Why choose a magnetic ballast?

All Synergetic flylights use magnetic ballasts - Our extensive testing, trials and research showed us that they help to create a more reliable, more effective flylight and here's why:

What is a ballast?

A ballast is a component within a flylight, which regulates the current flow from the power supply. Without a ballast, a fluorescent lamp would draw too much power and blow.

There are two available ballast technologies used within fluorescent lamp circuits
1. Magnetic ballasts and starters
2. Electronic ballasts

How do ballasts work?

Magnetic ballasts work in conjunction with starters, which provide an initial peak of power to ignite fluorescent lamps from a cold start. These are constructed from a series of metal windings, and through their compact design, allow for flexible designs of flykillers. Magnetic ballasts are proportionally cost effective to replace.

Electronic ballasts operate without starters by incorporating a PCB to provide an initial peak of power to ignite fluorescent lamps from a cold start. They incorporate a PCB within a plastic or metal housing, resulting in a relatively large form, restricting the potential for flykiller designs. Electronic ballasts are proportionally expensive to replace.

Why use magnetic ballasts within flykillers?

1. Maximum efficacy

Whilst electronic ballasts provide a constant light from fluorescent lamps, magnetic ballasts provide a high frequency flicker, which is invisible to humans but proven to be highly attractive to flying insects.

Syms and Goodman of Queen Mary’s College, London carried out an independent study into the effect of flickering UV light source in attracting flying insects. Their study concluded that when tested together, a flylight with a flickering UV lamp source (AC) caught 75% of insects present in comparison to a second flykiller with a constant UV lamp source (DC).

We can conclude that a flickering UV lamp source, controlled by a magnetic ballast is significantly more effective at attracting flying insects than that one controlled by an electronic ballast.

2. Proven reliability

Magnetic ballasts and starters have proven to be extremely reliable working in conjunction with fluorescent UV lamps. Whilst electronic ballasts work efficiently with ‘white’ lamps for lighting applications, they are shown to be unreliable with specialist UV lamps.

P+L Systems trialed electronic ballasts within their flylights in 2006 but quickly reverted back to magnetic ballasts having experienced an unacceptable level of product failures - in the region of 30% within a 12 month period.

We understand that a number of other flylight manufacturers continue to experience reliability problems with models which incorporate electronic ballasts.

3. Comparable power draw

Whilst fluorescent lamps working in conjunction with electronic ballasts within lighting applications provide significant savings over traditional tungsten bulbs, there is minimal energy savings over magnetic ballasts.