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Old 02-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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Default Mercury vapor to Metal Halide.

I did 2 jobs recently, and both involved changing out mercury vapor to metal halide.

My boss told me that MH works just fine with mercury vapor ballasts, and it's true. However, I did notice that all the outdoor changeovers, the MH bulb cooked off the vapor ballasts, whereas the indoor ones seem to be working just fine.

Anyone else have xp on this?

It's a crying shame the companies I sometimes work for have a tiny budget.

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Old 02-07-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Don't know why there would be a difference in the outside and inside fixtures. We usually change out the ballasts when we change over, the customer is paying for it. But I've made mh lamps work on a mv ballast but I've always disconnected the igniter

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Old 02-07-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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Don't know why there would be a difference in the outside and inside fixtures. We usually change out the ballasts when we change over, the customer is paying for it. But I've made mh lamps work on a mv ballast but I've always disconnected the igniter
Most of those ballast are combination MH,MV as long as you get the correct ANSI lamp they will work like they are supposed to,No need to diconnect the Igniter unless is says so on the ballast.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:18 AM   #4
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Don't know why there would be a difference in the outside and inside fixtures. We usually change out the ballasts when we change over, the customer is paying for it. But I've made mh lamps work on a mv ballast but I've always disconnected the igniter
Almost none of the Mercury vapour ballast I have ran into do not have igniters or starters on them due they are probe start by design and now with other thing with Metal Halide probe start it can use the MV ballast as long it can meet the ANSI specs.

However there is one quirks I have allready know it for long time is during the very cool or cold weather they will not start the MH bulbs with MV ballast due the open circuit voltage is not high engough to overcome it I have see it before quite few time.

Really if you really want to get the best performace on MH bulbs you may have to switch over to Pulse start Metal Halide bulbs with PSMH ballast then it will match with each other and nice thing with PSMH's they can start better in cold weather than probe starters and they are brighter as well.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:22 AM   #5
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Almost none of the Mercury vapour ballast I have ran into do not have igniters or starters on them due they are probe start by design and now with other thing with Metal Halide probe start it can use the MV ballast as long it can meet the ANSI specs.

However there is one quirks I have allready know it for long time is during the very cool or cold weather they will not start the MH bulbs with MV ballast due the open circuit voltage is not high engough to overcome it I have see it before quite few time.

Really if you really want to get the best performace on MH bulbs you may have to switch over to Pulse start Metal Halide bulbs with PSMH ballast then it will match with each other and nice thing with PSMH's they can start better in cold weather than probe starters and they are brighter as well.

Merci,
Marc


I replace a 400 W MV bulb with a 325 W MVR.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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My bad. I was thinking of hps ballasts
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:32 AM   #7
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Marc, can you elaborate on the ansi spec thing? Are some mercury ballasts rated other than h33? or are some MH lamps rated h33?
Also, do not all metal halide fixtures have an ignitor as well? It has been awhile since I worked on a mercury fixture, but it seems to me they have two starters in them. Are you guys disconnecting one of them?
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:44 AM   #8
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Marc, can you elaborate on the ansi spec thing? Are some mercury ballasts rated other than h33? or are some MH lamps rated h33?
Also, do not all metal halide fixtures have an ignitor as well? It has been awhile since I worked on a mercury fixture, but it seems to me they have two starters in them. Are you guys disconnecting one of them?

I am glad you asked that one so the ANSI specs are printed on the ballast and pretty good percentage on the bulbs as well.

The H33 is 175 MV ballast ditto with the bulb but somecase will carry differnt ANSI number as well depending on the bulb manufacter.

I will post the ANSI chart for HID's

http://www.kolmart.com/HID-ANSI-Code-Guide_b_3.html

That should help you with the numbers in case you are looking for.

By the way ., The ANSI number not only cover the HID but there is used on indenscent bulb in special format ditto with other type of bulbs some case you may have to use the ANSI number to get correct bulb.

Oh yeah almost forgot this one the larger HID's will have capatior some will have two in there depending on the ballast set up and type and I do not disconnect it otherwise you will get dimmed if you disconnect one but both useally no light or crazy power drawage if CWA ( consant wattage autotransfomer ) ballast

Merci,
Marc
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:48 AM   #9
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as long as you get the correct ANSI lamp they will work like they are supposed to,




Can't stress this enough, order lamps and ballasts per the ANSI numbers.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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In the past month, I have worked on fixtures at 2 different locations where somebody installed the wrong bulbs.
400w MH lamp with a 320w pulse start ballast (enclosed fixture). Ballast had a dime size hole blown out the back of it.
400w MH lamp with a 350w pulse start balast (high bay). I could see the smoke damage from 50' away. Ballast was completly black, all the shelac had liquified, kinda surprised there wasn't an all out fire.

Graybar (so I assume others do) has a bulb and ballast kit for most of these. I don't troubleshoot HID very often, by the time they call me, it's usually time to replace both (they have tried bulbs already, or it hasn't worked in years, or it trips the breaker). The kit is cheaper than buying a bulb and ballast seperatly, and you know they match.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:17 AM   #11
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Can't stress this enough, order lamps and ballasts per the ANSI numbers.
10 years ago i sent 2 guys and a bucket truck to change out 24, 250 watt Metal halide lamps in a parking lot,
He was told to go up and get the info from the ballast then send the helper to the supply house and pick up the lamps.

Well he did not go up and look and told the helper to go get the lamps.

Just after sunset i get the call the client is pissed yelling his head off.

So i went there only to see 24 ,250 watt HPS lamps cycling...

WTF so i called the journeyman and asked him if he got the info off the ballast he said oh ya they were working....Really?

So i called the helper he told me that he did not even look he sat there reading the paper while the kid went get the lamps when they were done he did not even test them...

You would think he would have noticed the difference from the lamps he was removing from the fixture.

The next day back to colvens anther $400 for a truck and had to do it my self ,so i had 24 HPS lamps to throw away and several ballast to change.


And to top it off the customer was so pissed of he would not pay the F-ing Bill

The journeyman was shocked when i fired his lazy good for nothing Butt.

And the best part was that each fixture had a twist lock Photo eye so he could have tested them while he was up there.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:23 PM   #12
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Harry.,

If I did see that guy do that kind stunt to me I will kick his ase in a mircosecond.

There is no excuse to get in the dammed bucket and go up and get the freaking eyeball look inside the luminaire.

I was working with other EC in France and I did told other EC what his helper did and he was really ticked off and I told him to save it.,, I did kick him out for good reason.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:41 PM   #13
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Harry.,

If I did see that guy do that kind stunt to me I will kick his ase in a mircosecond.

There is no excuse to get in the dammed bucket and go up and get the freaking eyeball look inside the luminaire.

I was working with other EC in France and I did told other EC what his helper did and he was really ticked off and I told him to save it.,, I did kick him out for good reason.

Merci,
Marc
He tried to collect Unemployment after that so i went the hearing and had him cut off at the time the economy was red hot and he thought he was going to get a free ride off of me.

He had to go get another job...
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:21 PM   #14
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Even when a customer tells me "they're yellow lights, I'm sure", I'll still go up and look because customers seem to be almost always wrong.

What suprised me is how similar mercury and MH are. They weren't all that blue visually (light colour), and when I pulled them down, the guts seemed the same (except it said mercury not m59 or whatever).
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:52 PM   #15
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I service one building with many HPS wall packs. Some are 250w, some are 400w. The wall packs look the same, inside and out. They seem to throw off the same amount of light. Some of the ballast are replaced already. Most of the lables are worn off.

I will tell you a 250w lamp has a short life span with a 400w igniter. And a 400w lamp with a 250w igniter will not always ignite.

Took us a while to sort it out. But now that it is, everyone is very happy.

Why they used 2 different wall packs during original construction is ridiculous.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:35 PM   #16
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Makes it even worse when the electrician before you didn't know there was a difference between 250 and 400, and just put 250 bulbs in everything, so when you go to change out the bulb and check the ballast, the sticker is hidden behind the little plate, you make the little extra effort to check, and there it is, mismatch.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:32 PM   #17
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I service one building with many HPS wall packs. Some are 250w, some are 400w. The wall packs look the same, inside and out. They seem to throw off the same amount of light. Some of the ballast are replaced already. Most of the lables are worn off.

I will tell you a 250w lamp has a short life span with a 400w igniter. And a 400w lamp with a 250w igniter will not always ignite.

Took us a while to sort it out. But now that it is, everyone is very happy.

Why they used 2 different wall packs during original construction is ridiculous.
Id be tempted to make them all 250's as the ballasts go bad. :whistling:
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:15 PM   #18
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Lightbulb Probe Start vs Pulse Start MH HPS & MV

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Marc, can you elaborate on the ansi spec thing? Are some mercury ballasts rated other than h33? or are some MH lamps rated h33?
Also, do not all metal halide fixtures have an ignitor as well? It has been awhile since I worked on a mercury fixture, but it seems to me they have two starters in them. Are you guys disconnecting one of them?
Just a follow up to these posts in regards to starters and capacitors.
Pulse Start metal halide ballast kits consist of a ballast core, run capacitor and start capacitor. Probe Start metal halide and mercury vapor ballast kits consist of a ballast core and single capacitor. With Probe Start (175W, 250W, 400W, 1000W & 1500W), the igniter is built into the lamp (bulb). High Pressure Sodium is like Pulse Start MH as it has a Core, run cap and a starter cap. If you look at the print on the ballast label, it will display the ANSI number. H33, H38 are mercury vapor codes with H, M135, M47 are metal halide ANSI with M and HPS ANSI codes have an S, like S55 or S50. Sometimes metal halide ballast kits will list like M90 and H38 on it's label, if it was designed run both 100W metal halide and 100W mercury vapor lamps, but not always. They do not manufacture "mercury vapor" ballasts anymore, so you would use a metal halide ballast and MH or MV lamp. On occasion, pairing a 175 MV lamp with a 150W MH ballast, will work, but will cause the ballast to overclock, and will greatly shorten the life of that ballast and/or lamp.

Here is a link of wiring diagrams in hopes it might help someone out there.

http://www.kolmart.com/HID-Ballast-W...grams_b_4.html
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:26 PM   #19
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High Pressure Sodium is like Pulse Start MH as it has a Core, run cap and a starter cap.
That is interesting. I was in a building the other day that had been using probe start 400w metal halide lamps for as long as anyone could remember.
Turned out they are actually high pressure sodium ballasts. Lamp life and output has been normal.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:25 PM   #20
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That is interesting. I was in a building the other day that had been using probe start 400w metal halide lamps for as long as anyone could remember.
Turned out they are actually high pressure sodium ballasts. Lamp life and output has been normal.
There are metal halide conversion lamps that will run on an S51 sodium ballast. I would be curious to know the ANSI on the lamp or what the model number is. On a service note, M59 lamps you have mentioned require replacement every 10K - 12K hours but the S51 lamps that would match that sodium ballast last about 18K-20K hours. HPS lamps would need to be replaced half as often... Also, a straight M59 lamp uses a 24 microfarad capacitor, but the S51 ballast has a 55 microfarad capacitor. I would have guessed that the MH lamps life would be shortened. Cheers!

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