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What is an electronic ballast used for?

3 min read

Asked by: Christine Burley

An electrical ballast is a device that limits the current through an electrical load. These are most often used when a load (such as an arc discharge) has its terminal voltage decline when current through the load increases.

Why is ballast needed?

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.

Do you need a starter with an electronic ballast?

Magnetic ballasts required a starter to get the lamp lit, electronic ballasts do not require a starter.

What’s the difference between magnetic and electronic ballast?

Magnetic ballasts work at a frequency of around 60 Hz, whereas electronic ballasts work at an increased frequency of around 20,000 Hz. This is why fluorescent lamps using electronic ballasts do not flicker or emit any buzzing sounds. Electronic ballasts are also quite smaller in size and weight.

What is the disadvantage of electronic ballast?

Electronic ballasts are more efficient and more compact in size and weight. They also provide the ability for continuous power adjustment at different settings. A disadvantage is that power fluctuations may cause a failure but this can be offset by adding a buffer capacitor. Operation of the ballasts generate heat.

Do LED strip lights need a ballast?

Essentially, LED bulbs do not require ballasts in them to work. Unlike fluorescent lights, it is not a ballast that controls the LED’s current and voltage regulation. Those are regulated with a component called a driver inside an LED that serves a similar function to a ballast.

Can you bypass a ballast on a fluorescent light?

If the existing fluorescent tube fixture you want to replace has a non-shunted tombstone, you can proceed with the ballast bypass procedure. Nonetheless, if the existing fixture offers a shunted tombstone, you should replace it with a non-shunted variant.

How do you wire an electronic ballast?

And two white wires here and then the grounds are connected over here. So we're just going to take these. And connect them via wire nut we're gonna take our blue wires that come from the ballast.

Is a starter the same thing as a ballast?

The ballast initially works as a starter for the arc, supplying a high-voltage impulse and, later, it works as a limiter/regulator of the electric flow inside the circuit. Electronic ballasts also run much cooler and are lighter than their magnetic counterparts.

How do I know which ballast to buy?

The only things that matter when you're replacing a ballast are we're number one the number of bulbs number two the type of bulbs number three the voltage.

Are all fluorescent light ballasts the same?

There are two basic types of fluorescent ballasts: magnetic (low frequency) and electronic (high frequency). Most fluorescent ballasts are now electronic, which are more efficient than magnetic ballasts.

What happens if you wire a ballast wrong?

If a ballast fails, it can cause a short, burn out tubes or even cause a fire, so it must be replaced. Lights that don’t turn on, fluorescent tubes blackened near their ends, and brown, burnt tube electrodes are all indicators that a ballast is bad.