An Overview of Ballasts and Dimmers
Uses of Dimming Switches
When you mention dimming lights, it usually evokes a feeling of relaxation and even of romance. Dimming lights are just ordinary light bulbs that use dimming switches to adjust the brightness of a particular bulb. When you desire a brighter room or a dimmer room, all you need to do is adjust the dimming switch. Dimming lights are usually used in the bathroom or powder room, the bedroom, the living room, the dining room or if you have one, a home theater room.
Types of Dimming Switches
There are different types of dimmer switches that have to be used depending on the type of bulbs that you have. If you have a halogen bulb and incandescent bulb, you can use an ordinary dimmer switch. More special dimmer switches are used for fluorescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs. There's a reason for this. Unlike ordinary incandescent lamps, fluorescent light bulbs take a while longer to heat.
There are two types of dimmer switches available like the single pole dimmer switch to be used if you only prefer a single switch. If you have two switches it is absolutely necessary to use a three-way dimmer switch.
Ballasts as Dimmer Switches for Flourescent Lights
An electrical ballast serves to limit the current in a circuit, or else the current would destroy a fluorescent lamp. Because of their current-limiting capabilities, ballasts can also act as dimmers for fluorescent lights. Since fluorescent lights, whether compact or regular, are different from ordinary incandescent light bulbs they can only use either electronic ballast systems or magnetic ballast systems. These are the only systems that allow a fluorescent light to have a dimmer function.
Electronic ballasts are usually preferred over magnetic ballast systems since they have the added advantage of being used to operate up to four lamps which isn't really ideal for a magnetic ballast system. Electronic ballasts are also preferred for their energy efficiency over magnetic ballasts which mean that it will result to savings. There are several countries that no longer use magnetic ballasts. Those who want to switch from magnetic ballasts to electronic ballasts can do so easily since electronic ballasts are compatible with magnetic ballasts.