Ballasts are necessary to ignite HID lamps and supply the appropriate power to them. In order to best select the right ballast for you, you need to first decide which of the following attributes is necessary…
Wattage (i.e. 400, 600, 1000)
Lamp type (Metal Halide (MH), High Pressure Sodium (HPS) or Both
Once you’ve determined the wattage and type of lamps you wish to power with this ballast, you need to next determine if you would prefer a Magnetic Ballast or an Electronic/Digital Ballast.
Magnetic Ballasts - Pros
Easy to maintain/repair at a low cost
Very long potential lifespan
Magnetic Ballasts - Cons
Large & Heavy
Digital Ballasts - Pros
Little-to-no heat produced
Capable of running multiple wattages
Capable of dimming light
Operates both HPS and MH lamps
Digital Ballasts - Cons
May reduce life of lamp
Difficult to repair
Many have high failure rate (when compared to magnetics)
As you can see, there is some give-and-take between the two types of ballasts. The magnetic ballasts are the workhorse of the industry where the digital ballasts are a newer, feature-packed option. Is heat an issue? Then the digital ballasts are probably a better fit. Do you just need a simple ballast to throw in the corner and not have to think about? Then the magnetic would be better suited for your style. Which on is best for you? Well, only you can decide that for yourself.
Choose the ballast that works for you and visit us in our store or online - The leading Colorado / Boulder / Denver Hydroponic Systems and Hydroponic Supplies business.