Skip to content

Functions of a Grow Light Ballast

Ever wonder what a grow light ballast does? Well, for starters, it takes care of the electrical needs of your HID lighting system. This includes regulating the voltage and current to keep you safe from shock hazards that can come about as a result of faulty wiring. Please see the following details for more information.

1. What is a grow light ballast?

A grow light ballast is a device that regulates the flow of electricity to provide power for plant growth. This powerful equipment can be found in all types of indoor gardens and farms, providing plants with ample amounts of energy so they may thrive indoors year-round without any natural sunlight.

2. How does a grow light ballast work?

How does a grow light ballast work

A grow light ballast works with any fluorescent fixture to convert 120 volts of electricity to high-voltage pulses. The ballast then regulates these pulses before sending them into the lamp at a steady rate. This allows you to use Melontek Grow Light without worry about whether or not it will work properly, and it can be replaced easily if it breaks down as well!

3. Different types of grow light ballasts

There are two types of ballasts: magnetic and electronic.

A magnetic ballast has a large spool of wire wrapped around steel sheets. This generator produces a large amount of voltage necessary to power up a bulb.

Magnetic ballasts usually last longer than electronic ballasts. They can even operate for years in harsh conditions.

Moreover,  they are manufactured to meet standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which guarantees a ballast and a lamp run together correctly.

However, magnetic ballasts are bulky and release a lot of heat.

Instead of a magnetic coil, electronic ballasts use microchips and semiconductors to provide the high voltage needed by HID lamps.

The good news is that an electronic ballast provides up to 30% more light than magnetic ones despite having similar energy consumption.

Since there’s no heavy coil, electronic ballasts are lighter, smaller, and a lot cooler.

Unfortunately, there’s no ANSI standard for their compatibility with the 250+ watts versions of MH and HPS lamps.

There is also another option of digital ballast. A ballast is really only digital if it contains a microprocessor.

4. Advantages and disadvantages of using a grow light ballast.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but most of us are better off using electronic ballasts. They run cooler and are more efficient (higher output while using less power). Most have dimmer switch options (meaning they can run lower wattage bulbs as well) and can run both HPS and MH bulbs.

But they have disadvantages as well, and they are definitely not the best choice for everyone.

Without the ballast to regulate the amount of electricity going into the bulb, the light would continue to increase in intensity until the bulb blows. Ballast increases the lifetime of bulbs used in a grow light.

5. When should you use one type over another?

Electronic ballasts are preferred because of efficiency.

​Electronic ballasts are cooler and produce a higher output while using less power. On the other hand, LED grow lights do not need a ballast. Everything you need is included in the fixture, so there are no additional components to buy.

6. General information:

  • Magnetic ballasts can get hot because they are the primary producer of heat when using HID lamps.
  • Ensure that magnetic ballasts are well-ventilated. Hence, they should never be covered.
  • Keep your ballasts clean because lint and dust can start fires.
  • Ballasts are high-voltage equipment, so always be careful to avoid electrocution.
  • Always unplug a ballast before handling it.
  • Secure cables to the walls or ceiling of your marijuana growing space.


In conclusion, we can say that A ballast acts as a transformer to supply a light bulb enough voltage to help the bulb jumpstart.It will regulate voltage surge so there’s less current when the bulb is warming up. Ensure you’ve correctly matched the ballast’s wattage to the wattage rating of your bulb type to maximize the power of your tools.