No matter what HID lamp you use, you need to use a grow light ballast. Use a lamp without one, and at best it won’t light. At worst, it’ll explode.
There are tonnes of hydroponic ballasts for you to choose from. Each of those sold by us are safe, reliable and excellent value.
If you need a help choosing, call 0333 003 22 96 or read the questions and answers below.
What wattage grow light ballast should I use?
One that matches the wattage of your grow light. Never try to mix up wattages.
What’s the difference between digital and magnetic ballasts?
Magnetic ballasts use what’s known as a choke to regulate how much power goes to your lamp.
A choke is a metal coil wrapped around a steel core – together they create an electromagnetic field. The magnetism restricts the amount of power that can reach the lamp.
Digital ballasts (also known as electronic ballasts) use solid circuitry to regulate the power to your lamp.
Is a magnetic ballast or digital ballast cheaper?
Magnetic ballasts are cheaper to buy, but electronic/digital ballasts are cheaper to run and last a lot longer.
On top of this, they maximise the life of your lamp so you don’t have to replace them as often.
If you can afford the upfront cost, the long term savings you get from a digital ballast are well worth the initial investment.
Which works better, a digital or magnetic ballast?
Magnetic ballasts do the job, but digital ballasts do it better. They are:
• Lighter and smaller
• Quieter to run
• Cheaper to run (use 3 – 4% less energy per ballast)
• Better for your lamps (prolong the life of lamps
• Better for colour rendering
How are electronic ballasts different to digital ballasts?
There is no difference– ‘electronic ballast’ and ‘digital ballast’ are just two different names for the same thing.
If I dim my 600W ballast, can I use it to power a lower wattage lamp?
No. You still need to make sure the wattage of your lamp matches that of your ballast. As you dim your output, the amount of power going to your lamp drops, so your lamp won’t output as much.
Can I dim and boost HPS bulbs from my hydroponic lighting ballast?
You should only ever dim or boost an HPS lamp. You can run metal halide (MH) lamps from a dimmable ballast, just don’t dim or boost it.
When would I use my ballast’s overdrive function?
You can overdrive your lamp output by 10% throughout flowering.
Doing this helps boost your yield size and get more from aging lamps.
Bear in mind that doing this will increase heat output and may reduce the life of lamps. Never try to overdrive or dim a metal halide lamp.
Can I run my 400V lamps of a 240V ballast?
No, you need to use a 400V ballast.