Anyone know anything about MV lights? I have an old (10-20 yr)
security light outside my barn, wired to come on at night. It hasn't
worked since I bought the place, ~7 years ago.
I got up on a ladder yesterday and noticed the fixture buzzing when
power was applied, just barely audible. I replaced the bulb (and
placed a bucket over the photocell, and waited for nightfall) and
still no light. So I'm guessing the ballast is shot. However, doing
a quick search online, h39 ballast seems to go for $60 up! And that's
not even for the correct form factor. Somehow I don't think repairing
this is going to be the most cost-effective approach to getting some
Any suggestions for fixing/repairing this? Is there a better/cheaper
technology (halogens, e.g.)? What's the advantage of MV lighting
used, anyway? SInce I'll only use this a couple hours a week at most,
energy efficiency isn't high on the list of priorities.
(By the way, I know I'll get flamed if I don't add this, so: I don't
have any intention to leave this on 24/7, or even 12/7. It will be on
a switch, and I'll turn it on when I need some temporary work light in
this location - the entrance to my barn. I don't need always-on
lighting, and I don't intend to contribute to light pollution.)
I have 2 of the old mercs as well. Change the photocell. It should
twist and unplug. Mine run less than $10. I have large side yards with
plenty of good nighttime 'hiding' places so I figure the mercs are cheap
insurance. A necessary evil if you will.
On Sun, 21 Oct 2007 19:48:57 -0000, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I'd change the photocell anyhow. I have a complete fixture as a spare
that I keep in the garage. I replace piece by piece in the garage. I
hate being up on that pole. When I get one piece that dont work on
the ground, I know thats the problem. Referring to photocell and
bulb. I never had to replace a ballast.
$60 for a ballast is rediculous. I bought a complete fixture with
bulb, mounting pipe & bracket for around $35. That was a few years
ago, but I bet they are not much over $40. Of course it depends on
where you buy them. (Just by chance did you get a defective NEW
bulb)? It can happen. Thats why I like my tests on the ground.
As for replacements, halogens have problems with bad sockets after a
few years, and then they eat bulbs. Personally, if it was only for
temporary use, I'd just install a common indecesant 150W flood or two
bulbs. But for an all night yard light, that is not as cost effective
as far as power use. I never tried a sodium light. I dont like the
PS. when the light buzzes, turn it off, then back on again. They can
do odd things at times......
Personally I think mercury vapor lights are outdated technology. I never
liked the fact that the bulbs don't burn out. They just get progressively
dimmer with age. Metal halide is more efficient as is high pressure sodium.
For maximum lumens per watt there is always low pressure sodium, but you may
have a difficult time finding cheap fixtures.
Here is one link to some reasonably priced fixtures. There are many more
links out there if you do a search.
On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 07:52:11 -0400, "John Grabowski"
While I will agree they do get dimmer with age, I disagree about them
not burning out. I have had several of them just that quit working
one day. Most were getting dim before they died, but I had at least
one that was still bright and suddenly died.
They do eventually burn out. Eventually. And now they're making them
cheaper, and they don't last like they used to.
Most effectively efficient lighting for outdoors at night among these is
metal halide. Lumens aren't all the same when things are dim enough for
scotopic vision to make a significant contribution to sensation of
Furthermore, sodium light (both low and high pressure, excepting shorter
life lower efficiency higher cost higher color rendering index HPS) tends
to make reds, greens, blues and purples darker. Low pressure sodium has
the ultimate bad color rendition - everything is an orange-yellow version
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
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