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Home » FAQs » The electronic ballasts for HID lighting
The electronic ballasts for HID lighting
2013-07-15 06:54:43

Electronic ballasts are available for HID lighting systems. These ballasts provide the same functions as their magnetic ballast but use power-supply switching electronics rather than magnetic transformers to operate the lamp. This results in reduced energy losses and improved operating characteristics.

The ballast provides the proper starting voltage, operating voltage and current to the lamp to initiate and sustain its arc. High intensity discharge (HID) lamps have negative resistance, which causes them to draw an increasing amount of current; hence, they require a current-limiting device. The ballast provides the following functions:

  • It provides starting voltage and, in some cases, ignition pulses. All ballasts must provide some specific minimum voltage to ignite the lamp. In the case of pulse start lamps, an additional high voltage pulse is needed to ionize the gases within the lamp. These pulses are superimposed near the peak starting voltage waveform;

Electronic ballasts have been successfully used with fluorescent lighting systems for many years, largely because of their improved energy performance and dimming capabilities. Electronic ballasts for HID lighting systems have become available only more recently. Initially, electronic HID ballasts were primarily for use with lamps of 175 W or less. But reliable electronic ballasts are now becoming available for use with higher wattages of 320, 350, 400 and even up to 1000 for metal halide and high-pressure sodium HID lighting systems.

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