Ballast: Electronic and Magnetic, Fulham Ballast, Hatch Ballast

Lighting Ballast

An electrical ballast is a device intended to limit the amount of current in an electric circuit. A familiar and widely used example is the inductive ballast used in fluorescent lamps, to limit the current through the tube.

An inductor is very common in line-frequency ballasts to provide the proper starting and operating electrical condition to power a fluorescent lamp, neon lamp, or high intensity discharge (HID) lamp. (Because of the use of the inductor, such ballasts are usually called magnetic ballasts.) The inductor has two benefits:

  1. Its reactance limits the power available to the lamp with only minimal power losses in the inductor
  2. The voltage spike produced when current through the inductor is rapidly interrupted is used in some circuits to first strike the arc in the lamp.

An electronic ballast uses solid state electronic circuitry to provide the proper starting and operating electrical conditions to power discharge lamps. An electronic ballast can be smaller and lighter than a comparably-rated magnetic one.

Click on the picture below to see more lighting ballast