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Ballast and Driver

The member companies in the Ballast and Driver Section are committed to providing high quality, energy efficient, and safe lighting products to the public and works to ensure that the interests of the lighting consumer and lighting industry are addressed in technical, government affairs, and market activities in NEMA. The domestic ballast industry represents about $1 billion in ballast shipments covering the commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential lighting markets.


The scope of the Ballast and Driver Section covers any device, other than the lamp itself, whose primary function is to convert mains power into a form suitable for a light source. This scope includes, but is not limited to:

  • Electronic and electromagnetic ballasts used for fluorescent, high intensity discharge (HID), and low pressure sodium (LPS) lighting systems, used in both interior and exterior applications
  • Transformers and other conversion devices used in the operation of low voltage lighting systems
  • Light emitting diode (LED) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) drive ciruits and power supplies for electrodeless lamps.

Technical Activities

Standards play a vital part in the design, production, and distribution of products destined for both national and international com­merce. Sound technical standards benefit the user, as well as the manufacturer, by improving safety, bringing about economies in product, eliminating misunderstandings between manufacturer and purchaser, and assisting the pur­chaser in selecting and obtaining the proper product for his particular need.

NEMA devotes much of its time, effort, and resources to voluntary standardization activities. NEMA standards are offered and recommended to become American National Standards under the procedures of the American National Standards Institute, usually under the canvass method. This decision rests with the particular subdivision or subdivisions concerned. NEMA standards are also often submitted for consideration as IEC standards components or references. It is the intent of the association to continue its support of these, and many more, activities as the best method to continue providing sound and safe electrical products for the use of all.

Key technical activities include:

  • Development of North American ballast safety standards, working with UL and CSA
  • Power quality and harmonic issues
  • American National Standards and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) lamp standards
  • Ballast in-rush and device compatibility

Government Affairs

Through NEMA, the Ballast and Driver Section develops industry positions on legislative and regulatory initiatives that may affect member products, markets, and customers. NEMA's work has resulted in contributions to public policy development and in promoting competitiveness, technological progress, and public safety. On the Government Affairs homepage members can search for and e-mail federal representatives to convey opinions regarding energy policy or other issues related to the electroindustry.

NEMA Government Affairs provides specific services to its members and information in the areas of Environment, Health & SafetyEnergy; and International Trade & Commerce.

Key governmental activities include:

  • Advising the Department of Energy and state energy commissions on energy efficiency ballast regulations and market transformation opportunities
  • Advocating market-based approaches to enhance the use and penetration of energy-efficiency technologies
  • Working with environmental agencies on ballast disposal issues

Market Economics

Through NEMA, member companies are able to develop and implement tailored, industry-specific market and statistical programs that benefit participating companies. Reports include:

  • Product orders and sales
  • Market forecasting
  • Shipments by trading areas
  • Channels of distribution
  • Financial and operating ratios
  • Wages and benefits
  • Foreign trade

The association also conducts economic analyses on the impact of legislation and regulations on member products, and monitors and reports on key industry market indicators. All programs comply with NEMA statistical confidentiality policies. For more information, please see Business & Economy.


Membership in NEMA is open to any firm actively engaged in the manufacture in North America of a product within the NEMA scope and for sale in the open market. Membership of foreign firms is subject to product section policies and NEMA Board of Governors approval.

NEMA operates on a fee-for-service basis. Each product section establishes its projects and activities and approves an annual operating budget. A fee is then established using an annual average of net domestic sales of products within the NEMA scope. The section has a tiered dues structure to assist small manufacturers.

Click for detailed product scope information.​


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