Is It Time to Replace Your Light Ballasts?

Many homes have fluorescent lighting tubes or other high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps in at least one place. You often find them in kitchens, basements, closets, or other areas that are tricky to light. The fixture that supplies the power to light the fluorescent tube or HID lamp is called a ballast. Just like anything else, a ballast can wear out over time and will need to be replaced. When that happens, you need an electrician. And when you need an electrician in the Nashua, NH, area, you need Chamberlin Electric.


Is it time to replace the lighting ballasts in your home? Your Nashua, NH, electrician has the answers.


How old is it?

There are two main types of ballasts, magnetic and electronic. Magnetic ballasts are an older style and less energy-efficient. They use a magnetic core and coil arrangement to control the lamp current with electromagnetic induction. Electronic ballasts are more modern and energy-efficient, as well as being less bulky. They use electronic components such as capacitors, inductors, and integrated circuits to regulate the lamp current. Electronic ballasts are more energy efficient because they run at higher frequencies, typically above 20kHz. The higher frequency also results in less flickering.

If you still have magnetic ballasts in your home, electricians recommend replacing them with electronic ones. You’ll save on energy costs, they take up less space, and you won’t have to deal with annoying flickering lights.


Are there other reasons to replace a ballast?

Age isn’t the only reason to replace a ballast, but it is a common one. A common sign a ballast is faulty or failing is flickering or inconsistent light output. That usually means the ballast is not providing a stable current to the lamp. For the same reason, a ballast may start to hum or buzz.

If you frequently have to replace the lamp, don’t immediately blame the lamp; it could be the ballast. A faulty ballast can put undue stress on a lamp, causing it to fail before it should. Faulty ballasts also often put out more heat than usual. If a ballast feels hot to the touch, it’s probably near the end of its operational life. Look for any visible burn marks or damage. That will further confirm that the ballast is on its last legs and should be replaced.


Nashua NH Electrician | Chamberlin Electric

Whether you have older fixtures that need to be replaced or faulty wiring to be fixed, Chamberlin Electric is the Nashua, NH, electrician that you need. Our team of licensed electricians has the knowledge and expertise to ensure the safety of your home.


Contact us at (603) 595-9473 for more information about our services.