General Lighting: Electronic & Magnetic Ballasts
What role do they play in your fluorescent lighting fixtures?
Every fluorescent and neon lighting fixture has a ballast to regulate the electricity it receives. The ballast acts as an intermediary between the raw power source and the fluorescent lighting fixture, similar to a transformer, by stabilizing the electronic waves to provide a consistent harmonized source of energy.
Two types of Ballasts
There are two types of Ballasts utilized in lighting fixtures, the electronic and the magnetic ballast. Both types of ballast stabilize the raw electricity into a consistent lighting source, they just go about it in a different way.Magnetic ballasts are made of wire coiled so as to create a magnetic field while Electronic ballasts use electronic components.
Most lighting fixtures use electronic ballasts because they are lighter in weight, more energy efficient, and turn on instantly without flickering. Magnetic ballasts are a more older form of technology. They tend to be cheaper for the manufacture, but are less efficient because Magnetic Ballasts lose electronic energy in the form of heat as a by product. Additionally, most magnetic ballasts require a fluorescent lamp starter and are able to be utilized in dimmers.
Because of this, fluorescent lamps can now be
manufactured in various sizes, shapes, and watt ratings. In addition to
this, the fluorescent lamp has become easier to maintain.
Why Florescent lighting over LED?
Although LED lighting is more energy efficient and lasts significantly longer than Florescent lighting, Florescent lighting is cheaper and more widely available. Most lighting fixtures utilize fluorescent while LED lighting is only available in select styles and decors