Philips Bodine Tech Notes

Tech Notes

TechNotes provides the latest information on product-related issues such as special wiring requirements and incompatibility problems. To learn more about these, click on the topic of interest for more information. New topics are added as needed, so please check TechNotes regularly.

Philips Energy Saving 40W Long Compact Issues

Philips Emergency Lighting’s fluorescent emergency ballast line is currently incompatible in emergency mode with the new Philips energy saving 40W long compact lamp, the PL-L 40W/8XX/XEW/4P/IS 25W. Even PEL units running high frequency AC output show striations in emergency mode.

What Is Emergency Lighting?

Many national, state and local building codes, including the National Electrical Code® (NEC), the National Fire Protection Association's Life Safety Code® (LSC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), require reliable and sufficient emergency illumination for all commercial, industrial and institutional buildings in the United States. In the event of an emergency situation requiring building evacuation, stairs, aisles, corridors, ramps, escalators and passageways leading to safety must be illuminated continuously for a minimum of 90 minutes. Emergency lighting guides occupants to the nearest path of egress.

B50 Upgrade

As of January 2012, the B50 will be upgraded to be suitable both for damp locations and universal input applications. It replaces the B50U and the BDL500, which will be made obsolete in 2012. The upgraded unit is the standard B50, the B50U and the BDL500 successfully rolled into one superior product. In addition, because the new B50 is a
universal input model, it, like other universal models, will have one lead, not two for 120V and 277V.

2-Lamp Operation with Universal Products

Do not use two-lamp emergency wiring diagrams for all universal 4-pin compact fluorescent ballasts. These ballasts are NOT compatible with two-lamp emergency operation.

Energy Saving T8 Lamps

Energy saving T8 lamps include 30W, 28W and 25W versions of the standard 4 foot 32W T8 lamp.  These lamps require more open circuit voltage than the standard F32T8 to reliably start.  The B100, B90 and B70A emergency ballasts will not reliably start these lamps in emergency mode and should not be used.


The BDL94C and BDL940, which are now obsolete, are not recommended for use with low mercury/amalgam (green) compact fluorescent lamps. We recommend the B94CG and B94G for use with these lamps instead. Other products compatible with these green lamps are:
B84CG, B4CFG, B75C, B4CF1, B4CF2 & the B4CF3.

ULT (Universal Lighting Technologies)

All ULT ballasts are incompatible with Philips Bodine ELI-100-SD and ELI-250-SD Self-Diagnostic Emergency Lighting Mini Inverters due to the ELI units’ square wave output.

There is no two-lamp emergency operation with CFLs. Do not wire for two-lamp operation.

Osram/Sylvania T5 Ballasts

Do not wire for single-lamp applications with QTP lamps including HO, energy saving and PLL.  Two-lamp applications will work only if the red and blue leads on the ballast are reversed.

Because of EOL (end-of-lamp-life) error detection operation in PRS ballasts, the red/blue wiring must be reversed.

Dimming Ballasts
All dimming ballasts typically require a short remote mounting distance. Therefore, emergency lead wires must be cut as short as possible during installation. In some cases, the 2’ length of flex on the emergency ballast prohibits emergency ballast use with dimming ballasts.

Because of EOL (end-of-lamp-life) error detection operation in Osram/Sylvania PRS ballasts, we recommend reversing red and blue ballast leads for all two lamp applications with Sylvania program start ballasts.  We also recommend caution with all Sylvania PRS ballast one lamp applications.

ELI Mini Inverters

The ELI-100-SD and ELI-250-SD Self-Diagnostic Emergency Lighting Mini Inverters have a square wave output in emergency mode that may not be compatible with some ballasts, LED drivers or integrally ballasted screw-in LED lamps. Please check with your ballast/driver/lamp manufacturers to ensure their products are compatible with a square wave input.

Advance IOP-2S32-SC

The Advance IOP-2S32-SC is incompatible with the B30, B30RCT and B30ST. The Advance IOP-2PSP32-SC should be used in place of the IOP-2S32-SC.

Can Philips Bodine FEBs be used in IC rated fixtures?

Yes. UL does not offer an IC rating for emergency ballasts, but it is okay to install Philips Bodine emergency ballasts into IC rated fixtures. The IC rating refers to products that come into contact with insulation. An emergency ballast installed inside a fixture would not be in contact with insulation. Because emergency ballasts generate very little heat, it would not be a problem to install them on top of fixtures near insulation, but local codes may prohibit this type of installation. Please check applicable codes in your area.

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