Radio Frequency Light Source

Published : 01-01-2015 by : Pawan Janorkar

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RF light sources follow the same principles of converting electrical power into visible radiation as conventional gas discharge lamps. The fundamental difference between RF lamps and conventional lamps is that RF lamps operate without electrodes .the presence of electrodes in conventional florescent and High Intensity Discharge lamps has put many restrictions on lamp design and performance and is a major factor limiting lamp life. Recent progress in semiconductor power switching electronics, which is revolutionizing many factors of the electrical industry, and a better understanding of RF plasma characteristics, making it possible to drive lamps at high frequencies.

There are three practical ways to energize RF light sources, though there are more ways to create RF plasmas. These three ways correspond to different types of interaction of electromagnetic fields with the bounded plasma and to different kinds of RF discharges. They are: capacitive, inductive and wave sustained discharges.

The most suitable frequency range is 2.2 - 3.0 MHz [2.65MHz is the standard] for RF lighting devices. An RF generator (RF ballast) is the essential yet most expensive part of a modern RF lighting system.

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