Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Topics relating to lighting control gear, including magnetic & high frequency ballast and ancilliary devices such as starters, ignitors and switchgear.
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Tom
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Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Tom » Tue May 31, 2011 8:02 pm

Most of us are aware of the plethora of cheap'n'cheeful starter switches sold in the major DIY chains for more than the price of an Arlen Pulsestarter or Tubesaver electronic starter as well as the many non-brand far eastern imports sold on market stalls and in hardware shops for around £1 apeice. As mentioned by Eliot in the gallery, these can over-strike the tube as well as getting stuck or simply just slowing up!

And then, there's the quality tried and tusted branded varieties. Amongst the best has to the legendary dutch made Philips S10 which seem to just go on and on! It's not unusual to find 20+ year old examples still in use which have spanned several tube lives! And yet still give satisfactory starting performance! Another old favourite of mine has to be the old UK made Thorn 155/ series such as the 155/500 which has a distictive plinkety-plink sound! These are another good long lifer but can tend to become slower at striking with age as the argon inside becomes absorbed in the heavily blackened glow bottle wall. I think Thorn made these for GEC?

Obviously these factors are down to the glow bottle designs, from the xmas fairy lamp shape of the cheapos, to the bean/bullet shaped Thorn styles to the familiar cylindrical types of Philips but also imitated by some cheap brands!


However the ones I like the most are the old metal can types from the 60s and the even older big 4 pin types!
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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Fitzy-Fan » Tue May 31, 2011 8:25 pm

The metal canister ones always have like a white fog inside the bottle with age. The cheap import ones which are made of what i call "Squiggy plastic" have got to be the nastiest ones ive ever come across, there constuction usually consists of a Christmas lamp type glow bottle, with a foil condenser, branded on the canister as a Malayan Condenser. Heres but a few that spring to mind-
> CRITERION
> RED ARROW
> DETA
> PHILEX
> RELCO
> STAR
> VF
> LIGHTSAVER
Be good if we could get a list going of any other shamfull obscure brands :lol:

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Tom
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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Tom » Tue May 31, 2011 8:36 pm

Oh Yes LOL!

Altai
Spot
ZAC
Micromark (ha ha)
Narva (as found in 1980s Ring fittings!)
LE
Anything that says 'with condenser' on it!
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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Fitzy-Fan » Tue May 31, 2011 8:40 pm

LOL!! Yes, they made it look like the condenser was a rare oprional extra!! half the time they shorted out and u ended up peeling them off anyways!! Funny thing is these naff companies like Criterion are now using Blue Opaque canisters to make them look like Electronic starters!! Its just wrong!!
>DEACON is another one!

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby SuperSix » Tue May 31, 2011 9:05 pm

Add VERNONS to the list, they just refuse to strike T8s and if left will stick in no time! I think you guys have pretty much listed all the crap ones I know of.

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Fitzy-Fan » Tue May 31, 2011 9:21 pm

What about these babys!!! its about £38 more then id be happy to spend on them, even if it is for 400!! And there for Series!! Theres no hope!!
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/400-LOW-ENERGY-LA ... 3a668e62e1

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby SuperSix » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:47 am

I forgot to say, add anything with 'energy saving starter' to the list. This seems to be a common phrase on cheap imports, how can a starter save energy? :lol: if anything they waste energy by sticking prematurely or reducing lamp life.

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Danny » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:46 pm

I have a few starters branded "superior" The clear Green cannister ones, The cannister is as thin as paper, and the cannister cracks when you put them in the fitting lol, I can easily put my finger through the cannister! these have the same glow bottle as the GE 155/800 China made starters.

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby LinearSLI-H » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:33 pm

The slowest ones I have used were series twin starters made by some two-bit joint called `Click` :?: :?: :?:
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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Jack_T » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:04 am

I'm afraid to say, the worst ones I have seen as late are the newest GE starters... They're made in China and I had one that stuck after 2 weeks, the other never worked, and the other one did work for a while but took bloody ages!

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Danny » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:58 am

All China Starters are Crap :vomit , but i think the GE ones are the best of the China Crap starters :vomit as they have the cylindrical Glow Bottle and the Propper Capacitor... If Philips Starters go china... we are *****! :vomit

I used to like the BG ones up untill late 2007 when they went over to China... They were always good Starters that lasted but they have gone over to china now which really :evil: me off and makes me want to :vomit

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Jack_T » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:20 am

I think after that I'll be moving to Arlen Pulsestarters... :evil: :evil: :evil:

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Danny » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:23 pm

Yes ARLEN and LEL Multipulse Starters (even though they are electronic) are probably the Best starters out there!

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Jack_T » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:19 pm

Just hope they don't get to China... Nicer on the tubes, too!


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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Danny » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:04 pm

LOL YES :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:15 am

Eeeuuurggh! Those are just pure evil! Ballast and tube torture to the highest degree! :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit :vomit
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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Kev » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:48 am

Yes I must agree with jack, the new China GE starters ESP the 70-125w are pure dog sh!t, in 2008 I installed 6 2x70w cat 2 fittings (where my dimmable atlantics came from) out of a total of 12 starters over half have been replaced now, lamps all original! The starters do not seem to stick, simply fail!
Also for cheap crap you are forgetting the melted Egal I posted up a few months back???

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Jack_T » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:33 am

Kev wrote:Yes I must agree with jack, the new China GE starters ESP the 70-125w are pure dog sh!t, in 2008 I installed 6 2x70w cat 2 fittings (where my dimmable atlantics came from) out of a total of 12 starters over half have been replaced now, lamps all original! The starters do not seem to stick, simply fail!
Also for cheap crap you are forgetting the melted Egal I posted up a few months back???

Yeah! They just bloody stop working! :doh But Arlen Pulsestarters are great, just really expensive so not economically viable for large installations. :woohoo

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Jack_T » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:39 am

As to San Hui I have some of these! They're well... *****! But possibly not as bad as Kengo lighting... I've attached a photo of it... Looks like a Philips clone! :doh :doh :doh :evil: :evil: :evil: This thing also burns your tubes REALLY badly, I had blackening after 1 WEEK in my tests :roll:
Attachments
IMAG0706.jpg

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Danny » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:17 am

Oh god!... How many of those do you have Jack??... I think these Clear cannistered glow bottle starters are made to make people think that these are the Electronic starters

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Jack_T » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:47 am

2, they're ***** ;) Came free with my Chinese 2x18w fitting, which is currently running 2 18w Philips 35s, very nice tubes!

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby SuperSix » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:00 pm

That looks pretty poor! Obviously trying to copy the shape of an Osram but with the blue canister of a Philips.

I wouldn't say Pulsestarters aren't economically viable for large installations, on a 3 hour switching cycle which is probably about average for lot of installations lamp life is easily doubled! If you compare the initial cost which usually ranges from about £2 - £4 a piece to the cost of having to have someone in twice as often for maintenance and the cost of a new lamp and glow starter switch it works out a hell of a lot cheaper! The larger the installation and the shorter the switching cycle, the more money you save by using them.

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Kev » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:07 pm

Yes i for one am going over to pulse starters. What i have also found is that they have cheapened the design of even the Philips S16 and i am finding that on the 125W circuits they keep cutting in. Every 5 minutes or so the lamp will flash. Pulse starters seem to stop this.

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Re: Glow Starters - The Good And The Bad!

Postby Jack_T » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:52 pm

Yeah I've had that Kev!


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