Categories FAQ

How do I know what kind of ballast I have?

You can determine whether you have a compatible fixture in seconds. Simply turn the light on, then take a photo of the fixture using your smartphone or digital camera. If there are no dark bands on the resulting image, you have an electronic ballast that will work with direct drop-in LED tubes.

How do I know if I have a T8 ballast?

Read the lettering on the burned-out lamp. You will see either T8 or T12 stamped on one side near the end with the prongs. You also will see the lamp’s rated wattage, usually 32 watts for T8 and 40 watts for T12. Measure the diameter of the lamp.

How do I identify a PCB ballast?

Ballasts manufactured between 1979 and 1998 that do not contain PCBs are labeled “No PCBs” If a ballast is not labeled “No PCBs”, it is best to assume it contains PCBs. If the ballast does contain PCBs, they are located inside the small capacitor or in the surrounding potting material.

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How can you tell the difference between magnetic and electronic ballast?

A magnetic ballast uses coiled wire and creates magnetic fields to transform voltage. An electronic ballast uses solid state components to transform voltage. It also changes the frequency of the power from 60 HZ to 20,000 HZ or higher depending on the ballast.

How do I know if my ballast is T8 or T12?

If no markings are available, the size in diameter of the tube is the easiest way to determine the type you have installed. T8 tubes are 1-inch in diameter and T12 tubes are 1 1/2 -inch.

How do you know if it’s the bulb or ballast?

Take out your current bulbs and replace them with the new bulbs. If the bulbs fail to light up, then 9 out of 10 times the ballast is culprit. If the ballast is good, an analog multimeter has a needle that will sweep to the right across the measuring scale. If the ballast is bad, then the needle won’t move.

Do all fluorescent lights have ballast?

All fluorescent bulbs require a ballast. All compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs require a ballast, which is often integrated. All HID bulbs require a ballast, which is sometimes integrated. No LED bulbs require a ballast, although some are engineered to work with an existing ballast.

How can you tell how old a ballast is?

Check the ballast’s manufacturing date. If you know the ballast was installed or manufactured before 1978, it most likely contains PCBs. Ballasts were commonly produced containing PCBs before their ban in 1978.

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What is a Type P ballast?

Class P: A ballast for a fluorescent lamp which meets the requirements of the Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc.; includes an automatic resetting thermal protector to remove the ballast from the circuit if its temperature exceeds a specified value. 4. Same as constant-wattage ballast.

What is the black stuff in a ballast?

PCBs are contained within the light ballasts’ capacitors and in the ballasts’ potting material ( a black tarlike substance used to protect the capacitor). As the ballast ages, it can overheat causing a burning or smoky odor or in some cases, causing tar from the potting material or oil to drip from the fixture.

What’s the difference between digital ballast and electronic ballast?

Electronic ballasts are preferred by commercial growers. Digital ballasts have higher output and will give almost 30% more light. They are cooler and provide better spectral output. They have adjustable wattage, which allows you to use power your grow lamp at different wattages.

What do the numbers on a ballast mean?

About Advance Ballasts and Fluorescent Lamps. Advance Ballasts that utilize fluorescent lamps usually come in two shapes, straight and u-shaped. Most fluorescent types are T5, T8, and T12. The T stands for tubular and the number provides the diameter in 1/8 of an inch. Therefore, a T12 ballast must use a T12 bulb.

Can I put a T8 bulb in a T12 ballast?

T8 tubes are simply 1 inch in diameter versus the 1.5 inch diameter of T12 tubes. In an effort to make LED tube lights compatible with the internal dimensions of most fixtures, you will find that most LED tube lights feature a T8 or 1 inch diameter. They can indeed be used in T12 fixtures.

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Will a T8 fit in a T12 fixture?

The main difference between T8 and T12 tubes is the tube’s diameter. T12 tubes are 1.5″ in diameter while T8s are just one inch. All other things—socket sizes, lengths, distance between pins—are the same. T8 LED tubes won’t fall out if you try to install them in a T12 fixture— they’ll fit just fine.

Are T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes interchangeable?

T12 primarily run off a magnetic ballasts and T8 bulbs operate on electronic ballasts. So the bottom line is that these are not interchangeable and if you’re going to upgrade from a T12 to a T8 bulb, then you also have to change out the ballast.

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