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A lighting ballast is required to control the starting and operating voltages of electrical gas discharge lightssuch as fluorescent, neon lights and high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. The term lighting ballast can refer to any component of the circuit intended to limit the flow of current through the light, from a single resistor to more complex devices.
A more modern type of lighting ballast is the electronic type. An electronic lighting ballast uses solid state circuitry to transform voltage, but unlike electromagnetic ballasts, can also alter the frequency of power. This means that an electronic lighting ballast can greatly reduce or eliminate any flicker in the lamps. Because it uses solid-state circuitry instead of magnetic coils, it is also more efficient and therefore runs cooler.
With greater efficiency and ability to reduce flicker the electronic ballasts are more popular than electromagnetic ballasts, and are often used to replace them. A few applications, however, require an electromagnetic lighting ballast, such as ballasts that must preheat or ballasts for extremely high output lamps. Each of our lighting products details the required ballast for perfect operation.