What Is a Universal Ballast?
For the most part, you may be familiar with lights that you screw in or plug into a base that are ready to roll when you switch the lights on. These lights, so-called “plug and play” options, possess all of the features and technology that are required to operate them using most existing electrical infrastructure. Some lights, such as LEDs, metal halide lamps, and fluorescent lights, require separate components in order to regulate the voltage and the current supplied to the lamp in order to guarantee that the lamp works as intended. In some LEDs and some fluorescent lights such as CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), the drivers and ballast are contained as a part of the unit and thus do not need to be purchased or installed separately. Nonetheless, lights like these still require a ballast to ensure that they turn on, reach their full brightness, and then offer the light output that they are specified to offer.
Among the many types of fluorescent ballasts out there, you may have heard a number of different terms used and reused as you learn more about lighting technology. Among the terms associated with lighting circuits and ballasts is the term universal ballast, which may apply to one of two things.
The first thing that the term universal ballast may apply to is a ballast produced by a company known as Universal Lighting Technologies. Universal Lighting Technologies, which is actually a subsidiary of Panasonic Lighting Americas, Inc., produces a number of different types of specialty equipment and fixtures for lighting circuits. The many components they produce are not only ballasts but LED drivers and modules, analog dimming equipment, electronic ballasts, and many other lighting products.
That is the first thing that may come up in a search for a universal ballast, but there is another specialized usage for the term. You may hear a piece of equipment as a universal ballast also referred to as an “adaptable ballast” in which case it is a specialized type of electronic ballast that is compatible with more than one type of lamp, more than one quantity of lamp, or with a number of different input voltages.
These types of ballasts, known as universal or adaptable ballasts, are sometimes desirable because they allow a user to use one ballast for a number of different lamp types, oftentimes a mix of different lamps such as linear fluorescent lamps and circline lamps. They can also be used in the construction of luminaries which usually hold several fluorescent lamps together. Their design and usage are both specialized and that suits them admirably to quite a number of different settings and purposes.
All of this information can, however, seem a little overwhelming, especially if you came to this article without the basic understanding of the purpose of a ballast in the first place. If you want to learn more about what these types of ballasts are and can do, visit AtlantaLightBulbs.com and get in touch with their team, which can be reached at 1-888-988-2852. Their customer service team will fill you in on some of the fine details behind their structure and operation.
Additionally, if the case is that for some reason you need to find a supplier of these or other specialty lighting equipment, you can kill two birds with one stone at Atlanta Light Bulbs as well. On their website, you can easily find not just a number of ballasts, fixtures, and components for commercial lighting, but you can also find LED retrofits and any number of lighting solutions for domestic and residential settings as well. In summary, if you have a need for lighting equipment – even specialty lighting equipment – you can find it at AtlantaLightBulbs.com.
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