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Over 17 years LED Driver and electronic ballast manufacturing experience, and over 15,000,000 installation sites worldwide.

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Arlington, TX 76011
Phone: 817-701-1400
Fax: 817-624-8915
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RoHS Compliant Ballasts are one of AC Electronics' ways to create products that help our customers improve their environmental and operating performance.
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Definitions of the Most Asked Technical Questions

What is the Function of a Ballast?
Ballast act like a governor on a car or lawn mower. It regulates the amount of electricity that flows to the lamp.

What are the Differences Between Magnetic and Electronic Ballast?
Magnetic ballast have been around since the beginning of fluorescent lighting. They employ copper coils and transformers to run a lamp. Magnetics cost less, but weigh more and, more importantly, are less efficient than modern electronic ballast. The federal government has mandated magnetic ballast be replaced with electronic ballast over the next several years.

Our electronic ballast use state-of-the-art printed circuit boards along with U.S. and Japanese components. Electronic ballast use 25% less energy than magnetics, do not hum or flicker when starting, and have a lower THD.

Do Fluorescent Lights Flicker with Electronic Ballast?
Because electronic ballast operate at higher frequencies than magnetic ballast, the amount of light flicker is minimized. This reduces eye fatigue in some people.

Does the Ballast Always Need to be Grounded?
Yes, the ballast case and fixture must always be grounded. This helps assure safety, proper lamp starting, and acceptable performance.

What are the Different Lamp Types Your Ballast Will Run?
This list is a general sampling of the most common types of lamps. It is not exhaustive and we recommend you talk to your sales agent about specific lamp types.
  • Compact fluorescent lamps come in the 13W, 18W, 26W, 32W, and 42W options. Our compact fluorescent ballast will run these lamps.
  • T8 lamps are made in 17W, 25W, 32W, and 40W types.
  • T5 lamps come in 21W, 24W, 28W, 38W, and 55W types.
  • Biax lamps (produced by GE) are similar to most T5 lamps and are made in 36W, 39W, 40W, and 55W variations.
  • 2D lamps, often called "butterfly" lamps, come in 16W, 21W, 28W, 38W, and 55W versions.
  • Note: Many ballast can run more than one type of lamp, so be sure to check with our technical agent for clarification.
Can I Run One Lamp With a Two-Lamp Ballast?
In most applications yes, but it is always advisable to check with our technicians first.

What are the Different Voltage Options?

  • In the United States, both 120V and 277V is used.
  • In Canada, both 120V and 347V is used.
  • In Mexico, 127V is used.
  • In the majority of the rest of the world, 220V-240V is used.
Does A.C.E. Ballast Allow for Voltage Fluctuations?
Our ballast can operate over or under the specified voltage by 10%. For example, a 120V ballast will operate as high as 132V and as low as 108V. However, it is recommended to talk to your salesperson about those types of applications.

Can Your Ballast be Remote-Wired? How Far?
Our ballast can be wired up to 25 ft away from the lamp. We have the longest remote wiring capability of any manufacturer and we still warranty our ballast 3 to 5 years.

What is Ballast Factor and Why is That Important?
Ballast Factor (BF) is a measurement that compares the ratio of light output of a lamp or lamps operated by a specific ballast to the light output of the same lamp or lamps operated by a standard reference ballast.

The higher the BF is, the higher the wattage running through the ballast. Some applications need a lower BF to conserve energy and reduce light output, while others prefer a higher BF to increase light output. However, a higher BF does decrease the life of the lamp.

AC Electronics can adjust BF to meet the customer's need.

What is THD?
THD stands for Total Harmonic Distortion. The distortion is feedback caused by deviation from the sinusoidal waveform. The industry standard is less than 20%. If the THD is very high (around 150%), an electrical fire can occur. Magnetic ballast run 90%-120% THD.

What is the Difference Between Instant Start and Rapid Start Ballast?
Instant Start (IS) ballast require a larger amount of energy to start the lamp than Rapid Start (RS). This can reduce the lamp life by up to 25% if you turn the light on and off quite a bit. However, IS ballast does use less energy than the RS ballast, passing on energy savings to the customer. RS ballast preheat cathodes before turning on the lamp, and more energy is used to keep the cathodes constantly heated. With RS, one gets more lamp life, but less efficiency.

IS ballast are more popular because they are less expensive and have fewer wires for installation. IS ballast are popular with T8 lamps.

Can Your Ballast Operate at 50Hz and at 60Hz?
Yes, our ballast work at both frequencies. 50 Hz is mostly used internationally.

Do You Have "End of Lamp Life" (EOL) Protection?
Most of our ballast include EOL protection, meaning if the lamp shuts down for any reason, the ballast will shut off as well. After installing a new lamp, the power switch must be toggled off and back on. On our universal voltage models, auto restart will automatically turn the lamp back on.

What is Power Factor?
Power factor is a measurement of the efficiency of the ballast in terms of the ratio of wattage entering the lamp and the wattage entering the ballast. The closer to 1 the power factor is, the more efficiently the ballast is working. Above a .70 power factor is considered a High Power Factor. Between .50 and .70 is a Normal Power Factor. The THD is higher with a normal power factor.

What is Crest Factor?
Crest Factor measures the ratio of starting wattage to normal operating wattage of the lamp and ballast. In between 1.4 and 1.7 is normal, but anything higher can significantly reduce the life of the bulb.

What is the Difference Between Parallel and Series Wiring?
Ballast with parallel circuits operate each lamp individually. If one lamp goes out, the companion lamps stay lit. Series circuits include every lamp in the same electrical circuit "loop." If one lamp stops working, every lamp will cease functioning.

What is the Maximum Case Temperature for A.C.E. Electronic Ballast?
AC Electonics Ballast are waranteed for a case temperature of 75 C. For our "Extreme Temperature" ballast, the case temperature is waranteed up to 90 C.

If you have questions this sheet does not answer, see our Contact page.

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