Are rapid start and instant start ballasts the same?

Rapid-start ballasts have a separate set of windings which provide a low voltage (approx. 3.5 volts) to the electrodes for one second prior to lamp ignition. A starting voltage somewhat lower than that of instant ballast (typically 405-550V for F32T8 lamps) is applied, striking an electrical arc inside the lamp.

You can determine whether you have a compatible fixture in seconds. Simply turn the light on, then take a photo of the fixture using your smartphone or digital camera. If there are no dark bands on the resulting image, you have an electronic ballast that will work with direct drop-in LED tubes.

Beside above, what is a rapid start socket? RapidStart Linear Lamp Sockets Rapidstart sockets can accept 4 wires (2 for wires from the ballast and 2 for wires to another socket). Note: Instant-start sockets, which can only accept two wires, MUST be replaced with 4-pin rapidstart sockets. T8/T12 RapidStart Socket. Fluorescent Lamp.

Furthermore, how does rapid start ballast work?

Rapid start ballasts ignite lamps by providing cathode voltage (heat) and voltage across the lamp simultaneously. As the cathodes heat, the voltage required to ignite the lamp is reduced.

When did electronic ballasts come out?

The use of electronic light ballasts initially rose in usage during the early to mid 1990’s.

Do you have to remove the ballast for LED lights?

LED technology does not require a ballast to regulate the amount of energy flowing to the lights. Additionally, removing the ballast will reduce energy usage and result in even great cost-savings as ballasts continue to draw more power than necessary.

How much does a ballast cost?

A replacement ballast costs about $10-25 depending on capacity and brand. The bite is that an electrician trip charge (which includes 30 or 60 minutes work) is going to be $75-150 probably – for about 5 minutes work on each light fixture.

What are the signs of a bad ballast?

If your fluorescent lighting is displaying any of the signs below, it could be a symptom of a bad ballast: Flickering. Buzzing. Delayed start. Low output. Inconsistent lighting levels. Switch to an electronic ballast, keep lamp. Switch to an electronic ballast, switch to a T8 fluorescent.

How do I know if I have a t8 or t12 ballast?

This will reveal a lot about your current fluorescent tube and usually indicate if the bulb is T8 or T12. If no markings are available, the size in diameter of the tube is the easiest way to determine the type you have installed. T8 tubes are 1-inch in diameter and T12 tubes are 1 1/2 -inch.

How do I know if I have t8 or t12?

Measure the diameter of the lamp. T12 lamps are larger than T8 lamps, with a 1 ½-inch diameter. The diameter of a T8 lamp is 1 inch. Look at the troffer, which is the metal fixture that holds the ballast and lamps and is shaped like an upside-down trough.

What are the different types of ballasts?

There are several different kinds of ballasts, but the three basic types are electronic ballasts, magnetic ballasts and digital.

Are all electronic ballast instant start?

Instant-start electronic ballasts are the most popular type of electronic ballast today because they provide maximum energy savings and they start lamps without delay or flashing. The instant-start ballast uses 1.5 to 2 watts less energy per lamp than the rapid-start alternative.

Can you replace a magnetic ballast with an electronic ballast?

Older fluorescent light fixtures utilized a magnetic ballast to control the flow of electricity through the light bulbs. If you have an older fixture, you can switch from a magnetic ballast to an electronic ballast in a few minutes with some basic hand tools.

How do you change a ballast?

Replace the fluorescent light ballast in four steps. Photo 1: Remove the bulbs and fluorescent light fixture cover. Unplug the fixture or turn off the power at the main panel. Photo 2: Cut the old ballast wiring. Photo 3: Unscrew the old ballast. Photo 4: Install the new ballast.

How does a ballast work?

In a fluorescent lighting system, the ballast regulates the current to the lamps and provides sufficient voltage to start the lamps. Without a ballast to limit its current, a fluorescent lamp connected directly to a high voltage power source would rapidly and uncontrollably increase its current draw.