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How To Use A Dimmable Ballast – Perfect Tips in 2024

The reason why you want to dim your light may not be the same as why another individual what to dim. Well, this implies that there is more than one reason why people want to dim their lights. If you want to dim his/her lights, there is a need to know how to use a dimmable ballast.

We can, therefore, say that a dimmable ballast's main purpose is to dim. Most individuals use a dimmable ballast to save energy. I mean, isn't that the best idea of all. However, other individuals want to dim their grow room lights that could not be a good idea.

A dimmable ballast is very effective, however, it depends on how you intend to utilize the dimming function. It will be effective if you dim a 600 watts bulb and then run a 600 watts bulb with the dimmed bulb. 

Using a dimmed 600 watts bulb to run a 1000 watts bulb will not be effective. The most disturbing question in most people's minds is ' should I dim or not?' Well, we are here to clear all your doubts about that. By the end of this review, you will know how to deal with different situations.

What does a dimmable ballast do?

How to Use a Dimmable Ballast

Most people will generally say that a dimmable ballast is used to dim. That's very right. However, if you go deep to that aspect, a dimmable ballast does a lot than just dimming. Just like most electronic devices, a 1000 watt digital ballast will come with buttons or dial. 

The buttons help the user choose an output wattage. If you have the original dimmable ballast you might be lucky enough to have a wide range of output wattage to select from. 

With an original dimmable ballast, you can get 1100, 1000, 660, 600, 440, and 400 options. This gives you the ability to run 1000, 600, and 400 watts bulbs.  You can easily power a multiple wattage bulb with the help of a dimmable ballast. 

This is the main reason why a dimmable ballast came to be.  You can also dim a bulb to a lower output. However, this is not recommended by experts and most who have tried it. 

Why dim?

When looking at the ' why dim' topic, we focus on the advantages of dimming or using a dimmable ballast. Well, should we get to it then? You are should expect fewer advantages than disadvantages when using a dimmable ballast. You need to get the best digital ballasts for dimming to be effective.

When we talk about the best ballast, we mean that you should consider quality, performance and also the price. The best one will be of high quality, great performance, and comes at an affordable price. 

With that, you can be sure of getting positive outcomes. However, this does not mean that there is no advantage. The fact that a dimmable ballast can dim lights to save energy is an advantage by itself.

Why use a lower output wattage to run a bulb? With an answer to that question, you will have all the advantages of dimming or dimmable ballast. The main reason for dimming, as we said is to save energy.

Here comes the first advantage of using a dimmable ballast. When you calculate the power that most household use, you will realize how expensive it is to keep a household running with electricity.

If you don't need too much brightness, dimming can be the best decision. It will save a lot on the power cost. All you need to do is dim the ballast in a way that it can run a bulb of lower output wattage. Let's look at two events where diming makes more sense.

  • Cooling down a room

The best way to regulate the temperature especially in hot seasons is through using the dimming function. This is mostly the case for individuals with grow rooms. A grow room should neither be too hot not too cold. Dimming the grow ballast is the most reasonable way to keep the temperature at the right level. 

Light from the bulbs generates a lot of heat than someone could ever imagine. If you use a dimmable ballast to dim the light is a grow room in hot days, the heat will be cut down to a significant level. The plants' growth will be slowed down. Trust me, that's not a great deal like the effect of overheating on your plants.

  • Conducting two activities in a room: flowering and vegging

Vegging and flowering need different light power. In the case of begging less powerful lighting is needed while flowering the opposite will be great. Well, since you are doing the two activities in the same room, you need to use a dimmable ballast to dim the lights when it is vegging time. 

If you use the lights in their original power, plants will be getting up to 50% more of what they need. This means you need to dim 30-50% of power and use it to run the lights. In this case, you will need to use a bulb of lower output wattage.

This implies, if you are using a 600 watts bulb during vegging, you should use a 1000 watts bulb for flowering. That makes sense now, right? 

Why not dim?

Even if you are using the best digital ballasts, there is always a reason why you should not dim. The best ballast you have can be the most durable in the market, the quietest, and have a great dimming power. However, having such a ballast does not change the fact that dimming also has its disadvantage. The main reason why you should not dim narrows down to 'efficiency.' Most experts advise that you should not dim your grow room lights. 

digital ballasts

Well, why is this so? Research has shown that lights used in grow rooms are more efficient when they are utilized in their original full power. Running a 600 watts bulb at 100 watts is less efficient than running a 600 watts bulb with 600 watts.

This is a clear explanation of why a bulb if always efficient when running at its full power. Dimming down is regarded as reducing the efficiency of the bulb.

In case you need to run many lights using dimmed wattage, the efficiency gets to the worst. This leads to the bulb's spectrum having negative changes. The red LED will simply be reduced by the spectrum if dimming happens.

 Dimming a new bulb is even worse since it loses its stability. If you dim grow ballast, your plants' growth is going to slow down. Instead of dimming, you can just get grow lights that are compatible with the plants.

How to Use a Dimmable Ballast the Right Way

How to Use a Dimmable Ballast

Whether you are using 1000 watt digital ballast, the usage of a dimmable ballast is the same. It may not be the best idea to lower down your phantom ballast. However, there are situations why you just need to dim.

 The power of your bulb. The best way to use a dimmable ballast is to know what you should do and what you should not do. Using a dimmable ballast is a simple task since it's just a matter of pressing buttons or dials. What you need to know is the best way to minimize the negative effect of dimming. 

  • Follow instructions

A bulb will always come with the manufacturer's instructions. The instructions will help you identify whether your bulb is ideal for dimming or not.

  • Do not dim new bulbs or lamps

New bulbs need time to stabilize before you can dim them. It doesn't matter whether the bulb is ideal for dimming or not, stabilizing is key to getting a positive impact in the dimming function.


Do not dim when you don't have to. This is a great way to do away with the negative effect of dimming your bulb. However, if dimming is the only option you have, make sure you know the best way how to use dimmable ballast. Get a phantom ballast and see how the dimming goes. We wish you nothing but the best. 

William Jones

I launched this blog as a product reviewer and passionate blogger. Beside provide advance material, guiding you towards a better home and outdoors gears essentials reviews. I devote my maximum time creating research-based product recommended to you for an easy pick.

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