Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source Wiki
If you are keen on installing the electrical lighting systems, or you are working on a lighting-related project, you must be aware of the ballast. This is an electrical device that regulates the voltage supplied to the lighting system. When installed between the power source and the lamp, the device will be able to determine how much voltage flows into the system.
Ballast is not a new-technology device. They have been used for decades and are suitable for both the residential and commercial applications. You are likely to use them on High Intensity Discharge (HID) and fluorescent lights.
How long do ballasts last?
The lifespan of the ballasts ranges between 10 to 20 years.
From this wide margin, you can tell that there are various factors that determine the expected lifespan of the ballast.
But one thing you can be sure of is you will not need to replace the ballast any time soon after buying. However, this statement is true only of you buy quality ballasts from the best suppliers.
Keep reading as we look at the factors that tend to affect the lifespan of the ballasts and how you can improve the state of this device so that it serves you for long.
The type of ballast
Image source Research Gate
This is the top factor that determines how long your ballast will last. There are two main types of ballasts: electronic and magnetic. Electronic ballast is the modern type and has an array of features such as a digital controller. Magnetic ballast is mainly found on analog devices.
A typical electronic ballast is designed to control the starting voltage of the lighting systems. It is embedded with a tiny microchip and solid-state components that regulate he current flow.
Generally, electronic ballasts are more energy-efficient hence they tend to generate less heat. They also have fewer moving parts than the magnetic ballasts. These two reasons give them longer lifespans than the magnetic ballasts.
The fact that magnetic ballasts are found on older technology means they are deprived of energy efficiency. They tend to generate significant amount of heat when in operation. They also have numerous moving parts which tend to wear out faster. In overall, they have shorter lifespan than their electronic counterparts.
The newest types of ballasts such as magnetic ballasts are known for their long lifespan.
Ballasts are designed to operate within specific temperature range. Anything beyond that range can cause strain leading to shorter lifespan. The internal components of these ballasts may be super sensitive to extreme temperature conditions and this may force them to overwork.
Direct heat damage is also a key factor that can lead to a shorter lifespan on the ballast. This is likely to happen when you expose ballast to extremely hot conditions.
This basically refers to the erratic changes in the amount of supply voltage. Frequent fluctuation of voltage can cause various electrical damages such as overheating of the ballast. This will eventually end up cutting its lifespan.
There are various factors that lead to voltage fluctuations. They include power surge, short circuit and electrical storms. Other than just damaging the ballast, voltage fluctuation can also damage other electrical appliances and devices.
The surest way against voltage fluctuation is installing electrical devices that are designed to protect against surge. Surge protector is just one of the devices that you should consider buying.
Environment of the ballast
Where have you installed your ballast? This has a direct impact on the lifespan and even its performance. After installing the ballast, you should be aware that it will be exposed to different environmental elements. They include moisture, dust, heat, among many other elements that some people consider harmless yet they are harmful.
So, you should carefully choose where you install the ballast if at all you want it to last for long. If it is already installed at exposed places, you may consider introducing some protection elements and devices to shield it against such risks.
Quality and brand
The quality of the ballast will definitely have an impact on how long it will last. High quality ballasts are expected to outlast their low-quality counterparts. It all boils down to the components that have been used to make up the ballast. A quality ballast features premium quality components that can withstand harsh conditions.
Additionally, the brand of ballast will also determine its lifespan. Some brands or manufacturers are known for their high-quality and reliable ballasts. Other brands tend to make low-quality blasts. It will be prudent to take your time and vet the brands that you buy from. Read the reviews to find out what other people are saying about the.
Other than the brand name, you should also inspect each ballast to verify its quality. Find out the components that have been used to make it. You will be able to tell whether they will be reliable or not.
When should I replace the ballast?
Once the ballast has reached the end of its life, you should proceed to do a replacement. You don’t have to wait for the expected 5, 10, 15 or 20 years to replace it. There are various indication that it is time to replace the ballast. These signs include:
- Flickering light from the lighting lamp
- Buzzing sound coming from the lamp.
- Burning smell coming from the lighting device
- When the ballast physically looks old, worn out or burnt
Once you spot these signs, you should proceed to buy new ballasts from reputable brands.
In conclusion, we have seen that there are numerous factors that determine the expected lifespan of ballasts Now you can tell why your ballast lasted for quite a shirt time and you can rectify the issue for the next ballast that you buy.
For example, when it comes to replacing your ballasts, ensure that you get high-quality ones. Take your time to find reputable ballasts suppliers in China and inspect the types of ballasts that they have in stock.
Even if you are buying ballasts in China in bulk, the reputation of the distributor will always matter.
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