A measurement (Fig. 4.1) shows that 4.6 µF would be the correct value but it is argued this could not be used in order to avoid starting problems with the lamps, especially in cases of undervoltage and extremely low temperatures. It has nothing to do with the principle as such, once the lamp has been fired successfully, and the firing problems could very well be overcome by the use of electronic starters, which are the better choice anyway (section 2.1). Moreover, the question is whether there is any reason to worry at all. Rather, a further test revealed that absolutely no starting difficulties are to be expected: 3 electronic starters as well as 2 very old worn-out glow starters were tested together with 2 different types of 58 W lamps, both from the same manufacturer but of different light colour, with a modern efficient magnetic 230 V ballast. Both the reduced 4.6 µF serial capacitance and reduced voltage were applied, and all combinations started without any problems at first attempt with only 180 V, with just two exceptions where successful firing occurred »;only« at 190 V.
So it seems a revision of capacitance ratings is due here but industry rather seems to be hoping to replace all magnetic ballasts with electronic ones in the long run and therefore appears not too ambitious to adapt any old standards to new technologies as long as either of these refer to magnetic ballasts. However, even if the impression roused among experts may cause a different feeling, approximately 70% of the market is still being held by magnetics (Fig. 4.5).
In some countries the ratio is even a lot more extreme (Spain 91% magnetic ones). At least in terms of sold pieces this is so. In terms of turnover figures the share is only more around 50%, due to the much higher added value. Or should we rather speak of higher added price in this case? Howsoever, it is understandable that the lamp and luminaire industry is much keener on the promotion of electronic ballasts.
For reasons of fairness, however, it also needs mentioning that electronic ballasts more often than magnetic ones provide the option of operating two lamps on one ballast.