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Fixture with External Ballast?

2728 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  [email protected]
Anyone ever used one of these? I've found a fixture I like that I am considering getting, but it has an external ballast and I've never seen that before.

Has anyone ever used a fixture with external ballast? Any problems associated with using an external ballast?
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I am not sure what you are asking, but almost all fluorescent lights use an external ballast; they are just hidden in the plastic canopy.
Like darkblade said... Better post picture.
I have external ballasts but i guess not in way of your thinking
The ballast is a major heat source in the fixture, so some manufacturers place it externally to reduce the need for ventilation/fans.
The ballast is a major heat source in the fixture, so some manufacturers place it externally to reduce the need for ventilation/fans.
Yes, I'm sure this is what the OP is talking about, not the fact that there is a ballast inside the fixture, which to me is a 'built-in' ballast. As in 'built-in to the fixture.
Yes, correct, the ballast is not a part of the assembly, it's 'external' and would either mount on the back of your stand or sit inside the stand. It allows the fixture itself to be a bit slimmer and I would assume help with heat.

Hope that clears it up.
External ballasts should be, but aren't always, rated for external use at up to a specified distance using the specified gauge wire. Just splicing wire onto an off the shelf ballast isn't necessarily the safest way to do things. Buy an electrician a beer and ask them what to use.

I've used external ballast fixtures. Mine came with about twelve feet of cord with a disconnect in the middle of the line. My gripe with that unit is the disconnect needed to be closer to the fixture. Three feet would have worked much better for me. With six feet of cord, the cord weighed more than the light, reflector, and plastic shell. Ideally, I'd like to see the disconnect at the fixture with an option on the cord length, but that would cost $$.
I know that fishneedit sells fixtures with external ballasts. Never used one myself though.
Good to know.

Nope, not working on a DIY project, this is a commercial unit, I've just never seen one with an external ballast before.

I agree on your connection comments, might have to make that modification myself.
I should drill the rivets in the heavy weight cord unit I have and see what's inside. Interesting things can be found in "sealed" units.

I opened up another commercial brand remote ballast recently and found two four tube ballasts each wired as 4X over driven.
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