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Do ballasts use energy?

3 min read

Asked by: Gwendolyn Bryant

Ballasts restrict the current through linear fluorescent, compact fluorescent and High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. They consume a small amount of power in the process – about 25% of the rated power of the lamp being operated.

Does a ballast consume power?

Electronic Ballasts
On a typical fixture with two 4 foot 40 watt T-12 fluorescent lamps, the ballast consumes about 13 to 16 watts of electricity. Thus the total consumption of the two lamps plus the ballast is about 93 to 96 watts. The most efficient ballasts are electronic, or high-frequency ballasts.

How efficient are ballasts?

The most typical is a bi-level switching ballast, which can reduce the lighting level by 50 percent with approximately 50 percent power reduction, thus increasing the flexibility of standard electronic ballasts. These ballasts meet the bi-level switching requirements in Title 24.

How do ballasts work?

In its simplest form, a ballast uses magnetic energy that erupts into the lamp when it is turned on, stimulating the electrodes to make a current and the lamp glows.

What do ballasts do in lights?

In a fluorescent lighting system, the ballast regulates the current to the lamps and provides sufficient voltage to start the lamps. Without a ballast to limit its current, a fluorescent lamp connected directly to a high voltage power source would rapidly and uncontrollably increase its current draw.

How much energy do ballasts use?

They consume eight to 10 watts when operating with the lamp in the circuit. The ballast will consume about four watts when the lamps are removed although the ballast is still energized. Electronic ballasts start and regulate fluorescent lamps with the use of electronic components.

Does a ballast use electricity if no bulbs are present?

No, unlike LEDs, the fluorescent bulb itself (or rather the tube) can not use power when it burns out, however, the ballasts may use a trace of energy whether or not there is a bulb installed.

Do LED lights use a ballast?

No LED bulbs require a ballast, although some are engineered to work with an existing ballast. You will find ballast-compatible or “plug-and-play” LEDs that are designed to replace linear fluorescents, compact fluorescents, or HIDs. Incandescent and halogen lamps do not require a ballast.

Can a ballast shock you?

Old magnetic ballasts can shock installers of LED tube replacements if not deenergized first. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Northbrook, IL, warned that installing double-ended direct replacement LED lamps in energized luminaires powered by magnetic 40W ballasts may pose a shock hazard.

Do I need to remove ballast for LED lights?

An LED light does not require a ballast because it uses a component called a “driver” to regulate the power going into the bulb.

What happens if you don’t use ballast?

Without a ballast, a lamp or a bulb will rapidly increase its current draw and it can become uncontrollable as well. When a ballast is present in a lamp, the power becomes stable, and even if such lamps are connected to high power sources, the ballast will regulate the energy and avoid the current rise.

Is it safe to bypass a ballast?

Safety risk
The most significant negative to a ballast-bypass linear LED is the risk of electric shock since the sockets carry line voltage. It’s a common practice to place a finger on the lamp pins while you are trying to install it, and this becomes a risky endeavor when using single-ended ballast-bypass lamps .