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Electronic ballast to connect your discharge lamps. Ballast act as a transformer to supply the lamp enough voltage to light up. Each ballast has a particular power and must be in accordance with the bulb's voltage.
If our ballast is too powerful for the bulb, the latter can fuse due to the high current running through it. On the other hand, if the power is too little for the bulb, this one won't function up to its potential. It won't break down, though, unless we make it work at really low values of voltage (i.e., a 600W bulb working at 150W). This happens because the current cannot run properly and thus, the negative pole crashes with the positive continuously.
Some ballasts only have a single output voltage while others have a regulator to adjust the voltage. The ones with fixed voltage can be used in cases such as mother plant rooms where the same light is kept all time or in flowering spaces.
Adjustable ballasts can be used in those rooms where the whole growing cycle is carried out. They are usually adjusted at 50%, 75%, 100% and 110%. If we choose a 600W ballast that's adjustable it can be normally adjusted to 250W, 400W, 600W and 660w. However, some can be adjusted to 400W, 440W, 600W and 660W depending on the models. All of them could be used along with the same 600W bulb. At its lowest power, they are used to sprout seeds or root cuttings, at 75% they can be used to grow plants, at 100% they are suitable for the flowering and, finally, at 110%, they can be used for fattening buds.
Ballasts can be electronic and magnetic. Electronic ones make the most of power, since they provide up to 30% more light than magnetic ones for the same energy consumption. Besides, they can be adjustable whereas magnetic ballast with a voltage regulator simply don't exist. On the other hand, magnetic ballasts are more economical. Keep in mind, though, that their lower price comes at a cost: heat builds up inside and eventually, energy that could be used in our plants is lost.
Electronic ballasts will always be more quiet given that the reel and other components of the magnetic ones are substituted with electronic pieces that are almost noiseless. Frequency (Hz) is higher than in magnetic ballasts, so light won't flicker while functioning. As a proof, if you point with the camera of your mobile phone at the light produced by a magnetic ballast you will see there are stripes of light because it is not continuous but this won't happen with the electronic ones. Continuous light means more energy is supplied to our plants without heating them up (which lets you to install the lamps within the grow room or tent).
The light emitted by magnetic ballast is discontinuous. Due to the lower frequency (fewer Hz) at which light is emitted, your plants receive up to 30% less light than with electronic ballasts. Also, since this type of ballast can get really hot, it is advisable not to install them inside the growing space. Although, they can't be usually adjusted to different voltages, the model 600+ Boost can go up to 660W.
All ballasts in our catalogue come with a detailed description so even if you don't know much about the subject you can find the one that suits you best. Analyze pros and cons and get the one that suits your plants' needs best.