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.
Also, how long do t12 lamps last?
If you have 1,000 fixtures, that means $12,000 a year in energy savings. Plus, the normal payback period for upgrading to T5 or T8 lamps is usually only 1-3 years. Additionally, the T12 lamp only lasts for approximately 28,800 hours, while a T8 lamp can last for 36,000 hours and a T5 for 52,000.
How much does it cost to install 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.