Asked by: Chahinez Heith
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What is the purpose of magnetic ballast in fluorescent lamp?

Last Updated: 19th May, 2020

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Like all ballasts, a magnetic ballast regulates the voltage a fluorescent light receives so that the bulb doesn't overheat and immediately explode. A magnetic ballast is a type of electrical power regulator used in fluorescent light systems.

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Also to know is, what is the function of ballast in fluorescent lamp?

In a fluorescent lighting system, the ballast regulates the current to the lamps and provides sufficient voltage to start the lamps. Without a ballast to limit its current, a fluorescent lamp connected directly to a high voltage power source would rapidly and uncontrollably increase its current draw.

Secondly, what is inside a fluorescent ballast? This lamp consists of a glass tube filled with an inert gas (usually argon) at low pressure. On each side of the tube you will find a tungsten electrode. The ballast regulates AC power to the electrodes. Older lamps used a starter to get the lamp going.

Subsequently, one may also ask, how does a magnetic ballast work?

In short, a coiled length of wire in a circuit (an inductor) opposes change in the current flowing through it (see How Inductors Work for details). The transformer elements in a magnetic ballast use this principle to regulate the current in a fluorescent lamp. Magnetic ballasts may also vibrate at a low frequency.

How do you know if a ballast is magnetic or electronic?

Just point your cell phone camera at the lamp, and take a picture. If the image displays dark bands or stripes, your fluorescent lamp is driven by a magnetic ballast. A modern, electronic ballast drives the lamp at a much higher frequency, and a picture of these lamps will be clearly different, without such bands.

Related Question Answers

Liberty Salinger

Professional

How do I know if I have a t8 or t12 ballast?

This will reveal a lot about your current fluorescent tube and usually indicate if the bulb is T8 or T12. If no markings are available, the size in diameter of the tube is the easiest way to determine the type you have installed. T8 tubes are 1-inch in diameter and T12 tubes are 1 1/2 -inch.

Diaby Beldarrain

Professional

Do I need to remove the ballast to use an LED bulb?

LED technology does not require a ballast to regulate the amount of energy flowing to the lights. Additionally, removing the ballast will reduce energy usage and result in even great cost-savings as ballasts continue to draw more power than necessary.

Arlyn Hollerbach

Explainer

How much does a ballast cost?

A replacement ballast costs about $10-25 depending on capacity and brand. The bite is that an electrician trip charge (which includes 30 or 60 minutes work) is going to be $75-150 probably - for about 5 minutes work on each light fixture.

Mahy Hoogstraat

Explainer

Jason Barberena

Explainer

How do you know when a ballast is bad?

If your fluorescent lighting is displaying any of the signs below, it could be a symptom of a bad ballast:
  • Flickering.
  • Buzzing.
  • Delayed start.
  • Low output.
  • Inconsistent lighting levels.
  • Switch to an electronic ballast, keep lamp.
  • Switch to an electronic ballast, switch to a T8 fluorescent.

Lanora Serradio

Pundit

How many types of ballasts are there?

And there are two types of ballasts in each family: magnetic and electronic. Magnetic ballasts are the older ballast technology. For the fluorescent family, both T12 linear fluorescents and two-pin CFLs use magnetic ballasts.

Silmara Aranzana

Pundit

What happens when a ballast goes bad?

Signs of Ballast Failure
But there is a good chance your ballast could be the cause of your lighting woes if your lights are dim, buzzing, changing colors, or flickering rapidly. You should check all parts of the fixture, including the bulbs.

Laie Eberl

Pundit

Isolino Kroch

Pundit

What are the disadvantages of magnetic ballast?

Some disadvantages of the inductive ballast are: they are less efficient than capacitive ballasts, they cost more, they weigh more, and they take up more space. Magnetic ballasts are typically used in reactors using medium pressure (MP) lamps.

Cristobalina Damia

Pundit

What is a magnetic ballast used for?

Like all ballasts, a magnetic ballast regulates the voltage a fluorescent light receives so that the bulb doesn't overheat and immediately explode. A magnetic ballast is a type of electrical power regulator used in fluorescent light systems.

Edrisa Jakobe

Teacher

How does a ballast limit current?

An electrical ballast is a device that limits the current through an electrical load. These are most often used when a load (such as an arc discharge) has its terminal voltage decline when current through the load increases. To prevent this, a ballast provides a positive resistance or reactance that limits the current.

Kelley Soberats

Teacher

How much electricity does a ballast use?

They consume eight to 10 watts when operating with the lamp in the circuit. The ballast will consume about four watts when the lamps are removed although the ballast is still energized. Electronic ballasts start and regulate fluorescent lamps with the use of electronic components.

Adriane Mestres

Teacher

What is a synonym for ballast?

Synonyms: light ballast, ballast resistor, barretter. ballast resistor, ballast, barretter(noun) a resistor inserted into a circuit to compensate for changes (as those arising from temperature fluctuations)

Maryama Burgelin

Teacher

Are electronic ballasts better than magnetic?

In addition to not flickering and being quieter than magnetic ballasts, electronic ballasts are preferred because it has many other advantages. They are smaller in size and weigh less. Also, if you want to replace your magnetic ballast with an electronic ballast, this is cheap and relatively easy to do.

Lingjun Aranaga

Reviewer

How do you bypass a ballast?

How to Bypass a Ballast
  1. Turn off the power. Flipping the light switch to the “off” position does not necessarily end the flow of electricity.
  2. Locate your ballast.
  3. Cut the hot and neutral wires.
  4. Cut the socket lead wires.
  5. Remove the ballast.
  6. Connect the input wires to the output wires.

Theresa Altermann

Reviewer

Can a fluorescent light work without a ballast?

Reverted question “ Can I make a fluorescent light work without a ballast?” yes, you can, but you need something to reduce the current as the bulb warms up. So, you can drive a fluorescent with a pulse width adjustable power supply, but this is what is in an 'electronic' ballast.

Laura Wigant

Reviewer

How do you size a fluorescent ballast?

By selecting a ballast with an ideal ballast factor, you can optimize the light output of your fluorescent lighting system and maximize your energy savings. To estimate your total system lumens, multiply the rated lumens of your lamp by the ballast factor. For example, 3200 lumens x 0.77 BF = 2464 total system lumens.

Silva Vijayashree

Supporter

What is the output voltage of a fluorescent ballast?

The label on the ballast shows two important labels. Fluorescent lamps use a ballast which transforms line voltage to a voltage to start up and operate the lamp(s). Newer fluorescent ballasts are usually rated for both 120 volts and 277 volts.

Girolamo Jemmi

Supporter

Can you replace a magnetic ballast with an electronic ballast?

Older fluorescent light fixtures utilized a magnetic ballast to control the flow of electricity through the light bulbs. If you have an older fixture, you can switch from a magnetic ballast to an electronic ballast in a few minutes with some basic hand tools.