Mercury vapor pole light

My mercury vapor light has taken to going on and off, on and off. I'm a wondering if this could just be the bulb, or is the problem more than likely something deeper, like a ballast? I'm not familiar with how these work, all i know is that i'm probably gonna have to hire someone to climb this pole as i don't have a ladder that long.
thanks
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Steve Barker
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Always start by re-lamping -- it is the cheapest component to replace...
Then if the problem persists with a new lamp you change out the ballast and other circuitry -- don't try fiddling with one piece at a time, replace all the guts in the fixture because Murphy's law dictates that if you only replace one part the other will soon fail and you will have to pay for the guy with the tall ladder or bucket truck to come back and play with it some more...
~~ Evan
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wrote:

I have one in the yard and thought it was possessed. I did not come on until 2 or 3 in the morning and went off as soon as the sky showed a sliver of light in the east.
The eldest was here for a visit and was willing to haul out the ladder and put in the new lamp I had sitting in the garage.
Lo, and behold, It works.
This was the second time that this happened in an eight year time frame. __________________ Bill Waller New Eagle, PA
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On 9/5/2011 8:59 AM, Bill Waller wrote:

Thanks for the reply, Bill. I'll get a bulb and try that first for sure.
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Steve Barker
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On 9/5/2011 1:03 AM, Evan wrote:

Thanks for the reply. I have another light that I'm pretty sure just needs a bulb, so if i need "guts", i'll use those first.
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Just a thought.........are you sure its a merc vapor (white light) and not a sodium (gold light).???????
Sodium lamps fail in the manner you stated.....lamp cycling on then off then on etc.
In 25+ years I have never seen a merc fail this way..........UNLESS.....mabey something new is reflecting light from the fixture back into a top mounted photocell .

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On 9/5/2011 1:21 AM, Harrison Lighting and Neon wrote:

Yes, I'm sure. I'm avoiding the power company because they replace with HPSodium and i don't care much for orange. <G>. As for the reflecting back, well nothing has changed, so i'm discounting that idea. It's not a rapid cycling either. Maybe a half hour on, then random time off, etc. Thanks for the reply.
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When mine was doing that it was the photocell assembly. Problem could be the photcell is aimed wrong and it is turning itself off by seeing its own light.
Jimmie
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On 9/5/2011 1:46 PM, JIMMIE wrote:

well it's been sittin' up there doing it right for the 6 years i've been here. as far as "aimed" is concerned..... well it's in the sun. and then it gets dark. dark is in all directions. and no one has turned my pole around.
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On Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:58:19 -0500, Steve Barker

I have one of these at my place and it's normally the bulb.
You can buy bulb changers, which are a long pole with a grabing head on it. They're not cheap, but if you have to hire someone, the bulb changer will pay for itself after one or two uses.
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