Ballast Repair vs Replacement

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.

Repair or Replace? Which is Better?

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. Deciding between a ballast repair vs ballast replacement will really depend on several things, including your skill level and your electrical knowledge. See this BC Hydro page What’s the Big Deal About Ballasts for additional information.

With ballast replacement, you won’t have to worry about these kinds of problems.

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. The different types of lights that include ballasts are LEDs lights, fluorescent lights, halogens, and HID/Metal Halides.

Resistors, inductors, and capacitors are used in these lighting sources, sometimes 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, without sufficient electrical knowledge, could create an extremely unsafe environment where the lamp malfunctions. 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.

If you choose ballast repair vs ballast replacement, when repairing a ballast you must be sure you understand which ballast components need to be replaced. If you do not have the electrical training necessary to replace ballast components you could jeopardize the safety of your home, family, belongings, and/or your business.

If you want to do the electrical work yourself, for instance, replacing the ballast in a kitchen light, then you need to have the proper ballast replacement parts, plus know 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, the certified electricians at Premium Electric are highly skilled at doing ballast replacements in commercial and residential environments.

They also do electrical installations in new homes throughout the Fraser Valley including Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Aldergrove, and Sardis.

Call our certified electricians at 604-308-6195 or send us an email if you would like to learn more about ballast repair vs ballast replacement,

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