Magnetic vs Digital ballast

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by MINIgrower, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. After getting my electric bill I bought a couple if 250 watt CFL's to eliminate a 1000 watt MH. One CFL just blew up. Does a digital ballast save in comparison to an old magnetic?
  2. A little, but not much
  3. Thank you. Guess I'll just have to suck it up and pay
  4. My magnetic 1,000w ballast puts out a lot more light then my digital 1,000w ballast .
    The only reason I like the digital is it uses MH or HPS.
  5. The power savings is pretty minimal, especially once you consider that you really should use bulbs made for digital balasts when you use one of them and they tend to cost a bit more.
    As far as I can tell, here are the real advantages to each.
    Digital: Lighter, runs cooler, a little quieter (although I can't hear my magnetic over my exhaust anyway), can use same ballast for MH and HPS
    Magnetic: Cheap ones more reliable than cheap digitals, can use CMH bulbs.
  6. Imo unless you want a dimmable ballast magnetic is a much better value in the long run. I got lucky and scored a new switchable 1k with hood and bulb for $105. You wont find deals like that on digital setups.
  7. Dont forget the cheaper digitals have been known to put out enough interference to screw up the cable tv in a small neighborhood. They can easily track it back to your house. True they have no idea what is causing it exactly, but they will disconnect your service if it doesnt stop and it gets you too much unwanted attention.
  8. I thought the RF interference wasn't an issue even on cheap ones anymore? I could be wrong- I use a magnetic one myself.
  9. #9 Kronicly Insane, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2014
    Never heard of it interfering with tv. Digital ballist put out steady light where magnetic puts it out in waves. Theirs are small savings with digital. Have you checked LED. That will be your best savings and lack of heat. Otherwise I have read 6 600watt HPS run on 240v use less than one 1000w HPS on 12v. Plus you get more watts.
  10. I helped a friend move recently and was given most of his grow equipment fora small donation. One piece was a used, but still pluggin along, magnetic 1000w ballast with a hps/mh switch. My curiosity is what happens when using incorrect setting/bulb? Or what about if a slap in my combo mh/hps bulb? It has no "both" setting... smoke on that ;)

    Sent from my LG-L38C using Grasscity Forum mobile app
    Worst case would be catastrophic bulb failure wrong wattage. Best case would be it simply would not start.
  12.'s in the midst of assisting to pump out it's 4th crop in my hands. Not too sure how long he used it. But needless to say, I'm very content w/it so far.

    Sent from my LG-L38C using Grasscity Forum mobile app
  13. Seems to be somewhere inbetween, thankfully. Just threw in a new mh a month ago a finally notice a week ago. Fuggin facepalm from hell. Glad I didn't lose my ballast or bulb somehow.Love you pot angeles in Port Angeles :)

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  14. POT ANGELS. woops...

    Sent from my LG-L38C using Grasscity Forum mobile app
  15. #15 snoopdog6502, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2014
    I have a heavy ass 1,000w MH magnetic that's at least 10 years old. i have old big globes as emergency back ups but its bright as hell with a new cheapo I-power 1000w MH. It makes the 1,000wHPS in the next room look like a toy light fixture.
    could be the bulbs, ballast or both but I can get a good crop from the MH alone even through flower.
  16. I feel like the rf interference thing could just be a big urban legend in the making. I have a 600w and 400w digitals in my grow room along with a tv and cable so I can watch shit while I work and I've never had any interference issues and my ballasts are literally like 1-2ft away. Maybe a 1k throws massively more waves but from my experience it's not enough to even interfere with the tv and cable in the same room.
    • Like Like x 1
    We are geeks with TVs in every room. laptops,phones kindles Wii U and have both a digital and magnetic 1,000w and have no issues.
  18. If its close to bunny ears it will add noise.
    Also depends on your cables, like for your TV and shit.

    Im sure good cable companies use good shit, to give you good clean TV signal.

    My ballast fucks with my shit. Bunny ears.
  19. First, yea, Its RF interference with broadcast signal, so nothing to do with cable if you are getting it from the cable company lol... if you are running a cheap coax cable right next to the thing i suppose the EM field could interfere, but only locally.  Your cable company could not possible know about it.  
    Second, the only difference between the hps and mh magnetic ballasts is that the hps needs a pulse start from a capacitor (or maybe the MH does? i forget which).  The switch just bypasses this extra component for the one that doesnt need it.  I have a switchable 1000W magnetic that ive never used, but from what i gather, if you put the bulb that doesnt need the pulse start in on the wrong setting, it might blow upon starting and if you put the bulb that does need it in on the wrong setting it simply wont start.  again i cant remember which one needs it but i used to know lol...  The conversion bulbs are so expensive because they come with either a resister or a capacitor to carry out this function. After the bulbs are fired up, it takes the same balast current to run either.

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