Are You Still Using LED Grow Lights with Ballasts?

In recent years, it's becoming increasingly clear that more and more cannabis cultivators are switching to LED grow lights. Considered to be far more efficient, more cost-effective, and running cooler than their outdated high-intensity discharge (HID) counterparts, LED lights certainly offer growers plenty of benefits. Unfortunately, many fail to consider what is one of LED lighting's greatest flaws: the fact that the vast majority of LED lights are still coupled with a local, individual ballast.

Ballasts are the electronic component of an electric light responsible for regulating the current to the lamp and providing sufficient voltage to start the lamp. While it is true that HID lights run significantly hotter than LED lights and radiate their heat due to the burning gas that emits the light, most assume that it's simply a matter of the bulb's size and wattage. In reality, it's also a function of the efficiency of the bulb and ballast. Additionally, individual ballasts for each fixture are inefficient and are a significant source of additional heat in the grow room.

As cannabis growers worldwide realize the potential of LED grow lights and begin to transition to them, the realization that nearly all LED lights still contain a ballast is becoming a growing concern. While many LED manufacturers present their lights as a heat-reducing alternative to HID, the issue of unreliable ballasts generating heat and failing inside the grow room remains.

At TSRgrow, we've decoupled all ballasts from our LED grow lights, creating the first LED grow solution where ballast heat will not affect the temperature of your grow room. Powered by TSRgrow centralized remote power server technology, TSRgrow centralizes the lighting power system for simplified installation, maintenance, control and elimination of all ballast induced heat in the grow rooms.

The result is a grow room with intelligent monitoring and control, unaffected by the impacts of ballast heat and failures. Integration with TSRgrow Lighting as a Platform™ (LaaP) technology alerts the grower with any changes or fluctuations in the grow room through real time monitoring, regulation and alerting of lighting and power. TSRgrow has gone beyond simple LED lighting to create an advanced LED lighting solution that is far better than traditional LED lighting ..

Why Remove the Ballast from LED Grow Lights?

We've discovered a plethora of reasons for decoupling ballasts from LED grow lights. Let's examine some:

  • Typical LED groAre-You-Still-Using-LED-Grow-Lights-with-a-Ballastw lights feature between one and five drivers/ballasts per fixture, with many grow lights requiring multiple local ballasts. TSRgrow's LED grow lights have NONE.
  • Standard ballasts weigh between 3-10 pounds, significantly increasing the weight of the grow lights and thus requiring heavy-duty mounting brackets and hangers to be installed. TSRgrow's lights feature zero ballasts on the lights or in the grow room, making the lights lighter and easier to mount and maintain.
  • On-fixture ballasts are limited by their two-wire 0-10V dimming connection, requiring each fixture to possess an additional Y cable for dimming to sync multiple fixtures together, or a RS485 junction connection. As a result, all fixtures must be zoned together limiting zone control. TSRgrow's dim-to-power eliminates all fixture-to-fixture dimming wiring, allowing each fixture or group of fixtures to be zoned for precise control without the hassle.
  • On-fixture ballasts generate heat and increase grow room temperatures significantly, requiring costly cooling and dehumidification considerations. TSRgrow completely eliminates these ballasts from the grow room, saving valuable HVAC capital expenditures and operating costs.
  • Ballasts are typically the first component of a grow light to fail, requiring the fixture to be removed and the ballast replaced. This can prove a costly and challenging task, often resulting in disruption of a plant's photoperiod and damage to the canopy developing beneath the lights, not to mention the possibility of contamination from maintenance activities. TSRgrow centrally locates their digital power servers within the building and houses them in accessible floor-mounted cabinets for easy access, complete with built-in diagnostics for proactive replacement by easy slide-out and slide-in modular power units.
  • Typical on-fixture ballasts require step-down transformers to decrease voltage from 480V 3-phase to 240/277V in order to operate. Coupled with the need for contactors and relays for control, this significantly increases installation and infrastructure cost. TSRgrow digital power servers can be directly powered by 480V 3-phase and digitally distribute the power to the fixtures, resulting in a simple, efficient and sustainable power supply system for its lights.

In addition to eliminating unnecessary heat from the grow room, our ballast-free grow lights are easily installed and daisy-chained together for maximum efficiency. With plug and play setup, installation is a breeze.

Realizing the potential for decoupling LED lights from their ballasts, TSRGrow didn't stop there. By integrating its Remote Power Servers into TSRgrow Lighting as a Platform; (LaaP) technology, TSRgrow enables the grower to remotely maintain complete control over all aspects of their grow room.

We're also taking much of the guesswork out of the grow operation, TSRgrow's remote power system is adaptable to a wide range of power sources. Moving off grid or integrating to micro-grid power has never been so easy. TSRgrow advanced LED lighting systems can be powered by regulated DC storage systems, CHP Solar or high voltage grid AC. Rest assured that whatever your electric source may be, our lighting will run at peak efficiency and not necessitate extraneous cooling to maintain proper grow room temperatures

Time to Ditch the Ballasts

The days of using on-fixture ballasts are in the past, and TSRgrow's ballast-free LED grow lights are the future of indoor horticultural lighting. With simplified maintenance, reduced HVAC loads and cooling requirements, integrated environmental monitoring and control and the highest output on the market, TSRgrow has created a model which offers the grower vastly superior control over their entire environment.

Combined with GROWHub™, TSRgrow's environmental monitoring platform, growers are gaining the power to automate their grow room environment like never before. GROWHub and TSRgrow's advanced LED lighting system make it possible for growers to focus every bit as much on the business end of their operation as the minutiae of gardening. Top-quality crops were never as attainable as they are with TSRgrow.

At TSRgrow, we're committed to offering the highest quality lighting and automation in the industry. Contact us today to see what advanced LED grow solutions best fit your application and business!


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