Technology Ballasts

A comparison: electronic ballast and conventional ballast

05.12.2018

What are the differences between an electronic ballast and a conventional ballast?

Electronic Ballast (ECG)

Electronic ballasts have become increasingly popular in cannabis cultivation for several years now. Despite the significantly higher price compared to a conventional ballast, there are some good reasons to buy an electronic ballast. Firstly, there is the significant higher power factor of an electronic ballast. He is at 0.97 to 0.99. This means that an electronic ballast with 600W brings this 600W power also approximately. Conventional ballasts have significantly worse values ​​in this regard. Electronic ballasts have less heat development compared to conventional ballasts.  This means that you will not burn your fingers during continuous operation if you touch the device. This is also an advantage in terms of placement of the ballast - the risk of fire is much lower. Most electronic ballasts are dimmable. This means that you can use one and the same light bulb to set power levels from (in the case of a 600W electronic ballast) from 250W to 660W. Young plants that have just been set need less light than fully flowering plants. In addition, the dimming function is also useful on hot summer days to lower the temperature in the mounting cabinet or room. Less watts means less heat, which benefits plants on extremely hot days. Electronic ballasts work almost noiselessly, are light and protect the light source, which thus has a much longer life without negatively changing its light spectrum. An electronic ballast has an approximate lifespan of twelve years when it is in operation for 12 hours a day (lifetime of approximately 50,000 hours). The price of an electronic ballast with a power of 600W is about 130 to 180 euros.

Conventional Ballast (KVG)

The classic among the ballasts (KVG) for the discharge lamps used in cannabis cultivation are conventional ballasts, now sometimes called semi-electronic ballasts. Your advantage is clearly in your longevity, reliability and price. A conventional ballast with a power of 250W in a simple version is already available from about 42 euros, a ballast with 600W already from about 55 euros. So much for the benefits.

The disadvantages of a conventional ballast are in any case the high heat development of the ballasts, the power losses of 10-20% of the rated lamp power, the high weight (several kilograms per ballast) and the often high noise level of the Vorschalgeräts (buzzing). In addition, a conventional and semi-electronic ballast produces a high proportion of reactive current, which can cause unwanted abnormalities in the operation, especially of several Voschaltgeräte in the power grid are easily measurable and can be assigned to the devices. Finally, it should be mentioned that the bulbs are significantly more stressed in a conventional and semi-electronic ballast and their lifespan is greatly reduced. The bulbs should be changed after about one year in normal operation, since it changed its light spectrum from this point on and no longer gives off the optimal for plant / flower growth light. In addition, from this time onwards, lighter items are more often completely eliminated.


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