If you're new to commercial lighting, the concept of a ballast can be an odd one. You’re probably used to just screwing light bulbs into sockets and flipping switches. The transition to ballast-dependent lighting technology can be frustrating and confusing.
Practical advice on commercial lighting from LED retrofits to lighting design.
Scroll down for our latest posts.
Have you ever heard a light bulb buzz?
Technically, no. The buzzing you hear is coming from the ballast, not the bulb itself.
Nerdy lighting technicalities, I know. Ballasts, light bulbs – it's all the same, isn't it?
As we start a new year full of new retrofit, design, and maintenance projects, we've updated our Lighting Terms Glossary to include some important terms that you'll want to be aware of this year.
When you’re ready to make the leap to LED lighting, it can be a little scary. There are a number of different terms and performance metrics that can make a simple thing feel hard.
Let me help you sort through a few of the most common specs, and offer you an easy way out!
Check out Regency's online Lighting Glossary for a more extensive list of lighting terms.
We've used our Lighting Insights blog to help readers understand light bulb part numbers so they can more accurately replace or retrofit their lighting. Another piece of the part number puzzle is ANSI code, which can help to pair ballasts with lamps.
What are ANSI codes?
ANSI stands for "American National Standards Institute," which is an organization that develops standards for a wide range of commercial products. In lighting, ANSI codes have particular relevance to common types of light bulbs, but they are less and less common in the modern lighting world. That said, they remain a useful piece of information for finding the right ballast for your lighting.
We teach HID part numbers on Fridays in our School of Lighting program, and that's fitting because they're pretty easy, relative to fluorescents and incandescents.
After new employees spend hours trying to memorize chart after chart for incandescent and fluorescent part numbers, HIDs feel like a gift.
And if you've been tracking with our part numbers series so far, you might feel the same way, now that we've arrived at HIDs.
Lighting manufacturers speak different dialects of the same language: part numbers. The point of our part number series is to help you to better understand what all of those characters on your light bulb mean, so you can accurately and easily order replacement products.
Understanding part numbers
We recently wrote about incandescent bulb part numbers, discussing the difficulties that come with translating a native language into a secondary language.
Some people say that there are certain languages that are easier to translate than others, because of how they are structured.
Growing up in Japan, I learned quite a bit about the challenges that come with learning a second language. I remember having both English-speaking and Japanese-speaking friends and being the translator between the two groups. And I had to work hard to make sure information didn't get lost in translation.
Oftentimes, there were tricky moments for me, as the translator. Like, when my English-speaking friends would tell a joke while smiling, that smile was perceived as nervousness by my Japanese friends. The cultures were so different, each having so many nuances, that most communications had challenges like that. I was constantly trying to figure out how to accurately capture the intent, the context, and proper body language from the native culture and properly translate it for the other culture.
If you outfit your buildings with fluorescent, HID, or plug-and-play linear LED lighting, you depend on a device called a ballast.
When the right ballasts are used, the end result can mean a cost-effective lighting solution that is energy efficient and gives you advanced controls over the amount of light produced in your space. Let’s dig a little deeper.