Ballast - Drivers
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Among the different types of ballasts for fluorescent lamps are electronic ballasts. These work by converting the AC voltage from a circuit into DC voltage and then providing a higher voltage to start the lamp before decreasing the voltage and moderating the current to the lamp to ensure that it provides the right light output.
Ballasts such as electronic fluorescent ballasts are not only critical to ensure the proper operation of fluorescent lighting, but a quality unit can also result in energy savings while at the same time increasing lamp life.
We carry electronic & magnetic ballast for fluorescents for T8, T5, T12 & T12 high output lamps. Fluorescent ballasts are used in every office, warehouse, school, church and building in the US and abroad. We carry thousands of ballasts including T8 ballasts, T12 ballasts, compact fluorescent ballast, sign ballasts, freezer ballasts, circline ballasts and germicidal ballasts. Fluorescent ballast are basically put into two major categories one being electronic and the other being magnetic. Within these two categories there are many shapes, sizes and styles.
Most standard metal halide ballast are CWA type which means it is a constant wattage auto-transformer. These are the most popular ballast in the US and have changed little since the 1960's. CWA type ballasts have two coils. One acts as an autotransformer with multiple voltage input taps and the second coil provides inductance that in series with the capacitor will control the lamp current. Regulated Lag ballasts use 3 coils and provide a high degree of power regulation for the lamp by reducing spikes and voltage issues. These ballasts are much heavier duty and contain more materials in order to handle higher loads.
High Reactance Auto-transformers (HX-HPF) are two coil ballasts which consist of a primary winding that provides the voltage transforming for the OCV requirements and a secondary coil for limiting the current. The ballast is more heavy duty than it's cousin the lag/reactor.
Did you know? All metal halide lamps that are below 150 watts are inherently pulse start lamps and must run on a pulse start ballast. Above 150 watts please refer to the ANSI code on the lamp and on the ballast. The ANSI numbers will begin with an M. Match the M number (example: M90) on your lamp with the code on the ballast you are choosing. For help please selecting a ballast please call 1-888-988-2852.
AtlantaLightBulbs carries a variety of LED drivers which are also known as power supplies. They serve the same function as a ballast does for fluorescent lamp. LED Drivers provide LEDs with the electricity they require to turn on and function at optimum efficiency. Most applications for LEDs call for use in AC powered environments. therefore drivers are used to transform the AC current in to DC or direct current. LEDs run on low voltage, direct current.
So all LED light bulbs require a driver whether it is internal or external to the lamp. Most LED bulbs that are purchased today have an internal driver that is built into the lamp. These drivers do generate heat along with the LED chip or chips, so cooling these lamps is of the extremely important. Many indoor and outdoor LED fixtures are designed with an external driver mounted in the fixture away from the LED chips. This is for 2 reasons, LED drivers do not offer the same life span capabilities as LED chips so they will fail long before the LED chips do, therefore being able to service a fixture by adding a new driver is key. Another is heat, LED chips and drivers give off heat keeping the two away from each other is key to the thermal management system that the LED fixture has designed into it. Unfortunately, internal drivers cannot be replaced, so if your household LED dies early, you must purchase an entirely new bulb.
There are three types of LED drivers: constant-current, constant-voltage, and AC specific LED drivers. The LED chip that is specificed determines the driver that is needed. Always replace drivers with the same specifications. To find your LED driver, look at your LED (or the LED driver that you are replacing) and select the correct voltage range. If the driver has a specified specific voltage, you need a constant-voltage driver If there is a range of output voltages and current specification you need a constant-current driver.