How to Choose the Right Ballast for Your Lighting Needs

Your Guide to buying the best Ballasts


A ballast is an important part of any lighting system, and making sure you get the right ballast for your particular application is essential. This buying guide will provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision on which ballast to buy for your lighting system. We will go over the different types of ballasts, the different features they offer, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type. We'll also take a look at what you should consider when choosing the right ballast for your needs, and provide a few tips for getting the best value for your money. By the end of this guide, you should have all the knowledge you need to make the best possible choice for your lighting system.

Key features

  1. Type of Ballast: The type of ballast you will need will depend on the type of lamp being used, if the lighting is outdoor or indoor, and the desired level of dimming (if any).
  2. Voltage: Each ballast is designed for a specific voltage, so you will need to make sure you get the correct voltage ballast for your lighting system.
  3. Input Wattage: The input wattage rating of the ballast tells you the maximum wattage the ballast can handle. It is important to make sure the ballast you choose is rated for the wattage of the lamps you are using.
  4. Dimming Capabilities: If you need dimmable lighting, you will need to make sure to get a ballast that is designed for dimming. Not all ballasts are capable of dimming.
  5. Frequency: Depending on the frequency of a ballast, this can affect the proper operation of fluorescent lamps. It is important to make sure the ballast you choose has the proper frequency.
  6. Compatibility: It is important to make sure the ballast you select is compatible with the lamps you are using or else you could cause harm to the lamps or ballast.

See the most popular Ballasts on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Energy Savings - Ballasts can help reduce energy costs by using less electricity than standard light fixtures.
  • Longer Lifespan - Ballasts can extend the life of light bulbs by providing consistent current levels to the bulbs.
  • Easy Installation - Ballasts are relatively easy to install and can be used in place of standard light fixtures.
  • Cost-Effective - Ballasts are generally a more cost-effective option than other lighting options.
  • Safety - Ballasts are designed to provide a safe and reliable current to light bulbs, preventing potential electrical shocks.
  • Light Quality - Ballasts can help to create a better and more consistent quality of light.


  • Cost - Ballasts can be an expensive lighting component, and the cost can vary depending on the type of ballast and the wattage they control.
  • Compatibility - Ballasts are not compatible with all types of lamps, so buyers should check that the ballast they buy is compatible with the lamps they are using.
  • Noise - Ballasts can produce humming or buzzing noises when in operation, so this should be considered when selecting a ballast.
  • Heat Output - Ballasts generate heat when in operation, so buyers should consider the heat output of the ballast when selecting one.

Best alternatives

  1. Fluorescent Starters - An electrical component that starts the arc needed to begin a fluorescent light.
  2. Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL) - A type of fluorescent light that is curved to fit into a standard light bulb socket.
  3. High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps - A type of lamp that produces a bright light using an electrical arc.
  4. Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lights - A type of lighting technology that produces a bright light using electrical pulses.
  5. Halogen Bulbs - A type of artificial light source that produces a bright white light using a combination of an electrical current and a gas.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Fluorescent Lamps - Ballasts are necessary to run fluorescent lamps, which are more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Lighting Fixtures - Lighting fixtures are usually required for installing ballasts, as they provide support for the lamps.
  • Wire Connectors - Wire connectors are necessary for properly connecting the ballast to the power source.
  • Mounting Screws - Mounting screws are necessary to secure the ballast to the fixture.
  • Power Supply - All ballasts require a power supply to provide the necessary power for the lamp.

Common questions

  1. What is a Ballast? A ballast is an electrical device used in lighting fixtures to regulate the current that flows through the circuit. It is typically used to stabilize the voltage in an electrical circuit and prevent the current from fluctuating or surging.
  2. What is the purpose of a Ballast? The main purpose of a ballast is to keep the current flowing through the circuit constant. It also helps to regulate the voltage in the circuit, preventing the current from becoming too high or too low.
  3. What types of Ballasts are available? There are several different types of ballasts available, including magnetic, electronic, and dimming ballasts. Magnetic ballasts are the most common and are typically used in fluorescent lighting fixtures. Electronic ballasts are also commonly used and offer a more energy-efficient solution. Dimming ballasts are used in dimmable lighting systems and allow for adjusting the intensity of the light.
  4. What factors should be considered when buying a Ballast? When buying a ballast, there are several factors to consider, such as the type of fixture, the type of ballast, the wattage of the ballast, and the compatibility of the ballast with the lighting system. It is important to make sure the ballast is compatible with the fixture and can handle the wattage of the lighting system.
  5. Are there any safety considerations when using a Ballast? Yes, it is important to follow safety precautions when working with a ballast. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and follow any safety guidelines detailed in the documentation. Additionally, it is important to make sure the ballast is properly installed and connected to the lighting system.


In some cases, ballasts are used to light up the most unusual places! In 2010, a British artist named Chris Drury constructed a light installation using ballasts and fluorescent tubes in the Llangattock Escarpment in Wales, which is a deep and narrow limestone gorge. The aim of the project was to bring attention to the beauty of the landscape and to highlight its geological importance. The installation was powered by a generator and the ballasts were given to the project by Philips Lighting. The installation was featured in a number of publications and became a popular tourist attraction for the region. Source: The Guardian.

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.