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Emergency Lighting Blog

News and Information for Public Egress, Building Safety and Government Compliance

Category Archives: Lighting

The 3 Types of Ballast You Should Know


Ballasts. At first glance they may seem straightforward, but there are a lot to the devices that control and start the flow of electricity to the light. In fact, they come in three varieties. Each have a unique set of benefits.

Magnetic Ballasts

First of all, we should let you know they are becoming less common. At one time, they were the most popular of ballasts, but recent events caused their usage to wane. The reason why? A number of the fluorescent lamps used in magnetic ballasts have been phased out. Recent legislation from the Department of Energy has prevented the production a number of the new products. Still, a number of consumers hold onto the oldest type of ballast.

The magnetic ballast may be derided for its inefficient power usage, but they offer a number of benefits. Magnetic ballasts are heartier, more able to withstand temperature extremes than its younger cousins: electrical and digital ballasts. For this reason, magnetic ballasts will continue to be in use for some time.

Electrical Ballasts

Introduced in 1981, electrical ballasts improved upon magnetic ballasts in one key area: energy efficiency.  The improvement is nothing to scoff at, as the Electric Power Research Institute believes lighting uses 20-25% of all electric power.  What effect does this have on your electric bill? A big one. Lighting accounts for approximately 40% of the average lighting bill. Electrical ballasts save energy by restricting the flow of power. They typically reduce power usage by  2-6 watts  over magnetic ballasts.

Apart from the savings on your electrical bill, electrical ballasts eliminate the annoyances of magnetic ballasts. You may have noticed a humming coming from a magnetic ballast. With electrical ballasts there is no humming.  When the light is turned on, electrical ballasts also reduce instances of flickering light. Last of all, they are lightweight and easier to install than other ballasts.

Digital Ballasts

Digital ballasts are the newest craze to hit the world of ballasts, and they have plenty of fanfare. Like electrical ballasts, they restrict power, only digital ballasts do it better. A microprocessor is included with each digital processor. Programmed to restrict power usage, the microprocessor monitors the lighting effectively. It is able to reduce power by operating on a high frequency. In fact, the light is much like a strobe light, only the flashes are so quick that it is unnoticeable. Magnetic ballasts will cycle at 50 times/second, while the digital ballasts cycle at 28, 860 times/second.

Using digital ballasts also prolongs the life of the fluorescent lamp. Over a year, digital ballasts will lose about 20 to 25% of their brightness. Other ballasts lose twice as much during that time. With the digital ballast the loss of luminescence is less noticeable, as the processors within ballasts make adjustments to compensate.

Last of all digital ballasts offer a number of safety features. Some include fans to keep the fluorescent lamp from overheating and suffering damage. The ballasts will also sense when something is wrong like a power short and automatically shut off until the situation is resolved.

With all these features it isn’t surprising that a number of industries have warmed up to digital ballasts. Industries like greenhouses and growers favor digital ballasts because they provide a reliable and steady stream of light that keeps electric costs low.

To find the best ballast for you, check out our store. With our supply of ballasts, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.

Why Buy LEDs? Benefits Aplenty!

LED lighting in home living room

Using a general rule of thumb, people spend nearly two-thirds of their lives awake.

Of that time, the majority of it will be spent indoors under the presence of artificial lighting. It is no secret that lighting can have a profound impact on our quality of life.

So, why spend that large chunk of time exposed to less-than-ideal lighting fixtures?

We have all experienced the effect that various types of lighting can have on moods and emotions. That is why surrounding yourself with high-quality lighting sources is such an important thing to do. In this post, we will discuss the many benefits for choosing one of the best types of illumination on the market today: LED lighting.

LED lighting is widely regarded as one of the most efficient ways of illumination today. In fact, when compared to traditional lighting, LEDs are said to use 50% less energy. The vast majority of energy produced by traditional incandescent bulbs is lost to heat, while the opposite is true for LED bulbs. With a much smaller amount of energy being lost to heat, that means LED bulbs do a much better job at maintaining room temperatures.

Building and Escalator Using LED Lighting

Maintaining energy in the workplace is one of the most crucial aspects of productivity. Dim lighting can take the motivation right out of some people, which is why vibrant LED bulbs are perfect for the office or any workspace. Other types of lighting might flicker when turning on or off, but with LEDs, the lighting instantly reaches peak brightness and is unaffected by being frequently turned on and off.

In addition to the workplace, LEDs are a solid choice to use for outdoor lighting because of their durability. They can withstand extreme temperatures and conditions. Pruf LED lamps are a great example of durability because on average, Pruf LED lights only degrade by 15% over their lifespan.

Not only are LEDs more efficient and durable than traditional lighting, they are also environmentally friendly and sustainable. A main component of the environmental friendliness is from the fact that LED lights are 100% recyclable. Another reason is that they contain zero UV emissions. ZERO! Also, since LEDs are so durable and efficient, using one LED light “can save material and production of 25 incandescent light bulbs”, according to!

Last, but not least, buying and using LED lights are extremely economical. It doesn’t take long to realize that once you hear that they last up to 10x longer than traditional lighting options. Producing high quality light for wherever you may want and need it, LED lighting is the smart way to go when choosing your next lights.

Head over to today and check out our large selection of LED lights today, including Pruf LED lights!