All About Fluorescent Ballasts

If you own a business and have an outdoor sign, there is a good chance that it contains a ballast. Though you may have never heard of one before, it is an essential part of outdoor signage. Though a ballast generally won’t cause you any issues, a faulty one can sometimes be the cause of common problems such as flicking signs, buzzing sounds, or low output for your fluorescent lights and signage. Knowing the basics of fluorescent signs and ballast can help you stay on top of property maintenance and know who to call when you need some help.

At Penfold Electric, we have helped countless clients with their commercial electrical service needs. We know that building signage is an essential part of your business, and troubleshooting concerns with your signs is a priority. In this post, we help you understand what a ballast is and how it can be related to electrical signal concerns. Use this guide to understand when your ballast may be faulty and when it’s time to contact an electrician.

Need support with building signage or emergency lighting installation? Contact the experts at Penfold Electric today. We look forward to providing you with expert-level service and are the certified & licensed electrician Durham and Northumberland business owners can trust.

What Does a Ballast Do?

Outdoor signs for business are bright, and for good reason too. They need to be visible to customers in all types of weather, day, and night. Powering outdoor signs can be a heavy duty-job, and as such, a ballast is often needed. So, what does a ballast do? It powers your high-output lightbulbs while withstanding exposure to rain, snow and frigid outdoor conditions. So how does an electronic ballast work? It simply regulates and distributes power to your electrical signs ensuring they stay bright light at all times.

As a ballast plays an important role in powering your outdoor signs, when something goes wrong with it, you’ll likely notice some problems. Buzzing, flickering, dimming, and lights not turning on can all be a sign of an issue with an electrical ballast. If you’re noticing issues with your sign, contact an electrician to rule out any other electrical issues or replace your ballast. Our post, Electrical Ballast FAQ, offers additional insight into the function of a ballast, including how much replacement might cost.

How Long Should a Ballast Last?

A ballast for outdoor signage of a commercial building should have a relatively long lifespan. In fact, you could expect to get up to 20 years out of an electrical ballast. Keep in mind that environmental factors may play a role in how long a ballast will last. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you should expect a shortened lifespan for your ballast. Thankfully replacing a ballast is not a major electrical issue and is something that can be replaced.

How to Test a Fluorescent Ballast

If you are noticing that your outdoor sign is no longer working as it should, you might be wondering how to check fluorescent ballast on your own. Though spotting an issue with your sign is easy, it is best to leave diagnosing and repairing electrical concerns to a professional. We suggest you skip learning how to check ballast in fluorescent lights on your own and instead call a commercial or industrial electrician for support. Always keep your safety and the safety of your customers and employees in mind by having an electrician complete electrical work within and outside of your building.

Ballasts are, thankfully, an easy fix, and by calling an electrical contractor, you can have your signs working like new again. At Penfold Electric, we are dedicated to helping businesses address their electrical concerns. Contact us today and let us help you replace the electrical ballast in your outdoor fluorescent signs; you can expect tenfold from Penfold Electric.

Author: Brian Penfold

Founded in 1978 by Trevor Penfold, Trevor was dedicated to providing electrical service that was second to none. Backed by his strong will to provide electrical services to the public at a reasonable price, Penfold Electric Ltd was born. Trevor has since taken a step back and handed off operations to his son Brian Penfold but has instilled his core beliefs into him. We are Family owned and Operated and will keep it that way to ensure our beliefs and values to provide exceptional electrical service at a reasonable price remain the same.

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