Best HID Ballast Reviews
Growing plants indoors or in a grow tent requires the use of a grow light. The larger your garden is, or depending on the types of plants you want to grow, strong lights may be necessary for the right heat and light settings. HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps are gaining popularity without many growers, because of their long lasting and very bright lights. To use these, you’ll need to find the best HID ballast to hook up to your lamps.
What Does a HID Ballast Do?
Although HID lighting has been around for centuries and is a very effective light source, it is not a particularly stable light compared to others. The problem that HID lights have is that they need a very high amount of power to turn on, but the power level needs to reduce sharply after the light has turned on.
Because of this design complexity, a HID ballast is needed to maintain the lights properly and keep them running at the right level of power for a long time. A HID ballast regulates the supply of power by giving off a high-power output to turn the bulb on, but instantly switching to the low power for regular running.
Benefits of Getting the Best HID Ballast
Here are the benefits of using the best HID ballast for your grow lights:
Instead of suppling a constant stream of power, HID ballasts give off the right amount of power at the right moments to start the bulbs and keep them running. Since HID bulbs give off a brighter light than other types of bulbs, even though they use less power, this is a significant benefit for you.
Many ballasts come with dimming switches that allow you to choose how much light you want your plants to have at different times. This level of control gives you the ability to make changes when necessary for your plants’ life cycles.
Longer Bulb Life
Proper power regulation and surge protection helps ensure your bulbs last for as long as possible instead of burning out prematurely. Considering how much you spend on bulbs, this is useful.
Top 5 HID Ballast Reviews Comparison Table
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How to Choose the Right HID Ballast
What do you need to look for when you’re selecting the best HID ballast? There are a few important things to look at, depending on what you want to use it for. I am discussing HID ballasts for grow lights, so these are some of the things you will want to look at:
Voltage refers to the type of power coming into the ballast. Some outlets and power sources put out a different voltage than others, so you can make sure with your ballast that you are getting the right type for your home and power source.
Not all ballasts will accept each voltage, so it’s important that you know what’s coming from your home before you make a purchase. In general, most ballasts accept at least 2 different levels, so find out which one you have and move on from there.
Whereas voltage refers to the power input, wattage refers to the output. This will determine what type of lamps you will be able to hook up. Your grow light bulbs come at a certain wattage level, and your HID ballast much be compatible with that wattage if you want it to work properly.
Keep in mind that if you’re using multiple lights in the same system you may have to use multiple ballasts to compensate for the extra power that’s needed. Some ballasts can connect to multiple lights, but many can only handle one light. Make sure you ballast has enough power and output to do what you want it to.
If you want the ability to change the amount of light coming from your bulbs, you will want a dimming ballast. All this does is regulate the amount of power going to your lights in a way that causes the brightness to change. Dimming is very useful for a lot of indoor growing gardens, because it allows you to adjust the lights based on different growing phases of the plants and different times of day.
Ballasts for indoor growing are not always waterproof, but some are designed to be waterproof to help with the moist environments. Because you’ll be watering or misting plants a lot in your greenhouse or indoor garden, the water can affect HID ballasts if you don’t place them carefully. You may need to place the ballasts in an area that will always remain dry, or else they might be in danger of water damage.
Digital or Not
HID ballasts can be either digital or analog. Digital are usually more adjustable, while analog last a long time without much need for attention or modification. A lot of common ballasts for growing indoors are digital, because of the higher level of modifications that are possible.
Digital HID ballasts are usually cheaper to operate, which makes them a good choice if you have a lot of grow lights or reflectors to hook up. If you’re growing using the hydroponics method, reliable digital HID ballasts are a great thing to have, because of the need for dimmability with these types of plants.
Lastly, digital ballasts are completely quiet, while non-digital tend to make a little noise when they’re on. Obviously, your plants won’t care about the noise at all, but if a little background humming bothers you than you’ll want to use digital.
Finding the best HID ballast is essential if you want set up a great indoor growing area. To get the full benefits of a ballast, you need to get one that’s compatible with the rest of your system, so make sure that you pay attention to all the points mentioned above and check out what you already have.
As far as a great product to look at, I would recommend the ReVolt Digital Ballast for HPS/MH. It’s a good all-around pleaser, because it can accept a wide range of voltage inputs and releases a wide range of wattage outputs. Although it’s not waterproof, it is digital and has a dimming feature, so it has a lot of functionality that will be very useful for you.