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How Does Ballast Factor Affect Wattage?

FAQs Jackson Bowman September 19, 2022

In general, the lower the ballast factor, the fewer watts your system will use. In the automotive world, ballast factor might be akin to comparing the size of three different four-cylinder engines. In general, a small engine gives you the most fuel efficiency and the least power.

Can you use a higher wattage ballast?

Using a higher wattage ballast on a lower wattage bulb is clipping by definition. It has to do with how the ballasts work. They do not generate any power according to the bulb connected. Ballast output is the same regardless of the bulb.

Is ballast factor the same as power factor?

Ballast power factor measures how “efficiently” a ballast uses its power. Expressed as a percentage, 0% to 100%, power factor is the ratio of the power consumed by a ballast to the total power supplied by the utility: Power Factor = Watts/Volt-Amps.

How do you use a ballast factor?

Ballast factors are listed in the model specifications and range from 0.70 to 1.20. To use the equation, multiply the lumen rating of the lamp by the ballast factor of the fixture. For example, if you use one with a factor of 0.95 with a 1,000 lumen lamp, you will have a brightness of 950 lumens.

Does a ballast reduce voltage?

Once the arc is established, the ballast quickly reduces the voltage and regulates the electrical current to produce a constant light output. Maintaining optimal electrode temperature is key to long lamp life.

Can I use 35w ballast with 55w bulbs?

You can use 55W ballasts with standard 35W bulbs, but the bulb life will be slightly reduced and its color will be washed out a bit. Again, OEM applications use 35W ballasts and when paired with a high power projector you really put a lot of light on the road even this way.

Can I use a 400 watt bulb with a 600 watt ballast?

What is the power factor of a ballast?

A ballast factor is a number, typically between 0.70 and 1.2, that indicates how much light a lamp will put out with that ballast. So how do you get that number? The ballast factor is calculated by dividing the luminous flux of a lamp/ballast combination by the luminous flux of the same lamp(s) on a reference ballast.

How much wattage does a ballast use?

They use eight to 10 watts when operating with the lamp in the circuit. The ballast will draw approximately four watts when the lamps are removed, although the ballast is still energized. Electronic ballasts start and control fluorescent lamps using electronic components.

What is the power factor of an electronic ballast?

Normal power factor (NPF) ballasts typically have a value of (0.4) – (0.6). Ballasts with a power factor greater than (0.9) are considered high power factor (HPF) ballasts. The importance of power factor lies in the fact that utility companies supply customers in volt-amps but bill them in watts.

How do I know what size ballast I need?

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 the lumens of your overall system, multiply the nominal lumens of your lamp by the ballast factor. Example: 3200 lumens x 0.77 BF = 2464 total system lumens.

How do I choose the right ballast?

How do I know if a ballast is compatible?

You can find out if you have a compatible device in seconds. Just turn on the light and then take a picture of the light with your smartphone or digital camera. If there are no dark stripes in the resulting image, you have an electronic ballast that works with direct drop-in LED tubes.

What do the numbers on a ballast mean?

The most common types are T12, T8 and T5. The T stands for Tubular and the number is the diameter in 1/8 inch. The lamp diameter is determined by the ballast type. A luminaire with a T12 ballast must use a T12 bulb. A luminaire with a T8 ballast must use a T8 bulb etc.

What happens if you wire a ballast wrong?

If a ballast fails, it can cause a short circuit, burn out tubes or even cause a fire, so it needs to be replaced. Lights that won’t turn on, fluorescent tubes that have blackened ends and brown burnt tube electrodes are all signs of a bad ballast.

How many watts does a T12 ballast use?

What’s the difference between 35w and 55w ballast?

You will get about a 50% increase in brightness when you switch from a 35 watt ballast to a 55 watt ballast. So the 8,000K HID lamp will go from 1,000 max lux to 1,500 max lux at 25 feet, but the color will shift to a 6,000K color. Just because your HID lamp reads 10,000K or 12,000K doesn’t mean it’s brighter.

Can I use any ballast with any HID bulb?

Technically you can use any HID bulb with any HID ballast as long as you can plug it in. There are no 8k ballasts, it could be another ballast but it does absolutely nothing to define the colour.

How many lumens is a 35 watt HID?

A high quality standard 35 watt D2S OEM HID bulb produces 74 lumens per watt.

Can you use a 250w HPS bulb with a 400w ballast?

Sure you can do it… it might explode, but you can. Visit hahnmeister’s homepage! If it were bright, it would be dim. I accidentally ran a 175 watt lightbulb on a 400 watt pulse start ballast for at least a month.

References:

  1. http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1794788
  2. https://www.prolampsales.com/blogs/specialty-architectural-lighting/the-difference-between-ballast-factor-and-ballast-power-factor
  3. https://www.actionservicesgroup.com/blog/what-is-ballast-factor/
  4. https://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/nlpip/lightinganswers/adaptableballasts/ballast.asp
  5. https://blog.theretrofitsource.com/headlight-tech-hid-ballasts
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgS05tQUKIs
  7. https://insights.regencylighting.com/what-is-a-ballast-factor-and-how-does-it-affect-my-fluorescent-tubes
  8. https://www.naturallighting.com/cart/store.php?sc_page=50
  9. http://ceolas.net/Docs/Sylvania_on_CFL_Power_Factor.pdf
  10. https://blog.1000bulbs.com/home/choosing-the-right-fluorescent-ballast
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj45XrHIxlk
  12. https://www.eledlights.com/blog/post/quick-way-to-tell-which-ballast-you-have/
  13. https://www.electrical101.com/fluorescent-ballasts.html
  14. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/rewire-electric-ballast-33046.html
  15. https://metroled.ca/led-vs-fluorescent-tubes-comparison-in-energy-consumption-lighting-performance-efficiency/
  16. https://blog.headlightrevolution.com/35w-or-55w-which-is-brighter-color-shift-and-lux-explained
  17. https://maxima.org/forums/general-maxima-discussion/250134-can-i-use-my-old-hid-bulbs-new-ballasts.html
  18. https://www.diodedynamics.com/info/research/hid/hid-brightness.html
  19. http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1261410

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