All major lamp manufacturers design their HID lamps to run at their specified wattage. If you do not deliver the correct power to your lamp it will not operate correctly and the efficiency will dramatically decrease, giving you a significant loss in light output.
Genuine Quality magnetic ballasts provide the correct amount of power to the lamp to within +- 3% in accordance with European specification BS EN 60923. Take for example a 600W HID lamp. The 600W magnetic ballast you connect to this lamp to drive it must consume approximately 655W in order for 600W of power to reach the lamp. This is to allow for 55W that is lost mainly as heat in the ballast before it reaches the lamp. Industry test results verified by Venture Lighting International have proven that a properly performing 600W ballast can deliver up to 33% more light than an underperforming 600W ballast.
The detrimental effects that an underpowered lamp has on plant growth all lead to one major loss:
weak plants and less crop yields.
Effects of Underpowering HID Lamps:
• Substantially less Photosynthetically Active Radiation essential for plant growth
• Reduced Colour Rendering Index (CRI) – the ability of the lamp to produce the full colour spectrum of light required for plants to grow.
• Less power efficiency (less light output per watt consumed).
• Frequent lamp changes (from erroneously blaming the lamp for the poor performance!)
Any ballast carrying the Genuine Quality and Genuine Power mark has met the Genuine Quality standards and will give your lamp the correct power. For further guidance, ask your retailer.