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Within the last 50 years, the lighting industry has changed a lot. Possibly none of the lighting fixtures and hardware made in the current times now use the ballasts. The old fluorescent lamps that still use the ballast are getting low and low in manufactured numbers.
This is a very relevant, in-time question to ask what are ballasts.
A ballast has two functions. During the lamp start-up, it provides sufficient voltage for the lamp to start. During the running time, it regulates and provides just enough voltage to draw the right current. Without ballast, the lamp will draw enormous amounts of current and will fail rapidly. Each lamp has its own ballast in a fluorescent lighting system.
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