i have been running a hamilton magnetic ballast for years now. i recently picked up a pair of icecaps to replace the magnetic. i was told that the electronic ballasts will under drive the bulbs. is this true, and if so is the energy savings worth the decreased output?
I use HQI(M80) ballasts, which draw ~330 watts each from the wall. Compared to two 250w Icecaps, the HQI ballasts draw ~160 watts more.
Assuming they are being run 8 hours, the HQIs use 38.4 more kilowatt hours per month(30 days) than the Icecaps, or about $4.60 more per month at $.12/kwh. Might be a big deal for some, but then you have to factor in reduced lamp life from being underdriven. Running radiums, you get about 30% more PAR from using the HQI ballasts, which are the correct one for those bulbs.