Ballasts are what send power to your bulbs, essentially.
Yes, you'll need one to run your light. If yours is bad, you'll have to rule out: 1) bad bulbs, 2) faulty connections first if it's a DIY project. If it's a pre-made fixture, the ballast is probably bad if you KNOW FOR SURE your bulbs are good but they don't fire.
...this is in very basic terms and just serves as a guide for you. What are you trying to accomplish? Did your fixture go out, or did you try to wire one, etc...?
well i bought this used from a friend of mine. let it site around for a month the bulbs do fire up but then the go out after about 15min so i dont think the bulbs are bad. the ballist is the only thing i can think that is wrong with it. should i just take it up to my lfs and have them point me in the right direction. i just wanna get this thing to work. mine is a dual strip flouresent light.
For best service, please post the model number of the light fixture or the ballast. A picture of the ballast would be wonderful. One we have that information, we can then tell you what to get and where to go.
You might also consider ripping out the internals and using a kit from AHSupply.com or retrofitting with spiral compacts.
Anyways, a picture would be nice.
Ninja: a post answering the question that was submitted while composing an elegant reply so that your post becomes the second to say the same thing.
well i went down to lowes and the had single ballast and double one. if i get two single will that work. if not then i have to fine one that will work for 2 lights at 25 watts or more. they had one up there for 40 watts. Are the supposed to be that much 26.99-44.99 for a ballast