How much does it cost to replace a ballast?
A replacement ballast costs about $10-25 depending on capacity and brand. The bite is that an electrician trip charge (which includes 30 or 60 minutes work) is going to be $75-150 probably - for about 5 minutes work on each light fixture.
In a fluorescent lighting system, the ballast regulates the current to the lamps and provides sufficient voltage to start the lamps. Without a ballast to limit its current, a fluorescent lamp connected directly to a high voltage power source would rapidly and uncontrollably increase its current draw.
- There are two types of ballasts in the fluorescent family: magnetic and electronic. Magnetic ballasts are actually the older ballast technology. Both T12 linear fluorescents and two-pin CFLs use magnetic ballasts. Fluorescent T8s and 4-pin CFLs, meanwhile, use an electronic ballast.
- An electric current in the gas excites mercury vapor, which produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the lamp to glow. A fluorescent lamp converts electrical energy into useful light much more efficiently than incandescent lamps.
- The ballast takes in electricity and then regulates current to the bulbs. A typical ballast will generally last about 20 years, but cold environments and bad bulbs can decrease this lifespan significantly. You can get a new ballast at a hardware store or home center and install it in about 10 minutes.
you have to remove the ballast- as most t8 tubes have an electronic one inside. If you put them in t12- you will burn the bulb up and they will work sporadically before they die. Also the fixture gets blackend. You must use non shunted lamp holders.
- An inductor is very common in line-frequency ballasts to provide the proper starting and operating electrical condition to power a fluorescent lamp, neon lamp, or high intensity discharge (HID) lamp. (Because of the use of the inductor, such ballasts are usually called magnetic ballasts.)
- The quick and short answer is, if your office, store, hospital or school is still being lit with T12 linear fluorescent lamps, then yes, you have likely already experienced difficulty sourcing replacement products for burned out lamps or ballasts. Even some T8 lamps have been phased out.
- A T8 lamp (on the right in the figure below) is eight-eighths of an inch, or one inch (2.54 cm), in diameter. Both T12 and T8 lamps use the medium bi-pin base, which allows T8 lamps to fit into the same luminaires as T12 lamps of the same length.
Updated: 18th November 2019