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Ballasts 101

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At Sitler’s, one of our most popular LED products is the T8 LED linear lamp. These lamps are used to replace the common fluorescent tube. They are a great alternative to fluorescent lighting, as they are brighter, last longer and create a better, more productive work environment.

Another perk of using LEDs in place of fluorescent lighting is that they don’t depend on ballasts to function properly. Ballasts, just like bulbs, can go bad and are much more costly and time-consuming to replace. Today, we are going to take a closer look at how ballasts and fluorescent lighting work together, why they fail together, and the benefits of bypassing the ballast altogether when installing T8 LED linear lamps.

Ballasts and Fluorescent Lighting

When it comes to powering fluorescent lighting, the ballast sends energy to the lamp. It regulates the right amount of energy to start the bulbs, as well as the amount of current needed to flow when they are turned on. However, not every ballast works with every bulb, not even every fluorescent bulb. They are manufactured for a specific number of lamps and a specific voltage. If the lights and ballast aren’t compatible, the lights won’t turn on or will burn out very quickly.

Ballast Pitfalls

After about three years, you will begin to see deterioration in your ballasts. Often times when you see fluorescents lights burnt out, the light isn’t failing, but the ballast itself. Dimming, buzzing, and flickering are all signs of a failing ballast.

When using fluorescent lighting, you not only have to worry about replacing bulbs more often but ballasts as well.

Issues with Ballast Compatible LEDs

Ballast compatible LED tubes are a convenient light to install, moving a project along quickly and smoothly. Yet, your new LED lights may show the same signs of failure as fluorescent tubes because of failing ballasts. Therefore, while using ballast compatible LED lighting you’ll end up with more maintenance costs keeping your ballasts in working order.

Bypassing Ballasts

At Sitler’s, we suggest bypassing your ballasts altogether when replacing fluorescent lighting with LED tubes. While it may be a more time-consuming process, it will save you time and money in the long run. Sitler’s works with a variety of trained electricians across the state of Iowa to make installations and ballast bypasses quick and efficient.

Find T8 LED Linear Lamps at Sitler’s!

Find all of your LED linear lamps at Sitler’s and schedule your facility’s free walk-through and proposal today! Give us a call at (319) 653-2123 or request a quote here.

Posted in LED Lighting Basics

Tagged Ballasts, Bypassing the ballast, fluorescent lighting, LEDs