Originally Posted by fishmonkey
yes, we wouldnt want my brain to explode!
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.