How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Ballast? [2021 Updated]

Electric system settings are very complex. You have to change components if they do not work. For this replacing is much easier than installing a new one. Bulb ballasts are generally electrical components, which regulate current flow.

Fluorescent lights in industrial environments use ballasts. Ballasts sometimes work properly so you need to replace the ballast. But its pricing is a confusing issue nowadays. In this article, we will break down costs to replace a ballast.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Ballast?

According to 2021 data, the average cost of ballast replacement is around $150. Just the ballast replacement costs about $20-$40. If you decide not to do the job yourself, an electrician may charge you $75 to $150 for labor.

how much does it cost to replace a ballast
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Ballast

Ballast Replacement Cost Summary

Here is a complete cost breakdown of installing new ballast, ballast replacement service charge, and other material costs.

Major Cost SectorPrice Range
Material Cost$20-$35
DIY Cost$20-$40
Electrician Charge$75-150
Total Replacement Cost$150

Related cost factors of replacing a ballast

knowing the factors related to the cost always help us to break down cost easily. Factors are the reason behind the total. There are several factors that are related to the cost to replace a ballast. Surprisingly there are only three major factors. They are labor cost, Material cost, and DIY cost.

Professional electrician’s labor cost

Replacement of any components in the electric system needs a professional electrician. So you have to consider this cost when you want to replace electronic ballast. We gave you a range of prices because the labor rate varies from state to state. You may be asking yourself about the cost of an electrician.

How much does an electrician charge to change a ballast?

Hiring an electrician is always a good and safe way. It is estimated that a licensed electrician trip charge will cost $75-150.

Ballast Materials cost

Both brand quality and voltage capacity will affect the average price. Ballasts cost $20 to $35 on average. Ballasts come in a few different forms, and their features affect their cost. There are mainly two types of ballast find the market. They are magnetic and electronic.

A magnetic ballast is an older technology. These devices are unable to provide a voltage that is perfectly consistent. As a result, these lights buzz and flicker. Sometimes you hear some noise from the ballast. Today, electronic ballasts are more common since they can provide a constant voltage. The reason for this is that they are more reliable and won’t buzz. 

You will find different pricing based on the starting technology and voltage. Confusing right? No need to worry. We will try to provide you the costing information from every angle.

Cost of Ballasts Based on Starting Technology

Technologies are improving day by day. Starting technologies available on the market can be categorized into three types. You can choose among rapid start, instant start, and programmed start. People instant ballast prefers more than remaining these two.

Rapid Start Ballast Cost

The average cost of rapid start ballast can cost around $10-$50. On average you have to pay $25 for rapid starting ballast. When a rapid-start ballast is used, the light will turn on immediately as the heat level is maintained low.

Continuous pre-heating consumes a lot of energy. Their low popularity is in part due to this reason. Rapid start ballasts, then, cannot be used outside or in cold environments such as basements or freezer rooms.

Instant Start Ballast Cost

In general, instant start ballast costs between $20 and $50. The average cost of rapid starting ballast is $30. A quick-start ballast also turns on immediately. Instead of preheating, an instant-start ballast uses a voltage spike.

As a result, they consume less electricity than rapid start ballasts. An instant start, the temperature doesn’t create any issues. So you can use it at any temperature but high voltage causes damage.

Programmed Start Ballast Cost

Programmed ballasts can cost from $25 to $50 on average. You will typically have to pay $35 for programmed starting ballast.

As compared to these two, programed start ballasts are more expensive because they use motion sensors in conjunction with turning on only when necessary. You can use it at cold temperatures. The programmed-start ballast is the most energy savings ballast compare to other ballast. You will be amazed to see the energy-efficient feature.

Starting Technology Ballasts Cost Summary

Here are the costs for all 3 types of starting technologies for ballasts

Starting TechnologiesPrice Range
Rapid Start Ballast$10-$50
Instant Start Ballast$20-$50
Programmed Start Ballast$25-$50

Cost of Ballast Based On Voltage

Costs for ballasts also depend on voltage or voltages. Most ballasts can adapt to any variation in lighting output since they are multi-voltage. Their price is higher than single ballast.

According to upgradedhome.com, a Single 120v rapid start costs $22 on the other hand multiple 120V-277V costs $25 but Rapid Start, High Output cost is a little bit high. You can get a rapid start high output 120V-277V at costs of $40.

Similarly, multiple instant Start 2 light Bulbs of 120V-277V can cost you $23 but 4 bulbs can cost only $27. A multi programmed-start 120V-277V can cost $36.

Can I complete a ballast replacement job as a DIY project?

If you have never done electrical work before, we don’t recommend you do this as a DIY job. Due to the complexity of the electric system, this project can be dangerous. You should not take the risk of getting an electric shock. If you do it yourself, you will only have to pay for the material. When you replace your ballast yourself, you will save a great deal of money.

As a result, labor is the major expense in replacing a ballast since the material costs are relatively low. For example, if your multimeter doesn’t work, you’ll need to get a new one to test your electrical output. To learn more about how to install an electric meter easily, click here.

What are the signs of a bad ballast?

The ballast is responsible for turning on and off the lighting, which regulates its electrical current. A dead ballast prevents your light from turning on at all. Symptoms of a failing ballast include any of the following:

  • You will see flickering on and off.
  • The lighting levels will not consistent.
  • You won’t satisfy with the light because it was a bit low for the inconsistent lighting level.
  • You will hear some noises from the ballast.
  • It will take more time than usual.

To determine whether your ballast is failing due to any of the problems above, you should use a multimeter, not a submeter. This will determine if the ballast needs replacing. You may have an issue with your lighting fixture or wiring.

How Long Does It Take To Change A Ballast?

Ballasts receive electricity and regulate the current of bulbs. It takes about 30 minutes or 60 minutes to replace a ballast. They will take about 5 minutes of work per light fixture.

How Do You Replace A Ballast?

Before you start the process you need to ensure that you turn off the electricity and discount all the equipment. Then you have to follow some simple steps to replace the fluorescent light ballast. here’s the step:

  1. Firstly, you should shut down the fluorescent lighting fixture and disconnect the bulbs. Switch off the main panel or unplug the fixture.
  2. Once that’s done, you simply cut off the old ballast wire.
  3. After that, unscrew the old ballast.
  4. To finish, install the new ballast and reverse the process.

How do you test a ballast?

After installing the new ballast you must check them properly. Here’s how you do it:

  • At first, you must shut down the circuit breaker of the fluorescent fixture.
  • Afterward, you will need to remove the fluorescent bulbs.
  • When the ballast is not already exposed, remove the cover from the fixture.
  • The final step consists of setting the multimeter to ohms.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Install a Backflow Preventer?

How long should a ballast last?

Ballasts typically last about 20 years. In spite of this, the environment can affect longevity. Their lifespan is decreased due to the cold environment. It is common for a bad bulb to shorten its working life.

Now I’m answering the most common question people also asked about (Ballast Replacement): FAQ

How does a ballast work?

Ballasts regulate the amount of current that fluorescent lights receive from the power source in order to provide enough voltage to turn on the lamps. Without a ballast, the fluorescent lamp would flow an uncontrollable current if it were directly connected to the high voltage.

Do you need an electrician to change a ballast?

Absolutely, choosing an electrician is a good option. Changing a ballast requires a lock-out tag-out device. Fluorescent light is being installed by an electrician. In order to de-energize the fluorescent lights, the electrician uses the wall switch.

How do you check a ballast?

When using a multimeter, place one lead near the hot wire connections and the other near the neuter wire connections, respectively. Analog multimeters have a needle that sweeps to the right if the ballast is working properly. In a bad ballast, the needle won’t move.

Do I need to remove ballast for LED lights?

In LED lighting, energy is not regulated by a ballast. Compared to other technologies, LEDs use less energy and can be affected by excessive energy. Moreover, it will save energy by removing the ballast. As ballasts consume more power than they should, these measures result in even greater cost savings.

Can a ballast be repaired?

Many people consider it sufficient to swap burned-out bulbs in an existing ballast as ballast repair. As a result, they can provide advantages in terms of prolonging life and energy savings. Simple fixes do not always work. For significant performance and energy savings, you need a ballast replacement that takes advantage of the latest technology and design features.

How do you know when a fluorescent ballast is bad?

A malfunctioning ballast will prevent the multimeter needle from moving. If the ballast had still been working, the needle would have swept to the right across the face of the multimeter. Ensure that a new ballast is installed if necessary. You just need to change the ballast cover in the fluorescent lighting device.

How do you bypass a ballast?

The red and blue-colored socket lead wires come from the ballast side and connect with the socket leads. Lamps receive power from these output wires.

This cost-effective guide to replacing or installing a ballast will help you reduce your expenses. You can ask questions or share your experiences in ballast replacement. Keep reading to learn more about energy-saving, house bills, metering, and other related information.

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