Traditional lightings such as incandescent lamps and halogen worked directly on usual voltage of electricity (220V or 110 V). While gas discharge devices and fluorescent need a Ballast (ballast coil) to operate.
Ballast manages the power distribution through lighting device. Where it consists of a coil connected in series with the lighting device. During lamp starting, the ballast must briefly supply high voltage to establish an arc between the two lamp electrodes. Once the arc is established, the ballast quickly reduces the voltage and regulates the electric current to produce a steady light output.
There are two types of ballasts:
Nowadays, Electronic ballasts are more used and newer than Magnetic ballasts which older and need starter to ensure startup operational for device. While electronic ballasts involve of electronic circuits of capacitors and coils. As a result, there isn't any buzzing or flickering, so high efficiency and long lifespan.
- What about LED Lights!
Do LED lights need a Ballast?
LEDs don't need a ballast. LED Lights use a similar technology called a LED Driver.