12 volt ballast

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Lowell

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Has anyone used a 12 volt ballast connected to their RV 12 volt supply to run standard 40 watts fluorescent lights?  I was looking at:  http://www.charment.com/  selected thin lite and searched for ballast.

 

2006F350

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Have not pulled a fixture to check, but I have 4 flourscent lights in my 5W that are 12V.

Larry
 

John From Detroit

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The full answer is somewhat complex, I will simplify a bit.

With florescent lamps the ballast has to match the lamp within limits

So if you can find a 12 volt 40 watt ballast (or even a 35 or 45 watt ballast) it will likely work with a 40 watt bulb

But the standard 12 volt florescent lamp is 4 8 or at the most 15 watts and that ballast will NOT work wiht a 40 watt bulb

At least not properly, or for long
 

Lowell

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As I understood the info on the web link I listed in my first post, the ballast they have is 12 volt source for 40 watt florescent lamps.  But did I understand it correctly?
 

John From Detroit

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First, let me tell you about links.  In the second row of tool buttons (just above the smiles) on the left there is a globe with sometihng stuck to it... When you post a link, click on that and enter the info in the box, then enter what you want me to see in the next box that comes up and then it will be a link, else it's just text.

They have a wide assortment of ballasts including one that is 40 watt (2 20 watt bulbs) and another that is 40 watt (one 40 watt bulb) and yes, those bulb numbers are standard, same as I use in my kitchen.
 

Lowell

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John,
Thanks for the response and the info on links.  I'll do that next time.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The bulbs are the same whether 12VDC or 120 VAC - you can verify that from the bulb type identifier on the bulb, but I can tell you they are the same IDs for a given wattage and lenght wheher 120 or 12. . A '12V ballast" is simply a 120V ballast with a tiny inverter added (because flourescent bulbs use AC to excite the gas that makes the light). So yes, you can replace the ballast in a standard residential fixture with a 12V ballast. It's may be easier,though, to simply hook the fluorsecents to a circuit powered from an inverter, if you already have an inverter.  Or add a little 75-100 watt inverter to power the fixture.

I haven't tried a typical household flourescent on an inexpensive modified sine wave inverter - don't know if it would hum a lot of not. Might depend on the quality of the ballast.
 
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