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Your ballast is a small but important part of your light fixture. They help to regulate the electricity that starts your lamp. If you don’t have a properly working ballast, your lights will rapidly increase the amount of energy it’s pulling and immediately overheat. A well-maintained ballast will ensure that your lights work their best and can also save a lot in energy usage and cost. When you have a burnt-out ballast, you’ll want to remedy the issue right away. Still, it can be hard to know if you should repair the ballast or go ahead and opt for an entirely new unit. Here’s a comparison of what to check and lookout for when choosing between repair and replacement, so you can make the best decision for your unique needs.
Repairing your ballast requires a bit of detective work. Keep in mind that repairing any electrical fixtures, appliances or circuits can be extremely dangerous to individuals without experience. Exercise caution when handling your lighting fixtures. And, if at any moment, you are unsure please call the professionals at Mr. Electric, we would be happy to help you repair or replace your ballast or lighting fixture effectively and affordably. If you do choose to repair your ballast, here are a few general guidelines to help make the troubleshooting process a little easier.
Voltage and Amps
Use a multimeter to check for proper voltage and amps. Is it too high? Then your ballast is probably overloaded and you’ll need to reset the amperage and voltage and then adjust it accordingly.
Be sure that the wires are properly ground. Also, check the power supply. If it isn’t working correctly, you may need to replace the wiring altogether.
Take a look at the Solenoids to see if there is any corrosion. If so, go ahead and replace them.
More often than not, ballast manufacturers will crimp the wires and the connections will eventually become loose. Create a better connection by soldering them.
If it looks like repairing your ballast is more than you bargained for, you may want to consider simply getting a replacement. Here’s a few things to look for when choosing a new ballast or light fixture.
Be sure to find a ballast that fits your specific type of light fixture. Here’s a few examples of the different kinds of lighting available that would require a unique ballast.
Temperature and Environment
Decide on what kind of bulb/ballast combination is best for your local climate and the location where the fixture will be installed. Is the area hot, cold, or wet? Research which type of bulbs are best for your unique needs and choose the correct ballast.
Consider where the fixture should be placed for optimal lighting conditions. Keep in mind that angles, height, spacing, and reflection play a major role in setting the ambiance of your room. Having more than one fixture positioned in the right areas will reduce shadows and glare.
Ceiling style, décor colors and furnishing shade can affect the amount of light you will need to achieve your desired lighting. Know ahead of time if you need to choose fixtures with increased or reduced levels.
Ignoring safety standards can leave your home or business location vulnerable to a dangerous electrical fire. Using improper hardware can increase the chances of heavy fixtures and bulbs falling on unsuspecting bystanders. Be sure to mount the fixture properly and ensure that the bulbs and ballast used is complimentary to the type of bulb and the correct wattage. If using an old fixture, be sure to check the wiring for faults or outdated and corroded materials.
Technology has come a long way in the past few years. Replacing your old ballast or fixture often means benefiting from recent upgrades. For example, you may be able to integrate your lighting with backup power sources, daylight/motion sensors, automated lighting systems and dimmers. Newer models are also likely to reduce your energy usage and in turn can help save some cash when your utility bills arrive.
Are you ready to invest in quality ballast repair or replacement? If so, then there’s no reason to suffer from poor lighting a minute longer. Give the expert electricians at Mr. Electric a call and we’ll schedule an appointment to find the best solution for your home or business.
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