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Ballast Discriminator

aka Ballast Checker

Ballast Discriminator

Are you still climbing ladders to peek into fluorescent light fixtures to see if they still house out-dated magnetic ballasts?

How many times have you had to remove the lens to see if T12 lamps were being used? What a pain, eh? Going for the ladder or chair to stand on.

but...Can you really be certain of your initial findings?

Walking through a classy High-Rise apartment building, we came across a smorgasborg (buffet) of recessed ceiling fixtures....all in the same corridor.

Get this:

Corridors were all fitted with recessed 4-lamp, 4-foot fixtures.

The similarity ended right there!

Lenses were missing from a few of the fixtures on each floor.

Interestingly, we noted T12's in some and T8's in others.

Let's not digress with a discussion of colour temp of the lamps. Everything from warm white to 'stand-em-up frozen blue white'. Yikes!

What to do: Open every ballast cover to determine if electronic or magnetic?

ON OVER 100 FIXTURES???? .... Help!!!

Well - along comes this great tool called a Ballast Discriminator or a Ballast Sensor.

Did you know you could just point it in the direction of the light fixture.....even if it is 20-feet above you...and tell right away if the ballast in the fixture is magnetic or electronic?

How cool is that?

Point and press.

Some like to say 'Point and shoot'. It's so simple.

Gather around..... here's a story that will curl your hair....

Travelling Salesman True Stories

Visited a dental office. Was informed that all of the 4-Foot recessed fixtures had been upgraded recently to T8 'daylight' (5000K) lamps....and the fixtures really did have T8's.

My Ballast Discriminator told the rest of the story.

The magnetic ballasts had NOT been changed to electronic ballasts.

Why might this be important?

Magnetic ballasts are inefficient and under-run T8 lamps. This will result in early demise of both T8 lamps and magnetic ballasts. It can also be a fire hazard.

Here's a Tip: Always replace the magnetic ballast with an electronic ballast to operate T8 lamps.


Audited another High Rise apartment building. Noted recessed fluorescent fixtures above the elevators in the Lobby. Some of the T8 4-foot fluorescent lamps (there were a bunch of them) were not working.

Curious George pointed his Ballast Discriminator at the fixtures: Yup - they still had magnetic ballasts.

No wonder the Building Manager was unhappy with his 'new lighting' that was creating a lot of extra work for him and Staff.


Visited a fabricating company who is helping us produce our new LED Sign Light.

The Owner said he wished he'd known about us last year when he was bent on upgrading old lighting. Unfortunately, even though the new lighting is energy efficient, a more powerful illumination is required due to the high ceilings and dusty environment.

Fortunately we got together when we did as, earlier in the day, a travelling lightbulb 'salesman' left some samples of a great replacement for existing lamps.

He left sample lamps T8 5000K 4-foot.

Selling price was $70 each!! For a T8 4Ft lamp!

Do the math: 300 lamps at $70 each = (too much)

Wonder if it's the same Boyo that victimized the Dentist??

By the way, we make this tool available. Drop us a note if you'd like one. They are a real time saver - Believe me.