Outside mercury vapor light flickering

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I have a mercury vapor light that turns itself on/off intermittently at night.
I called the electrical contractor that installed it and thought I just needed the bulb replaced. The owners wife who answers the phone said it could also be the ballast.
What are the prices of these parts?
Would it be more economical to have them install a new one?
Any estiguess as to labor time? It's about 15' up so they used a ground ladder and one person to install.
When I purchased it from an electrical supply place (as instructed by the oelec co owner) I noticed they did not appear to be real durable...
Any ideas as to what a modern alternative would be?
Thanks all!
--
Tekkie

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Lamp/Ballast price depends on what type of lamp and ballast you are dealing with...
You would need to disassemble the fixture in question to positively identify the lamp and ballast needed there are just too many different types and lamp sizes out there to be able to give you specific advice blind over the internet...
How many hours of the day do you leave the fixture on ? You will only get x-thousand hours of lamp life out of a light fixture, and the same logic applies to ballasts...
~~ Evan
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On 11/30/2010 9:04 PM, Tekkie® wrote:

Best color, more natural light will be from a metal halide light. The most efficient as far a light output will be a high pressure sodium light but the light is quite yellow. I like the metal halide lights myself.
TDD
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Cold be the ballast. I just ordered part for a metal halide light and paid $125. It was easier than replacing the entire fixture and save about $60. Your local electric supply house may have parts or check them out at www.mcmaster.com
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wrote:

Change the bulb. Cost around $10. I have one of these lights, the bulbs flciker when they are getting weak.
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On Dec 1, 12:26 am, snipped-for-privacy@someplace.com wrote:

It's usually the bulb. Metal Halide fixture will have a ballast transformer and a capacitor. High pressure sodium will also have a starter. The parts are pretty cheap online. .
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My experience is that over 90% of the time, the cause is the bulb needing to be replaced.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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Tekkie® posted for all of us...

The electrical contractor was here weeks ahead of expectations.
The existing light was a dusk to dawn mercury vapor.
Owner claimed bulbs are not available because of the magic word "mercury"
Replaced with metal halide fixture and wife is happy.
Waiting for invoice.
Thanks everyone for the replies.
-- Tekkie
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On 12/2/2010 9:08 PM, Tekkie® wrote:

I'll bet you like the color of the light from the metal halide fixture. :-)
TDD
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On Thu, 02 Dec 2010 22:06:58 -0600, The Daring Dufas

Could be worse - it could be Sodium Vapour - - -
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On 12/2/2010 11:09 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Is that the pink/orange type? Very ugly. I didn't want light to light up the sky so I gutted the fixture and left only the light sensor circuit in it. Installed a 27? watt CFL and mounted the lamp about 6 feet lower than it was. Perfect! BTW, this dusk to dawn works with a relay so any lamp will work.
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On 12/3/2010 6:56 PM, Tony Miklos wrote:

Yellow, is the color of light sodium emits when in plasma form.
TDD
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Not always. High pressure sodium usually glows a whitish orangish color. There is a variant (not common) that glows a "warm white" color.
It's not that hard to force sodium to produce significant secondary spectral features, and/or to have its main orange-yellow spectral feature broadened over a considerable range of the visible spectrum. In extreme cases, sodium vapor has been known to glow with a daylight-like color.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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On 12/10/2010 6:00 PM, Don Klipstein wrote:

Well, now that I think of it, I have to agree with you on the color. Perhaps dark yellow is what I was thinking? :-)
TDD
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<SNIP to color of the light>

You may have been thinking of low pressure sodium - orangish yellow and essentially monochromatic. Things look an orangish yellow version of black-and-white under those, except for some red fluorescent objects or if other light is coming in to bring in some color. Reds, greens and blues tend to look dark - often reducing sensation of illumination.
Also, night vision is less sensitive to sodium light than to a "photometrically equal" illumination by most other light. This is even worse with low pressure than with high pressure sodium. This is usually significant in lower illumination levels common in outdoor lighting at night.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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On 12/10/2010 9:41 PM, Don Klipstein wrote:

I've actually dealt with HPS lighting for many years. My first job out of college some four decades ago was working for an electrical supply company. I installed a number of HPS lights at a marina some 30 years ago on light poles that me and the owner fabricated from square steel tubing. It was a fun project, we installed a number of self contained 50 watt fixtures on the poles around the marina which provided enough light for safely walking around the place at night. I do believe I have a 100 watt HPS bulb on top of a cabinet in the next room. I know a little bit about about 'lectricity and lighting. :-)
TDD
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The Daring Dufas posted for all of us...

I do !
--
Tekkie

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in part:

Metal halide bulbs contain mercury. So do high pressure sodiums.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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On Sat, 11 Dec 2010 00:02:32 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

Correct, Mercury is now banned. In fact the government plans to have NASA explode the planet Mercury by the year 2012, using several one-hundred-gigaton nuclear bombs. They said that once the space debris stops falling in 100 to 300 years, we should all be safe.
Mark
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On 12/10/2010 9:09 PM, snipped-for-privacy@u-guess.com wrote:

Are they going to get the Lexx and Captain Stanley Tweedle to blow up the planet Mercury? :-)
http://www.hulu.com/lexx
TDD
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