Microcontrollers (MCUs) might not instantly spring to mind when one thinks of fluorescent ballasts – which are used to produce warm and inviting light without flickering or humming.
But they can be found in high-frequency electronic ballasts, such as the full-featured single-chip Atmel AVR especially designed for lighting applications, or a general microcontroller with range of standard-compliant transceiver options. Meanwhile, the embedded EEPROM stores tube wattages and parameters for accurate wattage detection and parameter adjustment without the need for separate components.
In addition, Integrated Power Stage Controllers (PSCs) help to reduce electrical magnetic interference (EFI), manage lamp power and control voltage to ensure lighting stability in dimmable fluorescent lamps.
“Dimmable fluorescent ballasts are a natural fit for the Atmel AT90PWM microcontroller, which supports the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI),” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.
“Non-dimmable fluorescent ballasts benefit from the flexible Atmel AT83EB5114 microcontroller with integrated Power Factor Corrected (PFC) capability, which eliminates the need for additional components.”
And last, but certainly not least, the Atmel AT90PWM microcontroller supports the DALI standard to network multiple ballasts to a centralized system for tighter light level control and big energy savings.
Want to learn more about Atmel’s lighting solutions? Check out Atmel’s official page here.