SELECTING AND MAINTAINING
LIGHTING FIXTURES AND LAMPS FOR THE AVIARY

Bill Summers - Senior Member: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

The selection of lighting fixtures and lamps for the aviary are based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, economy, aesthetics, energy-saving and environmental concerns. In terms of life expectancy, incandescent bulbs last approximately 750 to 1000 hours depending on the type of lamp and 4 foot fluorescent tubes have an average life of 18,000 to 20,000 hours. A newer type of fluorescent is the compact bulbs that have a screw-in base to fit a medium-base lampholder for the replacement of incandescent bulbs. The compact fluorescent has an average life of 10,000 hours. So as you can see, by replacing an incandescent bulb with a fluorescent you would have to buy 10 to 20 incandescent bulbs before replacing the fluorescent lamp. In terms of environmental protection the replacement of one 75 watt incandescent bulb with an 18 watt compact fluorescent over the lifetime of the bulb can avert exposing the atmosphere to over two tons of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released in the atmosphere from a coal or oil burning power plant. In addition, substantial amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide would be averted.

It is for these reasons that the Federal Government enacted the 1992 Energy Policy Act that resulted in the elimination of full-wattage halophosphor (conventional) fluorescent lamps. This legislation pertains to the most generally used lamps including Cool White, Warm White, Daylight, etc., due to the fact that these lamps have a lower efficiency than technology utilizing the rare earth phosphors (triphosphors). The difference in lumens is approximately 66 to 77 lumens amount of light per lamp watt. The aforementioned lamp types also have poor color rendering properties. The triphosphor lamps offer an improvement over halophosphor lamps of approximately 80 to 82 lumens per lamp watt while offering improved color rendition.

Reduced wattage lamps with comparable reduced lumen ratings are still available in both halophosphor and triphosphor types. Energy conservation replacements for full-wattage lamps offer a 15 percent reduction in wattage and an almost equivalent reduction in lumen output. For example, if you replace a full-wattage 40 watt Cool White lamp rated at 3050 lumens with a 34 watt Cool White lamp rated at 2560 lumen you would have a 15% reduction in wattage and a 13% reduction in lumens. A better replacement choice would be to replace a full-wattage 40 watt Cool White lamp rated at 3050 lumens with a 34 watt triphosphor (rare earth) lamp rated at 2800 lumens. The result would be a savings of 6 watts per lamp with only an 8 % reduction in light output. This is due to the more efficient rare earth coatings of the tube.

Light source color: The color of light sources has two characteristics: Chromaticity and color rendering. Chromaticity, or color temperature, defines its "whiteness," its blueness or yellowness, its warmth or coolness. It does not describe how colors will appear when lighted by the source. Chromaticity (color temperature) is a term sometimes used to describe the color of light from a source by comparing it with a color of a blackbody, a theoretical complete radiator which absorbs all radiation that falls on it and in turn radiates a maximum amount of energy in all parts of the spectrum. A blackbody, like any other incandescent body, changes color as its temperature is raised. The light from a Warm White fluorescent lamp is similar in color to the light from a blackbody temperature of approximately 3000K, and the lamp is accordingly said to have a color temperature of 3000K. The light from a Cool White fluorescent lamp is bluer, and the blackbody must be raised to 4200K to match it. Hence the Cool White lamp has a color temperature of 4200K. A Daylight fluorescent has a color temperature of 6200K.

Color temperature is not a measure of the actual temperature of an object, it defines color only. Some light sources, such as sodium-vapor lamp or a green or pink fluorescent lamp, will not match the color of a blackbody at any temperature, and therefore no color temperatures can be assigned to them

ColorTemperatures K (approximate)
Blue Sky10,000-30,000
Overcast sky7000
Noon sunlight5250
Fluorescent Daylight6200
Fluorescent Cool White4200
Fluorescent White3500
Fluorescent Warm White3000
Clear mercury lamps5700
Deluxe mercury lamps3900
Clear metal halide lamps4100
High-pressure sodium lamps100
General-service incandescent lamps2500-3050
Candle flame1800

The other characteristic, the color-rendering index (CRI), attempts to describe how colors will appear when illuminated by a light source of specified chromaticity. The CRI rating system is an international system that mathematically compares how a light source causes eight selected colors to appear compared with a reference source. However, there are limitations to its use which should be recognized. Although the system provides for ratings up to 100, it can only be used to compare sources of approximately the same chromaticity. Comparisons of the CRI may render some colors differently, and light sources with CRIs as much as 5 points different may cause colors to look the same. Owing to their spectral distribution, HID sources may actually look better than their CRIs would indicate.

The CRI system is the best presently available to describe the relative appearance of the colors under different sources, and it can be useful when applied within the limits of the system.

Markings of lamps: All lamp manufacturers use different designations for their fluorescent lamps, but most participate in a voluntary program to standardize the markings. Lamp diameters vary from 5/8 to 2 inch. The letter "T" denotes the tubular shape of the bulb, followed by a number that indicates the diameter of the glass tube in 1/8 inch increments. Hence, a T12 tube is 1 inches in diameter and a T 8 tube is 1 inch in diameter. A lamp marked F40T12CW is a 4 foot, 40 watt, 1 inch diameter Cool White lamp. Other color designations are used such as Lite White, Deluxe Cool White, White, Soft White, Natural, Plant Lite, Plant & Aquarium, & etc..

Lamps utilizing rare earth phosphors (triphosphors) have additional markings denoting color rendition index (CRI) and color temperature markings (chromaticity). Hence, a lamp marking of RE 835 would translate as follows: RE=Rare Earth, 8=80 to 89 % CRI and 35=3500K Chromaticity (color temperature). Color rendition index (CRI) is marked either 7, 8 or 9. Seven is from 70 to 79 % (good); 8 is from 80 to 89% (excellent); and, 9 is from 90 % or higher (superior).

Fluorescent Ballast's: Each fluorescent lamp requires an assembly called a ballast. The mercury arc in the tube requires a high voltage to start the arc. Up until the enactment of the EP Act law, two-lamp F40 electromagnetic (EM) ballast's along with F40 T12 Cool-White, rapid start lamps was the normal system for most all interior spaces of offices and similar occupancies. But since ballast losses are a significant portion of any lighting system's power consumption, federal legislation now requires minimum efficiencies for the most commonly used fluorescent lamps. the following information can be found on old and new type ballast's.

CASE 1. Old Style:
     Rapid start balllast for two F40 watt T12/RS lamps.
     Line amps = 0.8 amperes
     High power factor
     Minimum starting temperature 50 F

CASE 2. Shoplite:
     Rapid start Benchlite ballast for two F40 watt T12/RS lamps
     Line amps = 0.85 amperes
     Minimum start temperature 50 F

CASE 3. Energy saving Ballast:
     Rapid start ballast for two -F40 48" 430 mA 40 watt rapid start lamps,
          or two - F40 48" 460 mA
     rapid start 34 or 35 watt lamps
     Starting current = 0.73 amps 430 mA
     Starting current = 0.63 amps 460 mA
     Minimum starting temperature 50 F 430 mA
     Minimum starting temperature 60 F 460 mA
     Power factor above 90 %.

As you will note the old style ballast (case 1.) will power the same lamps as the shoplite ballast (case 2.), however the shoplite ballast has higher operating costs than the old style conventional ballast due to the low power factor and higher line current (0.85 amps versus 0.8 amps).

The energy saving ballast is more economical using either 40 watt or 35 watt lamps. however the lumen output is also lower. Substantial energy savings can be realized by using energy saving ballast's and lamps. For instance, in an aviary that averages 10 hours of lighting per day, two 2 -lamp energy saving fixtures would result in utility bills that would be $5.00 lower per year at the average utility cost per kilowatt hour.

Electronic Ballast's: For most of their history lamp ballast's have been core-and-coil electromagnetic type. With the electronic revolution, electronic ballast's have become so efficient and versatile that they are becoming the ballast of choice. It was well known that a T8 bulb used with a T12 ballast resulted in better efficiency, hence a higher lumen output level. Present day electromagnetic ballast's operate at 60 Hertz (60 cycles per second). Electronic ballast's operate between 20 and 60 kilohertz (20,000 to 60,000), depending on the ballast model. The characteristic "hum" associated with fluorescent fixtures is a result of the vibration of the steel laminations of the core and coil construction. This humming sound is annoying to some people and may be the reason that some singers are so mesmerized by the light fixtures that they are unwilling to sing in show competition. It is not unusual to see a male canary frozen in the floor of it's show cage. Some electronic ballast's do not utilize steel laminations, therefore annoying hum is eliminated.

Electronic ballast's manufactured by Advance Transformer Co. operate a full 30 C (86 Fahrenheit) less than standard electromagnetic ballast's and 12 C cooler than energy saving electromagnetic ballast's. For spaces that need to be cooled by HVAC units this results in significant savings in cooling costs. Lamps should be matched to the type of ballast being used. As a T8 lamp (1" in diameter) is more efficient than a T12 lamp (1" diameter) many more are finding their way onto the marketplace and may be the lamp of choice in the future. As an example of the energy savings of a T8 bulb with a fixture utilizing an electronic ballast is as follows:
     Advance ballast FT8 32 watt 48" lamp
     Current = 0. 49 amps

As compared to the average 0.8 amps of the old type electromagnetic ballast you can readily see that lighting costs can be reduced dramatically. Because electronic ballast's function at high frequency the fluorescent fixtures can convert electricity to light more efficiently than fixtures using standard electromagnetic ballast's. For example, electronic ballast's can produce 10 percent more light from standard fluorescent lamps using the same amount of electricity as electromagnetic ballast's. However, most electronic ballast's are designed to produce the same amount of light from standard fluorescent lamps, but using significantly less electricity. For example, an electronic ballast operating two, four-foot energy-saving rapid start lamps requires input power of 60 watts to deliver the equivalent light output of a standard electromagnetic ballast that requires input power of 82 watts, a savings of 27 percent in electricity costs.

Dimming Ballast's: Dimming ballast's are available in both the electromagnetic and electronic types. The Advance CIC Mark VIII electronic ballast incorporates a provision for addition of an automatic or manual dimming control connection directly to the ballast without need of auxiliary control or interfaces. This offers some interesting innovations, lets assume you have a bird room that for at least part of the day has plenty of light from outdoor sunlight, but on certain days and seasons of the year adequate lighting levels cannot be maintained. Its costly to have the lights on during all the daylight hours and a great waste of national resources, but there is a solution. Lithonia Lighting has an Equinox dimming photocell that used with the Advance CIC Mark VIII electronic ballast will automatically maintain a constant preset lighting level in response to the availability of natural daylight with immediate or extended fade time response to light level changes. This system then controlled (on-and-off) by a time clock will render your lighting totally automatic and at a substantial savings in electricity costs. For those below ground aviaries with no outdoor sunlight an Equinox manual ballast controller can be substituted for the dimming photocell. This manual dimming controller is available in two types; model LEQ LVBC for low voltage Class 2 wiring to the ballast or model LEQ BC for directly switching line voltage (120 volts) on-or-off. For Class 2 wiring a Lithonia LUSPCS relay is required for an on-or-off control.

Compact Fluorescent's: The newest type of fluorescent lamps are compact lamps ranging in wattage from 5 to 50 watts. Utilizing T-4 or T-5 tubing, the basic lamp is formed in a biaxial or twin-tube shape with a single-end base. Other types have been added which employ double, triple or quad twin-tube designs resulting in a more compact lamp design for a specific lamp wattage. The lower wattage twin-tube lamps are preheat design with internal starters in the lamp bases. Dimming systems are available for rapid-start designs.

Double, triple and quad twin-tube lamps with integral ballast in the lamp base in addition to twin-tube and double twin-tube lamps utilizing plug-in adapters with built-in ballast's are available for replacement in medium-base incandescent fixtures where general service incandescent lamps ranging in size from 25 to 100 watts are installed. A 7 watt twin-tube lamp has an approximate life of 10,000 hours and initial lumens of 400. This compares to an inside frost medium-base 40 watt incandescent lamp with an approximate life of 1000 hours with initial lumens of 495.

Some manufacturers have CF lamps with a built-in globe or reflector with a medium-base for the purpose of replacing incandescent lamps. The CF lamps have the advantage of greater life, energy savings, and less generated heat that decreases cooling costs.

Maintenance of Fluorescent Fixtures: The expected life of a ballast is about 12 to 15 years, depending on the operating hours each year. Four foot lamps have an expected life of 18,000 to 20,000 hours depending on which lamp you select and increased-light output lamps have an expected life of 24,000 hours. This compares to the expected life of incandescents of 750 to 1000 hours. In other words, you could expect replacing 10 to 20 incandescent bulbs during the life span of a fluorescent lamp. Energy savings over the life of a 17 watt CF bulb replacing a 60 watt incandescent would be $30,00 at a cost per kilowatt hour of 7 cents. Frequent turning on-and-off will decrease the expected life span by as much as 25 percent. Most ballast's are designed for minimum lamp starting temperatures of 50 F or 60 F. For lower temperatures special ballast's should be utilized. There are special plastic tubes that slip over the fluorescent lamp that can be helpful in colder temperatures.

Swirling and Spiraling is a phrase that refers to all conditions in which the lighted lamp appears to fluctuate in brightness from end to end. The cause is principally particles of materials loosened from the cathode and floating in the arc stream. Such particles usually settle to the bulb when the current is turned off for a few minutes. This temporary swirling may occur in new lamps and is not serious.

To secure the best performance of fluorescent lamps, it is important that users understand how to maintain their fluorescent installations properly. Many factors that affect the performance of these lamps were never encountered with incandescent filament lamps, and users must realize that some of these elements of satisfactory service are within their control.

For example, if a filament lamp doesn't light when current is applied, the one single, positive conclusion is that the lamp is burned out. No such conclusion should be made in the case of the fluorescent lamp. This lamp, though perfect in all respects, may not start to operate properly through no fault of the design or manufacture of the lamp. The electromissive material on the lamp electrodes is used up during the life of the lamp and is accelerated by frequent turning on-and-off. When the active material on the electrodes is used up the lamp will no longer operate. A fluorescent lamp darkens rather uniformly throughout the length of the tube during life, though this is not noticed unless an old lamp is compared with a new one side by side. At the end of life, the lamp usually shows a dense blackening either at one end or both. Also, there may be dark rings, slightly brownish in color, at one end or both. End blackening should not be confused with a mercury deposit which sometimes condenses around the bulb at the ends. It is occasionally visible on new lamps but should evaporate after the lamp has been in operation for some time. However, it may reappear later when the lamp cools. Frequently, dark streaks appear lengthwise of the tube as small globules of mercury cool on the lower (cooler) part of the lamp. Occasionally a lamp may develop a ring or gray band at one end or both. Such rings are usually located about 2 inches from either base. These rings have no effect on the lamp performance and are no indication that the lamp is near failure and must soon be replaced.

Lamps that make no effort to start should first be checked to make sure that the pins are properly seated in the socket. If this fails to correct the trouble, the lamp should be checked in another circuit. If the lamps function satisfactorily in another fixture you may deduce that the ballast or bipin sockets are faulty, provided you are certain the fixture is receiving electrical current. End blackening early in life may be due to loose contacts at the lampholder. Lampholders should be rigidly mounted and properly spaced. On cheap shoplites this as commonly a problem because of the marginal construction of the fixture. Bipin sockets are frequently broken due to improper mating of the pins, so careful installation of lamps will result in proper seating. Bipins are easily damaged by rough handling and severe side blows may jar the cathode loose or break the stem. Breakage may not be revealed by casual inspection.

Lamps in bird rooms should be dusted off frequently to remove the feather dust. Up to 25% of the lumen output can be affected by a dust covering.

Selection of Lamps: Fluorescent lamps employing rare earth phosphors are the most satisfactory for bird rooms, albeit they are more expensive. The following table represents a companies closest equivalent lamp rather than an identical match.

PRODUCT CROSS REFERENCE

OSRAM SYLVANIA

GE

PHILIPS

DUROTEST

DESIGN 50

CHROMA 50

COLORTONE 50

 

DESIGNER "800" SERIES

SPX

ULTRALUME

 

OCTRON

TRIMLINE

TL70/TL80/TL90

 

COLOR CROSS REFERENCE

DSGN 50

C50

C 50

 

D 830

SP X 30

30 U

 

D 835

SP X 35

35 U

 

D 842

SP X 41

41 U

 

32 Watts (energy saving) 1 Inch Diameter T8 4 ' Lamps (electronic ballast)

OSRAM SYLVANIA

GE

PHILIPS

DUROTEST

Cat #

Color Temp.

CRI

Light output Lumen

Cat #

Color Temp.

CRI

Light output Lumen

Cat #

Color Temp.

CRI

Light output Lumen

Cat #

Color Temp.

CRI

Light output Lumen

D830

3000 K

82

2950

SPX30

3000K

90

2950

TL841

4100K

85

3000

       

D835

3500 K

82

2950

SPX35

3500K

90

2950

TL850

5000K

84

2950

       

D841

4100 K

82

2950

SPX41

4100K

90

2950

TL930

3000K

95

2000

       

950

5000 K

90

1800

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TL950

5000K

98

2000

       

40 Watt 1 " Diameter T12 4' Lamps (conventional ballast)

Design 50

5000

90

2200

Chroma 50

5000K

90

2250

Colortone 50

5000K

92

2200

       

D830

3000

80+

2900

SPX30

3000K

90

3250

30U

3000K

85

3300

       

D835

3500

80+

2900

SPX35

3500K

90

3250

35U

3500K

85

3300

       

D841

4100

80+

2900

SPX41

41000

90

3250

41U

4100K

85

3300

       

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SPX50

5000K

90

3725

50U

5000K

85

3280

       

 

Historically, good color rendering lamps (Warm White Deluxe and Cool White Deluxe), made with conventional phosphors, produced only 60 % to 70 % of the light of their standard counterparts (Cool White, Warm White). Specially developed rare earth phosphors provide what conventional phosphors cannot, both high effeciency and very good color rendering. The choice of Design 50, Chroma 50 or Colortone 50 at first glance appear as a good choice, but they are seriously deficient in light output (lumens) rendering 20 to 30 % less light than the better rare earth phosphor lamps.

Standard lamps use the family of "halophosphates" which produce a "whitish" light from a single component coating. standard colors range in color temperature from 3000k to 6500k and include Warm White, White, Cool White and Daylight. Standard colors can be used in areas where an economical lamp cost is needed and high-quality color is not critical.

Comparison shopping for prices is a must. While researching data on lamps the price on Cool White Deluxe varied from $1.45 at a lumber yard home center to $6.13 at a wholesale electrical supply house. Cool White Deluxe is a great improvement over Cool White the CRI being improved from 62 to 89, and this should be the absolute cheapest lamp. Whether you choose the premium priced Vitalite Supreme or comparable lamps should be based on your individual circumstances.

Copyright © 1998 Bill Summers. All rights reserved.

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