ballast light fixture

Ballast factor also impacts the energy usage of a fixture. From the latest LED products to older lighting technologies, as well as bulbs, ballasts, drivers, electrical accessories, tools, fans and more, Lighting Supply offers a vast selection of lighting and electrical products, fast shipping, huge inventory of in-stock items and over a hundred brand names. $23.01 $ 23. The ballast (sometimes called control gear) is a small device wired to the light’s circuitry which restricts the amount of electrical current travelling through it. In many T8 fixtures, the ballast is covered by a casing and the T8 tubes are on top of it, meaning you need to take out the tubes and unscrew the casing to get to the ballast. Ballasts are available in a standard light output, high light output, and a low-Watt design with input-Voltages of 120 to 277 or 347. That number you see, expressed in lumens, is figured using a normal light output ballast with a ballast factor between 0.77 and 1.1. Remove the screws holding the protective cover in place and set it aside. If your light comes on immediately but takes a few seconds to get fully bright, it has a rapid-start ballast. They are inexpensive and can be found at most electronics shop. High frequency control gear is a modern single ballast that performs the functions of all the different components in the standard switch start circuit. We understand sometimes things go wrong and we aim to make returns as simple as possible. Cheaper ballasts are likely to need more rewiring than a fitting that has a branded ballast in it. Screw the electronic ballast into the fixture, in the same place where the magnetic one was. Rather than pre-heat the electrodes, the ballast uses a high-voltage boost (around 600 volts) to heat and light the filaments and then the mercury gas. This can an important consideration if you’re trying to figure out payback on a lighting upgrade. To return your items, please e-mail [email protected] with your order number and we will send a returns number and return instructions to you. Put it in a safe place until you're ready to use it again. As it can take several seconds for this process to complete, you may see a delay between the moment you flick the switch and when the fluorescent light begins to glow. Remove any covers, case, lenses, or lamps that block your access to the ballast and set them aside. You can return items to us within 30 days of receiving your order providing the goods are unused. Standard fluorescent lighting fixtures are more energy-efficient than incandescent light fixtures, and the bulbs generally last considerably longer, but occasionally a special transformer inside the fixture, called a ballast, may need replacing.The type of ballast in the fixture will depend on the age of the light … UK Delivery Charges Under £50.00 See below: Royal Mail Tracked 2nd Class Delivery Under 3ft - £2.92, Royal Mail Tracked 1st Class Delivery Under 3ft - £4.83, FedEx Signed For Delivery (1-3 Working Days) - £6.49, Please note: Any orders over 3ft need to be shipped with FedEx, FedEx Guaranteed Next Working Day (If ordered before 3pm) - £7.49 ex VAT, FedEx Next Working Day Pre 12:00 (If ordered before 3pm) - £14.48 ex VAT, FedEx Next Working Day Pre 10:00 (If ordered before 3pm) - £18.00 ex VAT, FedEx Saturday Pre 12:00 (If ordered before 3pm Friday) - £21.65 ex VAT. Power Cord, F8T5 Bulb, Warm White, Flicker-Free, No-Hum, Instant-On Electronic Ballast, Linkable, On/Off Rocker Switch, White, 10169 4.5 out of 5 stars 868 JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. If the lamp fixture does have a starter, it will be obvious. They’re often a feature of lighting that’s activated by motion-detection sensors (for example, toilets in workplaces or public venues) and allows the fluorescent light to last for a long time. However, I had a constant hot attached to the previous wiring so the light would remain on 24/7. Older fluorescent light fixtures utilized a magnetic ballast to control the flow of electricity through the light bulbs. The ballast of a light fixture ignites the vapor inside the bulb. Use wire nuts to connect the socket wires. Without a ballast to control this, there would be too much current for the light to take, and it would burn out and possibly even catch fire. A very common failure occurs when the fan is being constantly run at the next-to-full speed setting (usually 3 … Dim light or low lumen output is almost always the cause of one of two things: an old fluorescent lamp or an aging, bad ballast. Step 2 - Check the Ballast's Appearance. Various parts can be replaced for switch start, rather than the whole unit, which could been seen as an advantage. Look at for these signs indicating that it’s your ballast: You can find out whether the issue is with the ballast, starter or the lamp with our guide - Easy Fixes for Slow to Start, Flickering or Faulty Fluorescent Tubes. When that UV light (which is invisible to the naked eye) interacts with the coating of phosphor powder inside the tube, it glows and produces the light we see and use in our homes. Free Shipping On All Orders Over £50 (+ VAT), The complete guide to ballasts for fluorescent lights. The lighting fixtures at work are straight tubes. The magnetic field produced by the wire traps most of the current so only the right amount gets through to the fluorescent light. For more on ballast technology, see NLPIP’s Specifier Reports: Electronic Ballasts. The electrician installed the new ballast and capped off the constant hot and just made the light work with the switch that controls the other lights in the room. Lighting Ballast Factor. Get it as soon as Mon, Jan 4. Don't worry: the tombstone replacements, like the ballast rewiring in the first place, is a quick, simple task. A Quick Way to Determine If Your Fluorescent Fixtures Will Work with Direct Drop-in LED Tubes. Find ballasts at Lowe's today. This device is known as a Ballast. What’s the difference between switch start and high frequency control gear? Ballast is still used in bulbs and tube lights to avoid current rise in the lights. 4.6 out of 5 stars 370. Fluorescent lamps almost always experience color variation and fading. One advantage of the rapid-start method is that by providing a low, continuous current rather than a strong surge, it prolongs the life of the fluorescent light. However, it does use more energy. The term lighting ballast can refer to any component of the circuit intended to limit the flow of current through the light, from a single resistor to more complex devices. A light fixture (US English), light fitting (UK English), or luminaire is an electrical device that contains an electric lamp that provides illumination.All light fixtures have a fixture body and one or more lamps. You can find out how to do this safely with the guide Replacing and Recycling Fluorescent Tubes Safely. If the ballast is not the problem, you may need to replace your fluorescent tube. Unlike pre-heat—where the filaments receive current via the starter only to heat the mercury gas—with rapid start, the ballast keeps a small amount of current flowing continuously through the filaments. Inside both ends of the light are metal electrodes with filaments attached. For this reason, they’re commonly used in spaces where the lights are left on for long periods, such as offices, shops and warehouses. Maintaining an optimum electrode temperature is the key to long lamp life. Ballast factor is calculated by dividing the lumen output of a lamp-ballast combination by the lumen output of the same lamp(s) on a reference ballast. Before you go to the trouble of replacing the ballast, you should determine if a bad ballast is indeed the likely cause of the problem. A ballast factor of <1 means that your fluorescent system will produce less light (lumens) than the reference ballast and a factor of >1 means it will produce more light. Metal halide, mercury vapor, … Ballast-compatible, "plug and play," or "direct drop-in" LED tubes make upgrading to cost-saving, long-life LED technology easy: simply take the fluorescent tubes out of your fixture and put the LED tubes in. Inconsistent lighting levels. To regulate the current flowing throughout fluorescent lights, we use what’s known as a ballast. Shop ballasts and a variety of lighting & ceiling fans products online at LED fixtures are integrated luminaires with built-in … Connect the power and neutral wires to the corresponding ballast wires. Signs that your magnetic ballast has gone bad, Swapping magnetic ballasts for electronic. Fluorescent Light Fixture, Plug-in, 5ft. Thus, to find a ballast compatible with a particular luminaire (light fixture), lamp type, lamp quantity, and line voltage must all be known. Compared to their magnetic counterparts, they’re smaller, lighter, more efficient and—by supplying power at a much higher frequency—less likely to cause flickering or buzzing sounds. On the other hand 12 inch 32 watt circuline lamps installed in homes during the 1950’s all had a starter. If this was not used in the light bulbs and T8 light bulbs (tube Lights), there remained a risk of current rising to a destructive level. Switch start is the control gear that has been used by the industry for years. This is called the pre-heat method. The light fixtures in our homes are remarkably effective and may work for years with little attention other than replacing an occasional burned-out light bulb.Sometimes, though, a light fixture that's been working fine may suddenly develop a problem that requires diagnosis and repair. This causes the mercury gas to become ionised—that is, charged in a way that enables it to conduct electricity. The process that occurs inside a fluorescent light involves molecules of mercury gas being heated by electricity and made more conductive. Here I Demonstrate the process and procedures of changing a ballast in a fluorescent light fixture. Once the arc is established, the ballast quickly reduces the voltage and regulates the electric current to produce a steady light output. Though this makes them energy efficient, it also shortens their life, as the surge of voltage every time they’re switched on damages them over time. Next, you will need to consider light output. All rights reserved. Switch start requires a wire wound magnet choke of ballast. Here are a couple of blog posts that can help you gai… 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. In a fluorescent lighting system, the ballast regulates the current to the lamps and provides sufficient voltage to start the lamps. Fluorescent lights use either an electronic or a magnetic ballast. What is the ballast in a fluorescent light? Locate your ballast. Depending on the type of ballast you use, the light may start immediately or take a few seconds to warm up to full brightness. Lights which are operated with a high frequency ballast do not flicker, but instead light up instantly due to the frequency being much quicker. Fixtures with traditional light technology (such as fluorescent or incandescent) do not include light bulbs. To achieve full rated light output and rated lamp life from a fluorescent lighting system, a ballast’s output characteristics must precisely match the electrical requirements of the lamps it operates. If it isn’t hot enough, the electricity will go back through the starter and begin the process again. A magnetic ballast (also called a choke) contains a coil of copper wire. This quickly heats the mercury gas inside the light. First, replace the tubes with new tubes or with … You can find 2ft, 4ft, and 8ft LED fluorescent replacements at—and if you want to replace your entire fixture instead of worrying about the ballast, we carry LED-ready linear fixtures too! Used in older T12 and some T8 tubes, this method functions without a starter. Newer bulbs and ballasts have quick-start technology that uses a small internal transformer to generate enough current to heat the filaments of the bulb. It’s worth spending a bit more in order to save yourself money and effort in the future. The current enters the filaments but at this point is too low to fire up the light, though it is enough to heat the gas (neon or argon) inside the starter. If you sometimes hear your light buzz or see it flicker, it’s this changing flow of current that’s causing it. Designed for areas in which the lights are constantly switched on and off, these ballasts pre-heat the electrodes with controlled amounts of current before applying a higher voltage to start the light. You should find a small grey cylinder plugged into the light fitting. When your fluorescent light flickers or makes a loud and annoying hum, a degrading ballast is the cause. The ballast is a fixed resistor with usually two center taps, and the fan speed selector switch is used to bypass portions of the ballast: all of them for full speed, and none for the low speed setting. If your light fixture has two or more fluorescent tubes, it’ll likely use another different method known as rapid-start. A ballast can only slow down changes in current -- it can't stop them. ballast - A device required by electric-discharge light sources such as fluorescent or HID lamps to regulate voltage and current supplied to the lamp during start and throughout operation. 01. This small cylinder-shaped component sits behind the light fixture and is filled with gas which, when heated, enables the light to start. But as the ballast continues to push current through the filaments, the gas gets hotter and more charged and the light brightens as a result. Turn off the electricity to the fixture at the power breaker box.Before starting to work on the fixture, flip the light switch to … This is the direction the lighting industry is headed in, so why not swap them sooner rather than later to optimise your space with better, quieter lighting? Yes, if you have a bit of technical know-how, although if you’re unsure it’s best to ask an electrician to do this for you as it can be a complicated job. Step 1 - Turn Off Electricity. The heated gas causes components inside the starter to allow the full current into the filaments. But the alternating current powering a fluorescent light is constantly reversing itself, so the ballast only has to inhibit increasing current in a particular direction for a short amount of time. © 2003 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Separate starters are only found in older control gear, so if a fixture is less than 15 years old it probably won’t have a starter. The ballast (sometimes called control gear) is a small device wired to the light’s circuitry which restricts the amount of electrical current travelling through it. Nowadays, magnetic ballasts are a rather outdated technology that manufacturers are phasing out, and so they’re usually only found on older types of lights. If the ballast looks burnt, it definitely needs replacing, Insert first probe of the multimeter to the wire connecting the red wires together, Touch the second probe to the green and yellow colour wires, If the multimeter doesn’t move, it means the ballast is dead, If the multimeter is still working, the multimeter needle should move across to the right, Open fixture and remove the bulb and ballast casing, Using the wire cutters, cut both power (brown) and neutral (blue) wires coming into the fixture. These instructions are for guidance purposes only – ensure you reference the manufacturers wiring diagrams. Replacing and Recycling Fluorescent Tubes Safely. A typical ballast will generally last about 20 years, but cold environments and bad bulbs can decrease this lifespan significantly. A multimeter is designed to measure electric current, voltage and resistance. For a simplified overview of how a light ballast works as part of a series of in-fixture lighting connectors, think of it as being a two-job component.It gives a boost when we want to arc the light and power it on, then pulls back this initial high current flow to a more sedate level once lit. This is what causes some old fluorescent lights to flicker. Because it’s only a gentle current, the light will glow quite dimly at first. Use common safety precautions before beginning to work on replacing the ballast in a fluorescent light fixture. These ballasts are available in either instant start or programmed start ignition for extended lamp life in frequent switching applications such as those where occupancy sensors or motion detectors are being used. If the mercury gas is heated sufficiently, it’ll conduct the current, generate light and then remain lit. Thus, some ballasts have a separate circuit that provides a low voltage to heat the lamp electrodes during lamp starting and typically during lamp operation (Hammer, 1995). Within a second the lamp would overheat and burn out. 2. Use the wire cutters to cut the wires connected to the sockets. As the starter cools, it blocks the current’s path to the filaments and makes it seek another route. Because your home’s mains power has a higher voltage than the light needs to operate, the ballast gives the light a small boost of voltage to start and then just enough of a supply to stay running safely. Traditionally, ballasts are designed to operate a specific number (usually one to four) and type of lamp (such as a four-foot T8 lamp) at a specific voltage (in North America either 120, 277, or 347 volts). Hello: I just had my T8 florescent light fixture (ballast) changed to use with LED bulbs. That amount can fluctuate depending on the thickness and length of the copper wire. When magnetic ballasts break, it is often blamed on the bulb. Because your home’s mains power has a higher voltage than the light needs to operate, the ballast gives the light a small boost of voltage to start and then just enough of a supply to stay running safely. These ballasts were developed so lights could be turned on and operated at their brightest at the first flick of the switch. Examples of gas discharge light sources include fluorescent and neon lights and high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. End users may have a first impression that it is the best alternative because it is straightforward to replace the fluorescent lamp without rewiring. Allow the fixture to cool before you remove the bulb. How does a fluorescent light ballast work? GE UltraMax Proline Electronic Ballast, 120/277 Volt Instant Start Ballast, Ballast for Fluorescent Light (4) or (3) Lamp T8, Normal Ballast Factor, Compatible with F32T8/WM and F17T8. During lamp starting, the ballast must briefly supply high voltage to establish an arc between the two lamp electrodes. These rely on the principles of electromagnetism, in that when an electrical current travels through a wire, it naturally generates a magnetic force around itself. In order to ensure that the issue is with the ballast, you will want to test it with a multimeter. In newer lamps the process provided by a starter is built in, making the function of a separate starter redundant. Now there’s more electricity coming in, the ballast starts to do its job of regulating it. Branded ballasts can last for a long time so if you change one, you probably won’t need to change it again for 10 years or more. Easy Fixes for Slow to Start, Flickering or Faulty Fluorescent Tubes. If you are missing the instruction manual, most major manufacturers will have opies on their website. The process for swapping out magnetic ballasts for electronic ballasts is pretty simple and straightforward. Join over 70,000 people who receive weekly lighting tips, amazing offers and discounts. The light switch is turned on. Some older electronic ballasts employ the rapid-start method described above, while newer and more advanced models use what are known as instant-start and programmed-start. There is a risk of electrocution when changing a ballast so if you’re unsure ask an electrician to do the job for you. Does my fluorescent tube need a starter as well as a ballast? They are general considered old technology and less manufacturers are creating them. Unlike other light bulbs, fluorescent tubes will not necessarily be the exact brightness noted on the label.

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