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Old 07-23-2009, 02:45 AM   #1
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Question what is a ballast?

Doesnt it raise the wattage? what does it do?
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:57 AM   #2
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What is a ballast, and how does one work?
A ballast is an electrical component used with a fluorescent bulb (or mercury vapor lamp or arc lamp) to conduct electricity at each end of the tube. It supplies the initial electricity to the bulb that creates light, and then it regulates the amount of electricity flowing through the bulb so that it emits the right amount of light.
That pretty much sums it up it's the brain of the circuit. In order to up to higher wattage or different types of bulbs (i.e T12 to T5) one of the main things that needs to be changed is the ballast.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:25 AM   #3
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It also steps up the voltage from 120 volts to about 600 volts @ a very low current. All it has to do is initially start the lamps with a higher current to ignite the mercury inside the tube and once lit a very small current is required to keep the tubes illuminated. Low current = lower electrical bills.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:32 AM   #4
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It also steps up the voltage from 120 volts to about 600 volts @ a very low current. All it has to do is initially start the lamps with a higher current to ignite the mercury inside the tube and once lit a very small current is required to keep the tubes illuminated. Low current = lower electrical bills.
Too true didn't want to shove too much on the guy at once.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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Gotcha.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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Too true didn't want to shove too much on the guy at once.
yes, we wouldnt want my brain to explode! lol

okay so the main advantage of getting a ballast is lower electrical bills?
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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yes, we wouldnt want my brain to explode! lol

okay so the main advantage of getting a ballast is lower electrical bills?
Not exactly, that's the reason why fluorescent lighting is less expensive to operate and gives you more light output for a given wattage verse incandescent lighting. More over you would replace a ballast with a higher wattage capacity if you are going to increase the wattage of the lamp. You must be careful when selecting a ballast for multiple tubes, the ballast must be able to support multiple tubes at the given wattage per tube. The other aspect is that most ballasts are designed to work only with a specific wattage and or lamp type, so if you have a ballast rated for 54 watts 1 tube and manage to install say a 30 watt tube (example only) you would wind up having your ballast burn out because it was designed to work with a 54 watt load not a 30 watt load. They do make ballasts that work with multiple wattage and lamp types but you pay a premium for them. Hope this helps a little.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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okay cool that helps clear it up
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