A digital ballast uses small frequency inductors to control the current and voltage to a grow lamp. In this way, digital ballasts allow gardeners to better grow plants indoors. To find the right digital ballast for your hydroponics, look for popular features and make sure it is compatible with your grow lights.
Check for Digital Ballast Dimming Options
Some digital ballasts have dimming control, allowing gardeners to adjust the energy output to 50, 75, or 100 per cent. Dimming the ballast helps to prevent excess heat from the grow lights, which can harm plants. Adjusting the energy output also has the potential to increase the life of your bulbs, and of course, it reduces the amount of energy used, making your indoor garden even more efficient.
Buy a Quiet Digital Ballast
One of the big advantages of having a digital ballast is its potential for being nearly silent with no noticeable vibrations. If your digital ballast seems unusually loud or vibrates in a distracting manner, look into newer models. This type of ballast is designed to be discreet, which is an important quality when you're hosting a large amount of gardening equipment in your home.
Read Reviews Before Investing
Digital ballasts have a reputation of not lasting as long as magnetic ballasts. It makes sense given that magnetic ballasts are simpler machines. However, some digital ballasts do indeed have the potential to last just as long. Read online reviews to see if previous and current owners of that particular model are happy with it. Reviewers who say how long they’ve had their digital ballasts can help give potential buyers a better idea of what to expect.
Consider Energy Efficient Digital Ballasts
Digital ballasts are already more energy efficient than magnetic ballasts, but high performance digital ballast can offer even more savings. If the product is for sale in the United Kingdom, it should have an energy efficiency rating. Compare this rating to all other digital ballasts you are considering. Keep in mind how important it is to conserve energy when running an electronic device as frequently as you need to run the ballast. An inefficient ballast can be expensive to run year round.
Pair it with a Contractor
Every digital ballast needs a contractor or power controller to protect against power surges. Without a contractor, a gardener's light schedule can be altered if the power surges and damages the timer. Growing plants indoors is already time consuming and potentially quite expensive. A contractor or power controller helps to reduce the risk of total loss.