If your light fixture isn’t working properly how can you tell if you should do a ballast repair vs ballast replacement?
Without light fixture ballasts, our world would be a much darker place. Ballasts are utilized in street lamps, floodlighting, and other indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures for homes or businesses.
How Do You Replace A Ballast In A Fluorescent Light?
First, let’s talk about how a ballast works.
During the startup, when you turn on a fluorescent light, for instance, the ballast will supply a brief high voltage to initiate an arc between the electrodes of the lamp. Once an arc has been created, the ballast immediately reduces the voltage to prevent any damage to the lamp.
If your ballast repair isn’t completed properly, the replaced parts inside your ballast can create even more problems. With a ballast replacement, you won’t have to worry about these kinds of problems.
Deciding between a ballast repair vs ballast replacement will really depend on several things. Don’t rely on your skill level or your electrical knowledge. Always hire a certified electrician.
Why A Ballast Replacement Is Safer than Repair
The methods used for reducing voltage inside the ballast will depend on the lamp being lit and the light components inside. Different types of lights that include ballasts include LEDs lights, fluorescent lights, halogens, and HID/Metal Halides.
These lighting sources use resistors, inductors, and capacitors. Sometimes they are used in combination to provide the required voltage at a consistent rate to the lamp.
Replacing the wrong elements in the wrong order or wiring the new ballast incorrectly can cause the lamp to malfunction. This can create an extremely unsafe environment.
So, when it comes to ballast repair vs ballast replacement, replacement by a certified electrician is a more sensible and safer alternative. If necessary, your electrician could also help you with lighting upgrades.
How A Light Fixture Ballast Works
A light fixture ballast contains fixed resistors. Often used in low-powered devices such as neon or LED lamps, fixed resistors hold back a significant amount of power because it is not required to light the lamp.
Other types of light ballasts use self-variable resistors. As the resistance from the lamp is increased, these resistors prevent the lamp from receiving too much current.
Should you choose ballast repair vs ballast replacement?
When repairing a ballast you must be sure you understand which ballast components need to be replaced. It is unlikely that you have the electrical training necessary to replace ballast components. This lack of electrical knowledge could jeopardize the safety of your home, family, belongings, and/or your business.
Premium Electric cautions against doing this type of electrical work yourself. It requires having the proper ballast replacement parts, plus knowing how the ballast should be wired. Sometimes, the colour coding on the old ballast does not match the new ballast.
We recommend that you always hire a qualified electrician to have a ballast repair or ballast replacement service done.
Check out our post on Lighting Design Suggestions to Improve Your Property Value.
About Premium Electric
With the combined experience of 30+ years, our certified Abbotsford electricians are highly skilled at doing ballast replacements in commercial and residential environments.