What is a Ballast? Everything You Need to Know

​If you're going to lay out a lighting system for your business with fluorescent or HID, you need to know about ballast. Not only are ballasts required for fluorescent and HID and linear LED lights, but having the right ballast means a cost-effective lighting solution that saves space and energy. So, what is a light ballast? Please read on for more information.

What is a Light Ballast?

A ballast is a device used with a lamp to obtain the circuit conditions required to start and operate, and it interacts with the lighting fixture itself to control, regulate factors such as voltage, current, and waveform, and ultimately stabilize the light output of the lamp. All fluorescent and HID lights require ballasts to operate properly.​

light ballast 


How does a Ballast Works?

Once the lamp is switched on, an arc must be created between the two lamp electrodes. The ballast quickly distributes high voltage to ensure the lamp stays lit by managing the distribution of energy throughout the fixture.  The ballast reduces the voltage and regulates the current to produce light output. Not only that but there are many different types of ballasts. Depending on the conditions under which your lighting system is operating, the ballast may also work in conjunction with the dimmer, two devices that work together to adjust the light output. There is also a ballast that provides a certain amount of electricity to heat the lamp, which prevents the light's inner workings from dying prematurely.

changing fluorescent lamp and ballast 

​​​How does a Ballast Works?​

Ballasts typically last around 20 years, so replacing them is uncommon. However, poor-quality bulbs and a bad operating environment will greatly shorten the service life. If your fluorescent lights flicker or hum, it's usually caused by old ballasts. When shopping for a new light fixture, make sure you find the right ballast for the light fixture you're buying. The ballast must match the bulb it is running on. There are many different types of ballasts on the market, and I would like to recommend LEDVANCE, the world leader in lighting systems for lamps and ballasts. Controllable ballasts with instant start, programmed start, and various ballast coefficients. The electronic fluorescence system has the advantages of cost-effectiveness and energy saving. Included in our product portfolio are controllable metal halide and induction lamp and ballast systems, as well as a range of magnetic ballasts and LED instant start ECG range as part of our LED T8/SubstiTRONIC systems.

LEDVANCE Ballast Family Review

​​​​​​QUICKTRONIC® Controllable Fluorescent Ballasts

QUICKTRONIC® Controllable Fluorescent Ballasts can be used in a variety of high-efficiency systems and are ideal for daylight harvesting and other control strategies that save additional energy and improve the quality of the lighting environment. Whether you need simple power line dimming, 0-10V, bi-level or more complex DALI dimming, there is a system to meet your needs.

QUICKTRONIC® T8 Fluorescent Ballasts

Energy-efficient T8 fluorescent systems help reduce power density (watts/square foot) to meet stricter energy regulations. Whether you are retrofitting an existing fixture or specifying a lamp and ballast for a new fixture, there are a variety of energy efficient T8 lamp and ballast systems to choose from. High efficiency and NEMA quality ballasts are eligible for many utility rebates.

QUICKTRONIC® High Intensity Discharge Ballasts

eHID indoor/outdoor dimming ballasts feature a state-of-the-art design that delivers a level of performance unattainable with standard magnetic lighting systems, resulting in extremely high energy efficiency. These high-efficiency ballasts offer up to 94% efficiency, saving up to 17% in energy compared to magnetic systems.

QUICKTRONIC® Compact Fluorescent Ballasts

Compact fluorescent ballasts with QUICKSENSE® end-of-life sensing are designed to reliably and safely shut down the system when the lamp reaches end-of-life. High efficiency ballasts for 4-pin TT5 and T4 compact fluorescent lamps, available in standard and dimmable versions.​

taptronic nfc driver 


With the development of fluorescent lamps, the technology of ballasts is becoming more and more mature. Whether it is fluorescent lamps, HID lamps, or linear LED lamps, ballasts can be used. If you don't know how to design your own lighting system based on the fluorescent lamp, please contact LEDVANCE experts, we have professional layout tools to help you design the most suitable lighting layout.​​


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