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You may need to use a ballast with your grow lights but might be unfamiliar with what it does. Let us tell you all you need to know about ballasts.

What are the functions of a Metal Halide and HPS Ballast?

The metal halide (MH) ballast, like the HPS ballast, helps an MH grow light operate safely. The ballast regulates the current inside the gas charged tube and makes sure it doesn't become too hot. It also aids in elongating the life span of the grow light to the maximum possible.

A high-pressure sodium (HPS) ballast is used alongside an HPS grow light. The ballast's function is to ignite the gas in the tube, which in turn creates the light. It fulfills the responsibility of regulating the current to make sure the charge does not go higher than a safe level. If a ballast does not do this, there is a risk of the light becoming so hot that it pops.

The Different Types of Ballasts

There are two main types of ballasts – digital and magnetic. Digital ballasts are the latest technology, and they offer more features than magnetic ballasts. On the other hand, magnetic ballasts are proven in their effectiveness but are rapidly being replaced by digital ballasts.

Here are some benefits of digital ballasts:

  • 30% higher efficiency
  • Dimmable function
  • Smaller size so lesser emission of heat

The two types of ballasts are obviously very different in efficiency levels. The dimmable function in digital ballasts allows the grower to exercise more control over the bulbs' power. This makes them offer much more flexibility than magnetic ballasts. Some ballasts also come with a "Super Boost" function. It enables them to make more lumens of light available to the plants.

How do I choose the correct MH or HPS Grow Light Ballast?

It is crucial to choose a ballast in accordance with your grow light. You must ensure that the wattages align with each other so that the equipment can function with the highest level of operational efficiency. A mismatch in the wattages may lead to problems. In case the wattage of your ballast is higher than that of your grow light, your bulb may end up burning our prematurely. On the other hand, if your ballast has lower wattage than your grow light, it may fail to ignite the charge.

One important thing to note is that you can operate a single-ended grow light with a double-ended ballast but can't operate a double-ended grow light with a single-ended ballast. When using a Double Ended (DE) HID grow light, it is crucial to ensure that you have a DE ballast as it is optimized to operate with two bulbs.

Let Groindoor.com Help You!

A 120 Volt ballast will work all right if you are using a standard house outlet or if you are a hobby grower. If you are a commercial grower or just require more power, you will likely require a higher voltage, for instance, the famous 240 Volt ballast.

Check out our Learning Center for articles on the best grow lights. Or if you still have questions or need commercial pricing, the experienced growing experts at Groindoor.com can help you. Reach out to us at 866-GRO-INDR today!

 

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