Certified Ballasts:

"Designing a high frequency electronic ballast ouput stage, and choosing component values for various lamp types can be a difficult engineering challenge with many hidden pitfalls." G.A.S Technologies Certification provides end users with the confidence of a "matched" digital bulb for their digital and electronic ballasts. 

Traditional 60 Hertz lamps can't be used with high frequency electronics; HPS, MF, etc. Getting the most out of your lighting system is imperative, because you pay money for the energy you use. A mis-matched ballast and lamp can cause numerous problems ranging from pre-mature failure, to the release of gases in the lamp.

Submitted ballasts go through a multitude of professional, rigorous tests in our laboratories before they are certified. Once the ballast is certified, we place a 1 year warranty on the lamp when used in conjunction with the certified ballast.


 NOTE:
 THD (Total Harmonic Distortion)
 This is THD from the BALLAST to the LAMP not the ballast to power receptacle (wall outlet)


 THD output to lamp 1% - 30%

Matched sets: All 4 star ballast are matched to the new Sunpulse lamps
  • Solis-Tek
  • Summit Lighting
  • Hydrofarm Phantom (MODELS MADE BEFORE 2013)(CURRENT PHANTOM NOT CERTIFIED) 
     
  • Metrolight
   
 THD output to lamp 31% - 100%

  • Xtrasun
  • GE
  • Hatch
  • Hacienda

 THD output to lamp 101% - 150%
  • Quantum


 
 THD output to lamp 151% - 300%



The introduction of the electronic ballast has created significant changes for the commercial food production industry. Solid-state electronics don’t behave anything like the traditional magnetic core and coil ballasts. Voltage requirements, starting sequences and high frequency have all changed as well. Advancements in HID electronic ballast power supplies have caused new distortions in these lighting systems that weren’t present before. These distortions, while invisible to human eyes, contribute to mechanical problems such as premature lamp failure and excessive stress on electronic components. 

What is Total Harmonic Distortion? (THD)

When you put different waveform distortions together in a power supply, you get a new reference called Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). Total Harmonic Distortion in the power system can distort voltages and overload equipment. It’s important to not only understand harmonics, but also how the electrical and power system reacts to the harmonics. The total harmonic distortion, or THD, of a digital lighting system signal is a measurement of the total harmonic distortion present, bulb, ballast, etc., and is defined as the ratio of the sum of the powers of all harmonic components to the power of the fundamental frequency. The lamps waveforms, power current and the operating frequency are influenced by lamp, ballast type, power conditions, lighting controls and temperature. Lesser THD allows the components in digital lighting system to produce a higher quality digital signal by reducing harmonic distortions that are added by the ballast. A THD rating of < 1% is considered to be the high end of the scale. This reference applies to high frequency electronic ballasts which generate the THD that the lamp broadcasts. The lamp is literally broadcasting the frequency and any signal noise generated by the ballast. All electronic ballasts have a different level of THD. Some popular e-ballasts are running from 250% to 400% THD! That level of THD is a very large, unacceptable number. These THD’s are causing massive problems for the lamp and ballast and are producing huge amounts of signal hash, which translates into poorer light quality.

How is it created?

THD will be created by using particular digital or electronic high frequency ballasts, a particular cord set and a particular lamp and fixture. When each of these particular components are combined together it creates the total harmonic distortion. A high THD can not only distort light, but can also shorten the life of electronic ballasts and HID lamps. Harmonics in these distorted wave forms can also cause interference and put burdens on electrical components.


Important Note:
The Age of Electronic HID Ballasts is here. For the last several years these ballasts have been introduced and then embraced by the end users. This presents ever changing challenges for lamp manufacturers. New revisions of ballasts are happening nearly every year now, as we see with the use of dimming functions and new switches. Electronic Ballasts are High Frequency! Core and coil ballasts run at 50/60 Hertz. Electronic ballasts will run upwards of 22,000 Hertz. 

Imagine making a speaker for an amp, and having the amp manufacturer re-tune their amps every year! This creates challenges for the speaker manufacturer who has to change his speaker so that it won't blow up on the wrong amp. Ballast companies don't make lamps, but yet the lamps and ballasts still need to match for the end users.

What's the point?  G.A.S laboratories have "tuned" our lamps for certified high frequency ballasts. Those ballasts that passed our testing, received a certified seal of approval. Now, if the companies change their ballasts, and don't submit them for testing, then we cannot offer a "certified" seal of approval on those newer versions, or revisions made to older versions. We can only test what is submitted for testing. Certification applies to tested models, versions or revisions. If it was not tested in our labs, then that particular ballast has no certification.

As a consumer, it’s important to understand the importance of the certification. G.A.S certification helps make sure that your lamp isn't destroyed by high frequency and your lamp will last its rated lifetime.

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