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T12 Light Ballasts

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Some general information.

At, we want to make sure that you’re going to get the best quality T12 ballast on the market today at a reasonable price. The quality does make a difference as there have been many imports that have flooded the market, some that have a very poor track record. That’s why we only carried the best-performing ones we know of with a five-year warranty. If in that time any of the ballasts fail, will replace it at no charge. These are a common replacement item for any fluorescent light fixture, typically lasting anywhere from 10 to 15 years.

Ballasts are always used for fluorescent lamps.
Every fluorescent lamp that you see in a light fixture has to use a fluorescent ballast; it’s there to start the lamp and then maintain the voltage for proper operation. Many of these were made for high-efficiency and energy-saving projects long ago, and these would replace the T12 magnetic ballasts that were used before. Many times people would retrofit to the new T8 lamps and the electronic ballasts making their system more energy-efficient. And if you still have a T12 system, it’s still an excellent way to replace those existing lamps with brand-new T8s and ballast. Most of the old T12 lamps were a rapid start variety, and now most of the T8 ballasts are in instant start version. What you’ll notice is that the older T12 lamps would sometimes have a slow start or even a flickering start, that was eliminated with the instant-on capability of T8. So if you’re not interested in going to LED yet, this is still an excellent lighting solution utilizing T8 electronic fluorescent ballast and lamps going forward.

The LED energy-saving ideas.
And speaking about LED, it might be a good time to take a look at that as an energy-saving solution that can save you a lot of money over time. Frankly, many people want to eliminate ballasts in their light fixtures and who can blame them? Ballasts are just another piece of maintenance, and that’s how a lot of building owners see it. The higher cost of maintaining a fluorescent system is substantial these days compared to LED. You can replace these with LED lamps that run on line voltage power and will have no ballast. It will require some rewiring of the sockets if you keep the same existing sockets. We do have some socket harnesses that are a retrofit that is already prewired for LED, and we sell them as a kit. For some of you who don’t want to have the hassle of trying to figure out whether the sockets you have are going to work correctly, this is a good solution and very inexpensive. If you want to know how much you’re going to save in real dollars, make sure to download our free Excel spreadsheet on the left-hand column of our website. It’s an energy calculation sheet where you can put in your existing system data and then compared to one of our products here, and you can see how fast your payback will be. It even will tell you maintenance savings if you need to figure that in as well. Most people see paybacks anywhere from 1 to 3 years when they’re replacing something like a T8 ballast and lamp combination going to LED. There’s never been a better time to take a look at this because there are many electric utility rebates that could lower the payback even further. Those incentives sometimes can be lucrative and will work with all the products that we have to offer.

The same ballast for different quantity lamps.
One of the things that people always liked about T12 ballast was that they could operate several lamps at the same time or a single one. The only thing to keep in mind is that some of the ballasts will operate either two, three or four lamps at a time. And regardless of which lamp type you use, the only thing to be aware of is how many lights it will operate. This is often really good for office lighting, but there is one thing you need to know. Some offices will have a variance of dual operation of either inboard or outboard lamps. If they do, then that light fixture uses two ballasts, not just one. That’s the only time when it comes to the replacement that you need to be aware you might have more than one ballast in the fixture. But for most fluorescent light fixtures the ballast will match up with operating however many lamps are in the light fixture itself.

A quick word about ballast factor.
Some of the ballast that is available for T12 fluorescents have had different ballast factors as well. The ballast factor will tell you whether you have something that is for standard light output, low light output or high light output. Most standard ballast factors are somewhere around .95, and some of the other ones are either lower or higher depending on the light output you want to get from the lamps. That would also correspond to a higher amount of wattage that the whole system is going to draw. It’s a small thing, but most ballasts operate with the standard ballast factor right out of the box.

How can we help you today?
If you have any questions about T12 ballast or anything else you see on our website, please email us or call and we can help you with identifying the ballast you’re trying to replace. Sometimes the codes on the ballast can be a little bit cryptic, and we can help you decipher that and get you the right ballast. The label will also show you everything including the wiring diagram if it’s rapid start or instant start. We offer a complete line of lighting products and services including different components like this that are used today in everyday lighting. If you’re looking for a larger quantity of these ballasts, make sure to let us know, and we can get you an individual quote so you can get a price than even from your local store. Some of the major brands that are available in the market are GE lighting, Philips Advance, Osram Sylvania and many more. But regardless of the brand, we want to get you the best quality ballast while we get you a great price and if you’re doing a large-scale retrofit or need a large quantity for replacement, we can help you there.
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