magnetic vs electronic ballasts


New member
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?



Team RC
The energy consumption is worth it imo

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.


New member
thanks for the replies!

according to the link im already using the correct ballast for my bulbs. saving 5 or 6 bucks a month isnt really worth the lower output. looks like i will have 2 icecaps for sale.