When it comes to HID lighting, digital HPS and MH ballasts are the way of the future. Magnetic ballasts still have a place in some grow rooms, where older technology prevents the use of digital ballasts. But, we will almost always recommend a digital HPS and MH ballast over magnetic any day.
Why magnetic HPS and MH ballasts are better
The problem with magnetic ballasts stems from their inefficiency - in terms of heat, energy usage, and noise. They just don't run as well as digital ballasts. Digital ballasts are 30% more efficient than magnetic counterparts, and do not create heat in the same way that magnetics do.
Digital HPS and MH ballasts also are dimmable, so you can lower the wattage for phases of your grow where light intensity isn't as necessary, such as early veg. These ballasts also feature RFI shielding, which magnetic ballasts are notorious for creating.
Which digital ballast is right for me?
We know our selection here at Hydrobuilder may be a bit overwhelming, but we are here to make it easy. The first step in choosing your digital ballast is making sure the wattage matches that of your grow light. If you have a 1,000 watt grow light, you'll want a 1000 watt digital ballast.
Then, you'll need to make sure your grow light and ballast match in terms of SE vs DE. Again, SE ballasts need a SE grow light to accompany them, and vice versa. Many digital ballasts these days are actually optimized for both SE and DE lights, but you need to make sure before purchasing that is the case.
If you still need help choosing the right ballast, give our experts a call, and we will gladly help you select the right one. If you are a commercial grower looking for special pricing on a bulk order, we can definitely help you out and make sure you get the highest profit possible from your grow!