10 Best Ballast for Indoor Growing
Ballasts are important in controlling the lighting of your indoor garden. This hardware simulates outdoor lighting that can help in the growth cycle of your plants. If you are using a hydroponic garden, you can optimize your setup with a ballast equipment.
It is important to note that ballasts are a major investment for your garden. You want to pick one that will give you the most value for your money and your plants. Let us help you in your choice by giving you our 10 picks for the best ballast for indoor growing.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Pick of Ballast for Indoor Growing
Apollo Horticulture Purple Reign 1000W Digital Dimmable Ballast – The Purple Reign from Apollo offers 12 different dimmable settings, which ranges from 400W to 1050W. The unit does not produce too much heat as other ballasts.
Phantom II, PHB2010 1000W, Digital Ballasts – The Phantom II uses a microprocessor to control the lighting system. You can set the lighting to 60 percent, 75 percent, 100 percent, Super Setting. The standout feature of this unit is its heat control, which does not use any cooling fan. This allows the ballast to work without making too much noise.
SPL Horticulture STB 1000 Hydroponic 400w Dimmable Ballasts – the SPL Horticulture ballast features a fast ignition system that can light up the lamps within a maximum of two minutes. This unit protects itself from short circuits by powering off by itself. In addition, the ballast does not produce as much noise as other similar units.
Reviews of the Best Ballast for Indoor Growing
One of the ballast’s important features is the quick lamp ignition, which can turn on the lights in just a couple of minutes. Another is its stable light output through a constant lamp outage. Both features ensure that your plants get the right amount of light at specific times for optimized growth.
The main feature of the ballast is its light dimming function when you need your plants exposed to low light settings. This also lets you lower the wattage down to a certain degree so you can save on electricity.
The Yescom Ballast is compatible with high-pressure sodium and metal halide light system. The multi-voltage range of 120V/240V lets you connect the ballast to nearly any outlet in your property. In addition, this 600W unit comes with a cooling fan to keep its temperature down when it needs to.
- Dimmable light features
- Quick lamp ignition
- stable light output
- Additional cooling fan
- Fan noise
- No different in wattage use on certain light settings
Despite its small size, the ballast can deliver bright light without making the bulb incredibly hot. The powerful light can reach the lowest leaves of tall plants. This allows the plant to receive as much as light as possible for its development. In addition, the warm temperature of the bulb allows you to handle it easier than others. This is thanks to 95 percent of its high power factor.
It is important to note that the TopoLite ballast does not have a cooling fan. This means that the temperature is kept low within the unit without making too much noise.
You can plug the TopoLite ballast to a 120V or 240V outlet. With its small size, you can easily place this anywhere in your indoor garden. In addition, the ballast comes with a one-year warranty from the makers.
- High light output
- Compact design
- Bulbs are warm to touch
- the multi-volt input of 120V/240V
- Does not produce any noise
- No on/off toggle switch
- Light output cannot be changed
You can never go wrong with the Apollo Horticulture brand. This unit is another of their high-powered ballast that delivers 1000 watts. It even comes with a 90-day money back guarantee and a three-year warranty.
What makes this one of the serious contenders for the best CMH grow light ballast is that the unit will not produce too much noise. Even with the built-in fan running to keep the temperature of down while the ballast is set to 1000 watts, the Apollo Horticulture Purple Reign barely produces any noise.
One of the key features of the Purple Reign is its 12 dimmable options. These are 400W, 420W, 500W, 630W, 700W, 750W, 800W, 900W, 1000W, and 1050W. This lets you set the lights that allow for optimal growth of your plants. You can also allow in enough light to avoid wasting power, which helps save on electricity. The additional power options open the doors to expansion. This means that you no longer have to buy a 1000W ballast if you have plans for growing more plants in the future.
The top of the unit has a digital display, which provides a variety of info on the unit. This makes it easy for you to make any changes when necessary.
The ballast also has safety feature. When you are hit with power interruptions, the ballast turns off to prevent any serious damage. In addition, The Purple Reign can quickly ignite lamps within five seconds and provide a constant lamp power supply.
- High 1000 watt output
- Runs silently
- 12 light options
- Safety feature during power interruption
- Only compatible with HPS and MH grow light system
- No RFI shielding to stop radio interference
You can use this ballast on either an HPS or MG grow light system. In addition, the multi-volt feature makes this compatible with either 120V or 240V power supply. In addition, the lamps are protected from internally high temperatures and there is radio shielding that can prevent the unit from interfering with appliances.
The dimming feature lets you set the light to 100 percent, 75 percent, or 50 percent of power. The three light settings allow you to pick one that is just enough for your plants. This can help save power, which results in a low electrical billing. In addition, the ballast can quickly light up your bulb within two minutes. You also get a three-year warranty for this unit.
- Fast lamp ignition
- Different dimmable settings
- Compatible with 120V and 240V power supply
- Internal heat protection
- Highly priced model
The Phantom II uses Smart Alert Technology with a 32 MHz microprocessor. This allows the ballast to control the lights at the right time. In addition, there is a hot restrike-programming feature that can save your lamps in case the unit turns off by itself.
Another stand out feature of the Phantom II is its temperature control without using a fan. It only uses the open vents surrounding the ballast. This allows the Phantom II to control the lighting of your garden with as little noise as possible.
This ballast has four dimming output: 60 percent, 75 percent, 100 percent, and Super. The equipment uses only the right amount of power to provide light to your plants. This also helps you avoid wasting power so you can avoid a large bill at the end of the month.
- Lightweight design
- Four dimming light settings
- Fan-less temperature control
- Silent operation
- Hot restrike-programming
- Highly priced ballast
The iPower Ballast also delivers 30 percent more lumens than magnetic ones as well as provide three light options: 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent. In addition, the unit has a high-frequency output to make sure that there is little power loss at nearly any given time.
One of the interesting features of this ballast is its electronic programming that switches to HPS and MH bulbs automatically. The voltage output towards the bulb is always stable to avoid flickering lights. In addition, it has a fast light ignition that can turn on the lamps within two minutes.
Another important feature of the iPower Ballast is its multi-protection features. The equipment can guard against power surges, overheating, expiration of bulb, and short circuits. In addition, this ballast has a cooling fan with graduating fins that keep the temperature down. For more protection, you get a two-year warranty for the unit.
- Three light output setting
- Fast light ignition
- Protection against power surge, overheating and expiring bulb
- Auto conversion between HPS and MH system
- No RFI shielding to prevent the unit from interfering with TV and radio
The Vivosun Horticulture 600 Watt Dimmable Ballast offers four different options: 250w, 400w, 600w, and Super Lumen. These four sets allow you to optimize the light for your garden to make sure that you do not waste too much power in your garden.
This ballast has a protection system that can shield you from several dangers. These include overheating, end-of-bulb-life, ignition-failure, and short-circuit. For better protection, the makers recommend that you only use the same watt setting as your bulbs. There is even a three-year warranty for this unit to give you more protection.
To control the temperature of the ballast, an internal fan is built-in to bring in some air circulation to the unit. Unlike other ballasts that have a cooling fan, this one is significantly loud. Expect some noise when you are cranking the wattage at a higher setting.
Another interesting to note about Vivosun’s unit is its slow light start-up tech, which ignites your bulbs at a slower pace than other ballasts in the list. This feature can make your lamps last for a long time.
- Four wattage setting
- Protection system
- Compatible with 120V and 240V
- Slow light start-up
- Fan produces noise
The Hydroplanet Trade Ballast is compatible with HPS and MH light system. It will also convert automatically to either light system when needed. In addition, you can adjust the power to four different settings: 250W, 400W, 600W, and Super Lumen. This lets you set the lighting in your garden that does not use too much power. For added assurance, you get a two-year warranty for each unit.
This ballast also features a fast ignition system that lights up your lamps within a maximum of two minutes. It also provides a constant lamp voltage to keep your bulbs stable and not flicker.
A built-in fan controls the temperature of the unit. However, there are some reports that the fan of their units does not turn on. In addition, the fan tends to generate plenty of noise when the ballast generates plenty of heat.
- Four power settings
- Auto conversion to either HPS or MH light system
- Fast ignition system
- What We Didn’t constant lamp voltage
- Issues with the fan on certain units
- Produces noise
The XTRAHYDRO Dimmable Ballast supports HPS and MH grow light system. You can set the lights in four different output: 300W, 450W, 600W, and 660W. The adjustable output lets you choose the right amount of light for your garden setup.
You get several protective features when using this ballast. This includes a high/low voltage input, faulty bulbs, random lamp ignition, and overheating. We want to point out that the heating protection of the unit is noteworthy. Even when the ballast is delivering large wattages, the unit keeps its temperature at a safe level. In addition, the fan does not produce as much noise as the ones from other ballasts.
The inside of the ballast has a special resin coating. This layer can make your unit last for a significantly long time. If something should happen to your ballast, you can use the three-year warranty that comes with every unit.
This unit is compatible with either 120V or 240V with an input frequency of 50 Hz and 60 Hz. It also has zero acoustic resonance to lessen the chance of power fluctuation that can damage your lamps.
- Four adjustable power output
- High heat protection
- Zero-acoustic resonance
- Multi-protection system
- Does not have a fast ignite system feature
The XTRAHYDRO Horticulture Dimmable Ballast offers the same features as its 600W cousin, but with added features. This includes the unit’s compatibility with HPS and MH lamps. It will also work with both 120V and 240V power supply. Like other XTRAHYDRO ballasts, this one has your back with a three-year replacement warranty.
What makes this XYTRAHYDRO ballast different is its powerful wattage output of 1000W, which can be set in four different outputs. These settings include 500W, 750W, 1000W, and 1100W. The Super Lumen setting of this unit lets you provide light to a large space when you are growing several plants.
The 1000W Ballast version also has the same protection as its cousin. Your unit is protected against overheating, under/over voltage input, short circuits, and random lamp ignition. This ballast also features zero acoustic resonance to prevent light flickering. In addition, the inside working of the unit is coated with a special resin to allow for a long lifespan.
- Compatibility with MH and HPS grow light system
- Four adjustable dimming settings
- Intense 1100W light output
- Multi-protection system
- No Fast Light Ignition
Ballast Buying Guide
A good ballast can benefit any kind of growers who are serious in getting the most yields from their plants. You need to keep in mind several things when buying the right ballast for your plants:
Lighting Adjustment – not everyone has the same number of plants or garden size. A 1000W of lighting can be too much for a small garden. However, you may also want to have this amount of power in the future, if you plan to increase your plants and growth area. A good ballast can keep your options open at all time with adjustable dimming settings.
Temperature Control – heat can be dangerous if the ballast cannot control it. A proper unit needs to keep the temperature down at all times while the lamps are on. Quality ballasts are warm to the touch no matter the intensity of the lights. They should not be too hot that it is hard to even hard to touch the controls.
Noise -sound and cooling fans go hand in hand with ballasts. When a unit reaches high temperatures, the fan kicks in to cool the unit. Low-quality ballasts will emit a noticeable noise when the fan working overtime. The one you want should keep the unit cool, even when the light output is high while producing as little sound as possible.
Multi Protections – many things can damage your ballast and lamps. This includes short-circuits, high/low voltage input, faulty bulbs, and much more.
Going through the 10 different ballasts in the list, we have to give the best cmh grow light ballast pick to the Apollo Horticulture Purple Reign 1000W Digital Dimmable Ballast. This unit has nearly everything you will want from any grow light system. The cooling system of the unit is one of the reasons why this unit gets our pick. Few ballasts can keep its temperature down without making too much noise.