Electronic Fluorescent Ballasts

Electronic Fluorescent Ballasts

Lighting ballasts are needed to safely start and operate any type of gas discharge lamps, including fluorescent lights. Historically, fluorescents lights were run by magnetic ballasts, but these have been discontinued by legislation. Today, they are run by more modern and more efficient electronic fluorescent ballasts.

These ballasts use several different start methods, but the main two types are instant start ballasts and rapid start ballasts.

As the name implies, instant start fluorescent ballasts turn the lights on almost instantly; but doing this requires an energetic kick that's a little tougher on the lamps and can shorten their lives. So instant start fluorescent ballasts aren't used in locations where lights are turned on and off frequently, and they shouldn't be used with occpuancy sensors. Still, these ballasts are the most efficient available, so they're a great choice for lights that are left on all day.

Rapid start fluorescent ballasts also turn lights on quickly, but with a subtle delay that allows the start-up to be gentler on the lamps and helps to extend their lives. That's why this type of ballast is used where lights will be turned on and off more frequently, and why they should be used with occupancy sensors.

To learn more about ballasts, we invite you to visit our Complete Introduction to Lighting Ballasts. Make sure to leave a comment, including your own insights or questions, and share with others!

Meanwhile, when you're ready to order electronic fluorescent ballasts or anything else for your lighting needs, give us a call or order online. We're here to help and we want you to know that we ship reliably and quickly, and we stand behind our customers!


Instant Start Electronic Ballasts
• The most efficient for long-running lamps
• Should not be used with sensors

Programmed Rapid Start Electronic Ballasts
• Can be used with sensors