Really stupid light

I have one of those common mercury vapor yard lights found on most farms. Early last spring it started to refuse to light and I thought the bulb was dead. I was not going up there with snow still on the ground, so I lived with out it, and just put a portable light on the pole. All of a sudden the yard light started to work again, and has worked every night all of the later spring, and all summer. All of a sudden the weather is getting cold again, and the light will not turn on. However, if I shut off the switch for a 30 seconds and flip it back on, the light starts and works all night long. A few days ago, the weather warmed up again, and the light worked again. Tonite it's very cold and it will not light even after I flip the switch.
This is about the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Why the heck would it work when the weather is warm, and either struggle or refuse to light when it's cold weather. This is just plain rediculous.
It's not the switch or power source, I checked the power and replaced the switch. This almost seems like a challenge for an electrical engineer....
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I think the lamp requires a ballast like device that charges the lamp on startup.They can be replaced. JJ

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I don't work in the cold either.
Probably the ballast.
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Those fixtures are cheap enough that the most practical thing to do,outside of changing lamps, is replace it. The problem is most likely a weak igniter, which is part of the ballast kit

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Both the bulb and the photocell control are temperature sensitive. Replacing one or both should solve your problem. I would suspect the control a bit more than the bulb.
Don Young
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