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Can You Use a Fluorescent Ballast for an Ultraviolet or Germicidal Bulb?

Posted by on for ProLampSales

Can You Use a Fluorescent Ballast for an Ultraviolet or Germicidal Bulb?

One of the most common questions we get is, "Can a regular fluorescent ballast be used to run an ultraviolet bulb?"

The answer to that question is...

Maybe

Ballast manufacturers like Philips Advance, GE, Fulham, Robertson, and others often specify which lamps their ballasts are designed to run. Because fluorescent tubes are much more common than germicidal bulbs, these specification sheets only specify fluorescent lamp types.

But that doesn't mean the ballast won't run a UVA, UVB, or UVC bulb. And some manufacturers have tested their ballasts with UV lamps.

In most cases, for regular fluorescent ballasts, manufacturers don't list compatible UV lamps on their spec sheets.

One reason for this is the huge number of specialized UV lamps in comparison to architectural fluorescent bulbs. For instance, we have over 1,200 UVC germicidal bulbs on our site, many of them very specialized for particular applications and equipment, but many others are standard UV bulbs. And there are a lot of them!

To list the electrical specifications of each one of these, ballast manufacturers would have to do a lot more testing, and spec sheets would get a lot longer. And it's not worth it for them to do that for specialty bulbs like UV lamps.

However, not every ballast can run every ultraviolet bulb. The more specialized the UV bulb, the more particular it is, and the more difficult it can be to find a compatible ballast.

For a regular G4T5 lamp, many ballasts that run F4T5 bulbs will work. But for complicated, high-output, amalgam UV lamps, only a few manufacturers make ballasts for those and they are highly specialized.

So How Can You Tell?

In the last few months, ultraviolet ballasts have been bought up and lead times have been extended from weeks to months. So many people have started switching to compatible non-UV ballasts that can run the bulbs they need.

One way to find a ballast for your UV bulb is to contact several ballast manufacturers. They may be able to find a cross reference for your bulb.

Second, you can always ask us. We keep a list of compatible ballasts -- UV and regular -- for a large list of germicidal and regular ultraviolet lamps. In most cases, we've been able to find an ultraviolet ballast for our customers, and many times we've found several options from different vendors.

In these uncertain times, ultraviolet equipment manufacturers have gotten smarter and more creative about matching bulbs to ballasts.



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6 comments

  • Can I use the uv to charge my glow in the dark paint

    Natalie L Anderson on
  • Hello,

    I have Eiko F15T8/BL bulbs that Id like to hook up with a 4 bulb ballast. Can you help me find one? Ive contacted Eiko and they couldn’t even point me in the right direction.

    Thanks!

    Scott on
  • I have a germicidal unit for drinking water I need to replace the lamp and ballast. The lamp is a GHP793T5L (38 watt) that I’ll replace with a 05-1116-R lamp or equivalent. So I need a T5 ballast. Can you recommend a ballast to use? Will any T5 ballast do?

    Rod Smith on
  • Mashhour,

    These ballasts at compatible with the Philips TUV PL-L 55W:

    Fulham: https://www.prolampsales.com/products/fulham-rha-unv-454-lt5-racehorse-programmed-ballast-120-277v-2-3-4-lamp
    Philips Advance: https://www.prolampsales.com/products/philips-advance-icn-2s54-90c-t-centium-electronic-programmed-start-ballast-120-277v
    Robertson: https://www.prolampsales.com/products/robertson-psl254t5mv-electronic-program-start-120-277vac-50-60hz-21-f54t5ho-lamps

    ProLampSales on
  • I have UVC Philips TUV pl 55 W
    Can I use any 55 ballast

    Mashhour on

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