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Thread: Are digital Ballasts worth it?

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Are digital Ballasts worth it?

    Hey all. Are digital Ballasts worth the trouble I've been reading about? The benefits are appealling but from what I've seen here, they seem to be subject to a high failure rate. Lumatek is out but is the Galaxy worth consideration?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    40

    Default Are digital Ballasts worth it?

    This question has been asked many times also. Here's my opinion (I've been at Sunlight Supply for 10 years this Dec. so i've been around since the early days of digital ballasts) In the early days there was a ton of hype on them, save 50% power, lamps last 3 times as long, etc. Looking back I would have never brought them on and wouldn't recommend them to anyone if I knew what I know now about them back then. (if that makes any sense)
    What I'm seeing today is a much higher quality of ballasts, more reliable, and prices that are dropping on them. Bottom line here are the pros and cons:
    Pros: Dead quiet, no vibrations, lamps fire quicker, lite weight, fires lamps at greater distances, higher output, and a lil cooler.
    Cons: Cost more, burns lamps out quicker, all have radio interference (all claim to be shielded but take a radio inside the room and you will have interference some more than others), won't fire all lamps, and the reliablility not as good as core n coil.
    So this is my bottom line opinion of the digital ballasts, if you can afford them they are better than core n coil. Be prepared to replace HPS lamps every 6 months(MH even sooner) but you will have more light using the same watts. Don't expect them to be as reliable as your old ballasts, but it's getting better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Radio interference is more than just a room. You'll probably effect your neighbors digital cable, and pretty much everything that uses radio frequencies in your house.

    I have a two story house, and i HAD a digital ballast until nothing worked on the first floor, where my grow room was! Also, my neighbors cable would cut out, and the cable company narrowed down the interference to my house. Lol it was pretty funny though, i talk to my neighbor all the time and he told me everyday from 8 am to 8pm my cable is all whack. Rotfl that's when my lights were on.

  4. #4
    skitzo Guest

    Default

    sorry to bump this old thread, but that's pretty wild to hear about the cable tv interference.

    my buddy online uses lumatek digital ballast and he has no complaints, and he runs perpetual.

    rumors are rumors, just buy one and use it for a good 20 days solid and send it back before 30days are up.

    my cable cuts in and out, but i think thats becuz of Comcast aka Comcrap sucking dick....pretty sure its just my cable box...but since I've read this thread....I'm gonna snoop around my neighbors and find out who is running the grow if my cable box isn't the problem. HAHA!

    im buying a digital ballast asap, just sold my old normal 400w ballast.

  5. #5
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Digital ballast

    I love my magnetic switchable xtrasun. But I would love to burn my bulbs hotter for the same power. You should honestly replace your bulbs at half life anyway if they used for plants. The lumen matenence goes down dramaticly at half of the lamps useable life.

    I would like to hear anymore storys about rf interferance or exactly which bulbs I cannot burn on a digital. Thanks for any replys


    Ricky.

  6. #6
    Unregistered Guest

    Default

    I think the new digitals are shielded and shouldn,t cause interfernce.I,m running Lumateks w/o a problem

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default

    digital ballasts are definitely worth it, much stronger, and much quieter. I am actually in the market for a new one, upgrading from 600 to a 1000. As I have posted in a new thread, maybe someone here can help me out. Hearing from my local hydro shop, downtown hydro, the owner was trying to push me to buy a new brand called Solis Tek. Has anyone have any opinions or even heard about their digital ballasts? Supposedly, the owner, Alex, was saying that it is tested head to head with Lumatek and it was the same, sometimes better than Lumatek. He gave me their website, solis-tek... need feedback! looking to purchase soon!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    22

    Default

    i personally haven't heard of Solis Tek, but they are probably a relabeled chinese made digital ballast. there's alot of those out there now, and most are of lesser quality than, say, Lumatek or Quantum ballasts. i've had a lot of experience with various digital ballasts and i've encountered many different issues with digital ballasts. RF shielding issues (wireless interenet, TV, pH meter disturbance) electric line signal noise, bulb incompatibility....you name it, and my one bit of advice for buying a new digital ballast is make sure you are getting a solid warranty from a reputable company. unlike your traditional core & coil magnetic ballast, when a digital ballast malfunctions, there's no way to repair them at the hydro shop level. so if you have a warranty that requires you to return the ballast to the manufacturer to get fixed, you are talking about being out a light for a month or more. however, if you have a warranty like the Lumatek warranty that we at Better Grow Hydro offer, if you have a failed ballast within 5 years of purchase, we swap it out for a brand new one that day.


    digital ballasts certainly fall under the old saying "you get what you pay for"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks David, from what I hear, the shop owner had did multiple tests on the Solis Tek Ballasts including baking it in an oven at 150 degees and working it for more than 2 hours, left it on in normal conditions for a week straight without shut off, and features some kind of ignition control and connection awareness where it protects from the ballasts from burning out. (supposedly many ballasts if you turn on and off back and forth too many times it burns out easily) They also boost a 5 year warranty too and also have offices in the USA. The owner did tell me they were manufactured in China, however so are the Lumatek ballasts, so I figure it could be worth a try since they are not only cheaper, but also boost the same warranty. What do you think? Is this a good idea? Their website is Solis-Tek (can't post the URL since I am a new blogger here, but check them out, I can use as much feedback as I can get!)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I love my lumateks. Been running 3 for 2 years, never had a problem. As far as RF interference, never an issue.

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