Lighting ballasts make a spark of energy to begin the electrical arc which lights up the gas in HID and fluorescent lamps and causes them to shine. They are typically long rectangular black boxes with black wires running from one or both sides. The black wires glow red hot when the current is applied. A ballast consists of a thin metal plate to hold a thin layer of mercury vapour. This is in the base of a long metal tube that has two or three holes on one side.
There are a number of different types of lighting ballasts, and you should choose the type that gives you the best quality results. The other factors to consider are lamp life, lamp wattage and the total maximum load per hour. For instance, mercury vapour ballasts give out a high frequency which is much higher than a halogen lamp. The mercury is evaporated and converts to green gas. This gives a much brighter beam but the overall effect of the lamp is less than desirable.
Halogen lighting ballasts give out a lower frequency and a lower output level. In fact they are ideal for low power applications because they are not affected by moisture vapors. When using halogen lighting ballasts, the chances of 'ground loops' developing is reduced. This means the lamp is turned off before any electricity is generated by the ballast, which minimizes the risk of tripping ground loops. In addition, halogen lighting ballasts are very efficient.
Different ways of using Lighting Ballasts
Lighting ballasts can be used to recycle old ballasts, which have become unsuitable for use with lighting. One way to do this is to remove the old ballast and strip the insulation around the connection. The next step is to place the wire connectors on the stripped cable and secure them with screws or clips. The old ballast can then be reused and can be placed back in the light source. The process can also be reversed if you simply replace the old ballast with a new one.
Another popular way to reuse lighting ballasts is to convert them to high voltage LED lights. By changing only the connections (no stripping) and replacing the ballast, you can easily convert an existing ballast to LED lights. To do this you need to connect a series of wires between the ballast and the lead that it plugs into. To make it easier you can connect the wires in series like a sequence of lights. After soldering the leads, plug the ballast and the LED light bulb into the electrical outlet.
You can also recycle ballasts to fluorescent lights if you choose to go this route. Again you need to identify the ballast that will be converted first. Most commercial lighting suppliers sell three types of fluorescent ballasts - HID, VHID and RGY. Once you know which type you want you can easily find a ballast to match your current lighting fixture.
The third option is to replace the ballast with electronic light ballast. These are extremely energy efficient and come with an automatic shut off feature. The benefits of using these types of commercial lighting fixtures are that they are highly durable, low maintenance and require less wiring than most other forms of lighting. Also you won't have to worry about replacing or cleaning up dirt or debris in your work spaces. Since these ballasts don't contain any mercury or other toxic chemicals they are very safe for your employees and you too.
So if you are tired of looking at your worn fluorescent lamps or trying to figure out a way to get rid of your old ballast, consider replacing it with an electronic lamp. These ballasts are more efficient, safer and easier to operate than their counterparts and will save you money and help the environment at the same time. Get one today and help to save the future.