Essentially, light ballast is a device that controls the starting and operation of the voltages used in gas discharge lights that are electrical. Some common light sources that use gas discharge include high-intensity lamps and fluorescent lamps. A fluorescent lamp, of course, would require fluorescent ballast. The ballast itself could be any part of the circuit that limits the current flow. Some of the resistors are fairly simple, while others are a bit more complicated.
So why is light ballast important? For starters, discharge lights have negative resistance this means that they cannot control their currents. This is not only a safety hazard, but it is not very economical either. If the current is regulated then the light might not work very well, or it might not work at all. Simple light ballast can be utilized in small light sources, but more complicated ones have to be used in lights that have a lot of power to them. In these instances, fluorescent ballast is more practical.
In a fluorescent lamp, which is a gas-discharge light, the current that goes through the light source causes a decreased resistance. If there is a lot of voltage going on then the currents themselves will climb on one another, producing the energy that they need. However, if this current is not properly regulated then the electrical components in the light can blow out and that is not a good thing. Therefore, fluorescent ballast is needed. Light ballast found in a fluorescent lamp regulates this in order to ensure that it works more efficiently as well as more economically. These are both properties that you want in your light sources. Although fluorescent ballast is unable to stop current changes, it can slow them down and that is still very helpful. It only has to slow them down for a small period of time, too, since the current consistently reverses itself over time.
In the past, light ballast was not as understood as they are today so the lighting economy was not as great. You can imagine that safety hazards were present as well. However, modern technology and research continues to work with electrical current and voltages and how to control and regulate currents and this helps make our lighting more efficient. Efficient lighting means better economical lighting and that’s good news for everyone. Today, contemporary ballasts employ electronics and devices that are particularly designed to control the electrical circuit’s current. That might be why you do not notice as many noises, like those soft humming sounds, that used to come from older light sources. There should be less flickering from the sources as well because of this.
Of course, different lighting sources do necessitate different ballasts that are specifically designed for their level of voltage and currents. Still, fluorescent lights all work together with the same general idea so fluorescent ballast works in much the same way. As the current generates atoms, they emit photons that are ultraviolet and in turn emit light photons. For those who simply want to flip on a switch and get some light from their light source, there is not too much more that you need to know!