What Is the Point of a CFL Ballast?

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Have you ever come across the term ballast, or more specifically CFL ballast? Have you ever wondered specifically what this term meant, and what the purpose of the device fixture was? If you don’t hold a degree in electrical engineering, or you aren’t particularly familiar with electrical circuits or lighting solutions, it can seem a bit Greek. That’s not entirely abnormal – there are plenty out there who have never heard the term ballast before. However, it is a critical component of CFL lights, and actually for all fluorescent lights as well.

Fluorescent lighting in general, and CFL lights in specific, have increased in popularity as their production has driven down costs and has made them more accessible and practical for residential use. You may have even heard some of the wholesale benefits of fluorescent lighting before. Fluorescent lighting is immensely energy efficient and generally very cool, which keeps down energy costs on two fronts. Fluorescent lighting also offers quite a range of color temperature and what’s more is the fact that fluorescent lights tend to last a very long time. Generally speaking, only LEDs last longer on average than most fluorescent lights. With the development and introduction of CFL lights, now even homeowners can reap the benefits of this energy efficiency and long light life. So what’s all this about CFL ballast?

Fluorescent lights do offer users the benefits listed in the paragraph above, but it comes with its stipulations. Fluorescent lights operate according to very specific criteria, and there are many lights that you can’t simply “plug in” the way you would with an incandescent bulb.

Fluorescent lights are rated to operate under a very specific range of current and voltage. If you do not meet the current requirements, the light will not operate effectively or will not glow with its full brightness. If the current is exceeded, it can damage the light or shorten its useful lifespan. If the current and voltage are unregulated, then you may end up, at best, with a light that flickers or does not reliably work. More often than not the light just won’t work as intended.

A CFL ballast is a fluorescent ballast that is intended to provide ballast to compact fluorescent lamps. The ballast of a fluorescent bulb helps to regulate the voltage and the current, so in simple terms, it provides the power to the lamp at the level that the lamp requires. In even more simple terms, the ballast is the device that enables the lamp to offer its intended level of luminosity and at a reliable output of light.

Back in the day, some people had problems with fluorescent lamps flickering or buzzing. Some of these problems were attributable to ballasts known as magnetic ballasts. In addition, some fluorescent lamps were infamous for not starting up right away – they needed to warm up before they could reach their full brightness. Today, most fluorescent lamps have electronic ballasts or special start ballasts that enable them to start up nearly instantaneously while at the same time preventing the flickering and annoying buzzing problems of the past.

The good news is that most (if not all) CFL bulbs come with a ballast as a part of the bulb. Therefore, in many cases, you won’t specifically need to purchase a CFL ballast, but if you do, then you should take your business right to AtlantaLightBulbs.com. The reason is simple – if you need something lighting related, Atlanta Light Bulbs is your ticket to an easy shopping experience and great pricing as well. Whether you need a new set of CFLs for your home or even some special type of ballast, your first step to locating it is taking a trip to AtlantaLightBulbs.com.

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