January 22, 2010, Newsletter Issue #228: Choke Ballasts

Tip of the Week

Tanning beds usually use one of the three available types of ballasts to power their lamps: choke, magnetic, or electronic.

Choke style ballasts are the most common, found in 90% of 24+ lamp tanning beds, primarily because they are the least expensive. Choke ballasts only allow a certain amount of electronic current through; they allow capacitors for filtering and lamp starters for pre-heating the lamps. Choke style ballasts tend to have complex wiring and can be difficult to do repairs on.

Voltages must be from 220VAC to 230VAC due to the fact that they are all made in Europe. With a voltage lower than this the lamps will not ignite, and a higher voltage can cause damage to the lamps. Oftentimes, you will need to purchase a buck boost transformer to work with your choke ballasts.

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