Modern homes are simply not complete without gorgeous or minimalistic light fixtures. Moreover, they play a vital role in small homegrown gardens. But you will often notice these light bursting.
You must have wondered why this happens or how you can protect your precious light fixtures? Well, it happens because these small lights cannot handle the incredible surge of power that is more suitable for more essential items such as an air-conditioner, refrigerator, or television.
Do not worry, because all you need is the best digital ballast to ensure that these products do not burn. These products are versatile, and you can implement them pretty much in any place where a small lamp is needed.
11 Best Digital Ballasts Review
Products like these are not very mainstream, so it might be challenging to understand which brand is more suitable for you. But we already have a list of some fantastic digital ballast ready to be picked up!
1. Apollo Horticulture Purple Reign Grow Light Ballast
Power interruption is a big problem, especially in distant places. Unfortunately, such sites are also an excellent spot for a small-sized or even a big sized farm. So, what can you do to ensure that the light is always up in that greenhouse?
Well, the Apollo ballast is a perfect example of a product that can reduce power-interruption issues with the help of circuit-technology, which you will find embedded inside the product. So, it senses a surge of power that might cause a short circuit.
Consequently, it shuts the light fixture or lamp and protects it. The product is also convenient as you can view operating wattage of the device on a digital display. That is how this analog device turns into a digital product!
It is incredibly user-friendly and does not take much space at all. So, whether you have a bigger space or limited space, this product will fit right it. It is about 4 inches tall and 14 inches in length, and it weighs only 9 pounds.
Safe to say that it is a portable product. Plus, the bright purple color will look adorable in any garden! The product has a simple rectangular size, so no odd shape that might cause fitting issues.
Usually, devices like these are notorious for making loud noises, but not this baby! It is an incredibly silent ballast.
2. VIVOSUN Dimmable Electronic Digital Ballast
A new device for protecting other electronic devices indeed consumes some energy itself. More energy consumption means more cost on your part. However, you need a ballast if you do not want your farming lights to burst.
Hence, going for an efficient ballast such as the product from VIVOSUN, should ensure optimum protection and also save up on energy. Since this ballast can reduce wastage, it thus improves power supply.
That means it converts a little amount of energy to power itself. Moreover, this product lives a longer life by 15%. There are other factors besides less wastage that helps the product in being durable.
An internal fan cools the ballast and generates 25% less heat in general. Places, where indoor plants or even outdoor plants grow, are generally hotter, that is why the less heat generation helps the product so much. The cooling system also helps in bulb-life protection.
Since it can reduce ignition failure and short-circuit, the bulbs automatically become more secure. It is also a powerful tool with about 1000 wattage capability. However, you have to check whether the bulbs wattage specification matches the ballast or not.
Lastly, this product is extremely portable and will weigh about 7.98 pounds. So, you can easily carry this or replace its positioning inside your plant farm.
3. TOPHORT 1000W Digital Dimmable Electronic Ballast
You do not want a digital ballast that saves the lights but ends up burning other machines. That can happen quite quickly, and frankly has happened with many ballasts, owing to several designs and circuit faults.
However, the TOPHORT product is extremely safe, and you will not have to worry about it damaging other home appliances. This product can reduce harmonic distortion, or commonly known as THD by 99%, thus ensuring a completely safe design.
Moreover, outset fuse power factors help in restricting by shutting off the lights when it notices any discrepancies in voltage. While shutting off, it also ensures that it does not hamper the main power line, which in turn protects the other appliances.
However, you might think that automatic shut-off is a hassle, as you might not notice when the lights went safely off. Well, that is not a problem, as the ballast turns all the small lights on again within 1-3 minutes.
Thus, your plants will not be deprived of light for long! Another cool feature is its adjustable efficiency. So, if you know that the ballast does not have to be at its best on a particular day, you can set the efficiency at 50% to 70% and always bump it up to a full 100% whenever needed.
It comes with all the power cords and every other item you will need to set up, so it is incredibly user-friendly.
4. Quantum 1000W Digital Ballast
Sometimes digital ballast causes a problem of varying light intensity. So, while trying to monitor the passage of power, the ballast may restrict the necessary amount of electricity needed to emit intense light.
Thus, your light will start flickering or shine with less intensity, which might harm the growth of the plants. It is also not a flattering look for beautiful light fixtures inside the house. That is why we recommend you go for the ballast by Quantum.
It performs the primary function of the product while still managing to ensure optimum lighting. The lights will glow with a higher lumen even when the generators are on. This action is also possible for another feature, which is efficiency-control.
So, you can adjust how much power the ballast should utilize at a given time. Hence, if the electricity is out and you are using a generator, simply increase the efficiency to 100% to get bright lights.
On the other hand, if you want to save energy and cost, you can also decrease the efficiency by 50%. It is also a convenient tool that does not need additional wiring because the cords needed for 120 or 240V will be available with the package.
This product also remains significantly cooler than most ballast, thanks to its resin sealing and humidity installations.
5. Phantom PHB2010 Digital Ballast
Farming is a very calming activity, and this peace is what most people love immensely about the whole process. However, your solitude can be in jeopardy if you accidentally choose cheap quality ballast.
Moreover, it is not surprising for a digital ballast not to make noise. So, if you are not on-board with a tiny product disturbing your peace, you can look for the Phantom PHB2010.
As the name of the brand is Phantom, you will not even notice that an electricity surge controlling device is at work inside the farm because it is so silent. Among other things, it has a high functioning microprocessor that ensures silence.
It also makes the product more reliable and ensures a smooth business. So, anytime the power runs out, this ballast will be quick to adjust with a generator and protect the lights. Moreover, this device has a hot-restrike program.
This program ensures that any appliance connected to it does not shut-off unexpectedly. It is a durable and efficient product, but four different settings help the tool to be more power-saving.
You can go from 60% to 100% at will and even access a super boost for dark, gloomy days. This ballast also has LED indications for easy notifying about any issue.
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6. iPower GLBLST1000DX4 Digital Dimmable Electronic Ballast
It is quite reasonable that your home system may have two different voltage specifications. However, such features are not widespread among ballasts. As a result, you might face restrictions as to where you can connect the device.
But if you had the ballast by iPower, you would not have to worry about dual voltage issues. It easily adjusts with both 120V and 240V and also has superior quality cables to help the transition.
Usually, these ballasts do not have long cords, which makes it hard for the user to find a suitable place to keep it. For a continuous connection, they always have to place it beside a source, which might not always be the preferred position for a ballast.
However, the cord on this device is 8-feet long; hence you can keep the ballast wherever you want. Besides voltage compatibility, it can also transition smoothly between MH and HPS light bulbs with the help of microchip programming.
The smooth transition allows the bulb to start within a few minutes when the ballast has to turn them off owing to irregular electricity flow. It does so and still manages to improve lumen by 30% as this product is superior to conventional magnetic ballasts.
For user-convenience and situation, you can even dim the lights and access different levels of efficiency with one ballast. So, that enables the users to be more economical.
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7. iPower HPS Digital Dimmable Ballast
You cannot always be available to tend to your plants, which can be problematic if they depend on indirect sources of light. Even if you connect a ballast, a conventional one will not be intuitive enough to work in your absence.
However, the iPower HPS ballast is extremely smart, and you can insert a schedule for when it should function for an entire week! So, even when you are not around, the ballast will work while maintaining efficiency.
And of course, you can also dim the lights or increase the lumen with 100% efficiency. It is also a convenient tool that you can keep anywhere and attach to a distant power source, thanks to the long power cord.
You also get additional items such as a 19-inch wing reflector, ceramic sockets, hydroponic S-plug, etc. that will help you create a more intricate set-up.
Moreover, this ballast is excellent for allowing healthy plant growth for several reasons. It comes with a German aluminum reflector that bounces 95% of the light back. Thus, your plants will receive concentrated light and more lumen intensity.
This product can also optimize the light spectrum and active photosynthetic radiation (PAR) to help the plants flourish faster. However, you need to ensure whether the plants need such intensity, or they might wither sooner.
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8. TopoLite Indoor Plants w/Grow Light Ballast
Before connecting any ballast, you must ensure that the power level of the lights and the ballast matches. For example, if your ballasts states 1000W power, the light should also produce an equivalent amount of power.
However, this system restricts users a lot, and they always have to stick to one level of power. So, if you want the option of variable power, you should try the ballast from TopoLite. It can function with 600 watts as well as 1000 watts.
Thus, you can get bulbs with some range instead of just using powerful 1000W lights. Moreover, you can also play around with the intensity of the lights. So, if the sun is bright on a day, and you do not need much power, simply lower the efficiency.
On the contrary, if it is raining heavily and you need the lights to perform their best, activate the Super Lumen mode to achieve the highest intensity possible from your fixtures. Hence, this product is extremely customizable based on your situations.
The product could not function so efficiently if it had not reduced waste. Since it utilizes power so well, it automatically decreases waste giving you more output for your money.
It is also suitable for MS or HPS-grow light systems as it can stabilize input power and output luminous flux. Metal halide bulbs can also adjust to this product.
9. VIVOSUN Dimmable Digital Ballast
Electricity and heat do not mesh well together. However, such a small device like a ballast can be prone to over-heating if it does not have a proper heat-dissipation system. This factor might pose a threat to your plants as well as other electrical appliances.
However, VIVOSUN thought about this issue and came out with ballast with a fully-functional internal exhaust system. So, while the circuits are hard at work trying to control and monitor the flow of current, the exhaust fan will keep them cool.
Another product from the same brand has made our list before, but this is also special as it can also support metal halide and sodium bulbs. These bulbs, in particular, have high pressure, which is why they burst easily.
But you no longer have to worry about that, thanks to this ballast. The cooling system keeps the product calm and helps avoid short-circuits and ignition-failure, which can frequently happen from high temperatures.
This product operates at an adequate 50-60 Hz and can work with 120 volts as well as 240 volts. So, the user can connect the device to different power sources. At the same time, it can also decrease waster and function at 110% efficiency level.
In the Super Lumen mode, the efficiency becomes higher than 100%, but you can also bring it down. You will also receive four rubber feet to create a barrier between the product and the ground.
10. SolisTek Matrix LCD DE Dimmable Digital Ballast
Usually, for horticulture and large field size, you would want a heavy-duty ballast. However, industrial quality ballast will also be a bit bulky and take up a considerable amount of space.
But if space is not an issue and all you care about is the coverage and output, then you should undoubtedly go for the SolisTek Matrix product. It is durable and compelling with a double-ended design.
So, it should cover more of the field than a regular-sized ballast. As mentioned, this ballast is more extensive than most; hence it is 9.5 inches tall and 6 inches wide. The product also has a bit of weight to it.
However, 16 pounds is easily displaceable, and you can move it to any place you want. So, it might be large, but it is still portable. The power output of the model is 1000W, which means you have to use bulbs with 1000W as well.
It is also programmable, and you can give input regarding the time and date. Moreover, you can even use a remote to control the device, but you will have to purchase it separately.
Another ingenious feature of this product is the pre-ignition system. It ensures that the ballast has secure connections with all the appliances before turning the lights on. This thing also has an LCD where you can easily view the readings.
Features to Look for Before Buying
Any electrical appliance is dangerous if you do not know how to set-up. So, to understand how these products work and to avoid any unfortunate accident, you need to know which features to check before buying a digital ballast.
The first and foremost thing to do before you buy a ballast is to check your bulbs' power output. Because if the bulb is 1000 watts while the ballast is 400 watts, it will not work.
Ultimately, the product will fail to restrict unusual electricity passage as its power output level is different. So, you can do two things, either check the bulbs' specifications or buy the ballast and then buy the lights.
The efficiency will determine how intense the lights will be. However, you do not want only one intensity level as the weather and climate take different forms every day. Yet, not every ballast has adjustable efficiency features.
So, look for products where you can change the efficiency from 60% to 100%, and sometimes even go brighter at 110% efficiency level!
This factor will not matter much if you have enough space. However, if you have limited horticulture space and you want to accommodate as much as you can to the plants, then we suggest you go for a smaller-sized ballast.
A miniature ballast does not mean that it will be incapable, so no need to worry about output. However, these devices will be much more portable and more comfortable to displace to different locations in your field.
You may ask why you need to check the cord before buying a ballast. Well, the cord is the intermediary between the source and the product. So, you first have to check its durability.
More importantly, you need to see if the cord is long enough and whether you can connect the product anywhere with ease. Usually, these ballast cords do not run long, but you can snatch 10 feet or 8 feet cord if you search hard enough.
It is usual for the ballasts to get heated as the horticulture atmosphere can be very humid. However, this rise in temperature is not good news for the product as many mishaps can occur.
So, it is wiser to have an efficient heat dissipating system inside the ballasts that continuously keeps the product cool.
These products will undoubtedly turn the product off when something weird happens. But if you want more convenience, also check whether they can turn the lights on automatically.
Some ballasts even have programmable features that enable the users to schedule the time and date.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is a digital ballasts better than a magnetic ballasts?
Yes, in many ways, these devices are better than magnetic ballasts as they consume less power and deliver more output.
2. How often should I change the ballasts?
Products like these should easily last for 2-3 years. However, if it still works after that time, you should replace the device to avoid any accident.
3. How can I stop the ballasts from heating?
You cannot manually stop the product from heating, but you can purchase devices with in-built cooling systems.
4. Are these products portable?
Yes, most digital ballasts are small and weigh less. These products mostly weigh somewhere between 10 to 20 pounds, unless you go for industry-grade models.
5. Can these products be more versatile?
Yes, if you get a digital ballast that has efficiency adjusting options, then they can come in handy for various other work.
Finding the best digital ballast amongst so many existing models is undoubtedly tricky. However, we hope that this review had every component needed to make an educated decision, and surely your plants will bask in the new, more stable lighting set-up!