Natural Resources Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Business: Industrial


High-Intensity Discharge Lighting Systems

How Do Electronic HID Ballasts Save You Money?

Electronic HID ballasts save money in four ways:

  • Lamp light output is increased.² Electronic ballasts increase the mean lumen output of HID lamps. Recent field tests showed that a 400-W metal halide lamp operated with an electronic ballast produced 15 percent more light output after 8000 hours than the same lamp with magnetic ballast.
    More light output means that in new installations or major renovations, up to 15 percent fewer fixtures are required to deliver the same light levels that would be provided by a standard metal halide system. If your goal is to replace the ballasts without reducing the number of fixtures, then you can use a lower wattage lamp to get the same mean lumen output.
  • Electronic HID ballasts have lower energy losses. Electronic ballasts require less energy to operate. Ballast energy use varies depending on the wattage and type of lamp, but in higher wattages of lamps the savings can be significant. For example, a typical magnetic ballast for a 400-W metal halide lamp consumes 50 to 70 W; in contrast, an electronic ballast consumes as little as 5 to 20 W, depending on the model.
  • Lamp life is up to 30 percent longer. The light output from all HID lamps depreciates over time, but HID lamps with electronic ballasts stay brighter longer than the same lamps with magnetic ballasts. Longer lamp life lowers lamp and labour replacement costs and is particularly beneficial in high-bay applications or other hard-to-reach places.
  • Electronic HID ballasts are available with a dimming option. Electronic HID ballasts with dimming provide additional savings when full light output is not required. Some electronic ballasts are continuously dimmable down to 50 percent of lamp power and can be used with advanced controls, such as photocells, wall-box dimming, occupancy sensors and programmable control systems.

²Lamps tested at mean life (8000 hours) by Prismatron according to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specified test conditions.

Next: How Much Will I Save?