Q:

How can you determine what ballast is needed for a fluorescent light?

A:

Quick Answer

Finding the right ballast for a fluorescent light requires knowing the number and type of fluorescent bulbs in the fixture and the voltage the fixture uses. Using this information, the installer can select a ballast compatible with the type, number of lamps and voltage.

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Full Answer

Ballasts work by regulating the amount of voltage the light fixture receives at any give time. While fluorescent bulbs require a high amount of voltage to initially light up, if they continue receiving such high voltage, they quickly overheat and burn out. A compatible ballast supplies the bulbs with the large amount of voltage they initially need, but it then greatly reduces the voltage to the minimum amount the bulbs require.

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