarded the ballast from sudden current and voltage surges and allowed it to work flawlessly with awesome brightness. The bulb filament hardly showed any glow in it

the above method looks very crude so you may think of adding something more advanced such as adding an MOV, NTC or a feedback shut-down loop.
However for 110V AC no current limiter becomes necessary
Ananth said…
I have added 4.7 5 w resistor instead of bulb. For me 5 years tube and choke was v good. After 5 years only I need to change one filter capacitor. Due to heat its electrolyte dried up.
Hence calculation of turns is the major work.
LED also lasts only for say 2 years. After that its PCB will give problem.
Hence ordinary tube with electronic blast is good. At least we can change some component.
Swag said…
thanks for sharing your views, I think 5 years is quite a long period of time.
I wish I could tell you regarding the choke winding calculation, however presently I do not have it therefore cannot help you with it.

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