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Swimmer
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681 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know where there is good info on the theory of metal halide pulse start lights? The fixtures I'm interested in are:
250W
Pulse Start
Constant Wattage Autotransformer Ballast.
Which consist of:
1. Ballast which appears to be a transformer with multi tapped input and leads between primary and secondary that connect to the capacitor.
2. Capacitor.
3. Igniter.

The best I've found so far is Venture Lighting but I'd like more detail on currents, voltages, and wave forms.
http://hid.venturelighting.com/TechCenter/BallastLampStarting.html

I'd like to understand:
1. What this fixture does at start-up
2. How does it know to go from start-up mode to continuous mode.
3. How does it perform the above transition.
4. What voltages, waveforms, and currents are happening during these modes of operation.

Unless the igniter contains sophisticated electronics, this circuit shouldn't be too hard to understand.

I don't know if this knowledge will save me any trips up the lift but I'm intrigued by the operation. I find it interesting that a ballast rated for 500W can damage a bulb rated for 250W.
 

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Moderator
Estwing magic
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26,356 Posts
It uses an igniter and a bimetal switch. Not very popular anymore. The benefit was faster restrike instead of farting and sputtering for ten minutes.

I think Venture invented them but I believe the major lamp and ballast manufacturers still make them
 

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Banned
I make all the electrons line up for their Flu shots
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33,456 Posts
Here is what I was taught: Don't learn about it , even if it is interesting. Gut it and install a corncob in the old fixture housing.
 

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14,469 Posts
OP: You're a generation behind... way, way behind.

Take Mac's advice.

BTW, you're wrongly oriented. What you want to know is practical knowledge. That means what are its failure modes -- what subcomponents evidence failing.

Absolutely no-one is going to sit through your lecture on your elegant understanding of its electro-physics. Making the effort is to throw your life away -- well at least a few hours.

Autoformers take line voltage and generate the ideal voltage that the lamps are designed to take. That's all that you really want to know.

The technology is quite obsolete, totally uncompetitive.
 

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Watt Pusher
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2,511 Posts
Here is what I was taught: Don't learn about it , even if it is interesting. Gut it and install a corncob in the old fixture housing.
I bet if we told you the government didn't want you to know how it works, you'd learn everything you could about it.

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
 

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634 Posts
Don't even mess with the old fixture. New led fixtures designed as led fixtures are cheaper than corn cobs that may or may not fit the fixture, I put cobs in some parking lot lights, the wind whipping the fixtures broke the neck off the corn cob.
 

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Swimmer
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681 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Don't even mess with the old fixture. New led fixtures designed as led fixtures are cheaper than corn cobs that may or may not fit the fixture, I put cobs in some parking lot lights, the wind whipping the fixtures broke the neck off the corn cob.

I actually corn cobbed them before I posted this.
I posted because I wanted to know more about HIDs.
Lots of business for me with this work. Some will be corn cobs, some will be HID and ballast replacement, some will be new LED fixtures like you recommend. Corn cob worked here because these were on the wall and the customer didn't really care that they were a little less bright than the HIDs. Like you said, corn cobs are heavy and droop (mine did but it's not an issue) and many say do not mount horizontally or in shoe-box fixtures. I did not find that corn cobs were more expensive than LED shoe box fixtures.
 

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Estwing magic
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26,356 Posts
Pulse start was designed to compete against HPS since HPS had longer life, higher lumen maintenance and shorter restrike time. Most people didn’t like the yellow HPS which got yellower over time. Color corrected HPS was also an option.

Seems like centuries ago now.
 

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MH technology is weird. I never understood how if the lamp wattage and the ballast wattage didn't match up, why everything would fail early. I would've thought as long as you put a lamp that had a wattage less that the ballast, everything would be fine. For what it's worth, mixing t-12s and t-8s do the same thing.

Lol. Not that it matters, but I've mixed and matched things together plenty of times just to "get it working again."
 

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Modérateur
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8,692 Posts
There are very few places that still use the pulse start MH but that option is getting limited now due the leds are more common now

The pulse start MH are simauir to HPS but DO NOT intermix either one I know it will run but life will be very lousy.

about 10 years ago it still a run of mill item but that pretty much dropped out once the larger led show up due it save more power than the PSMH can do.

but I still use the PSMH only in few places I know one milling company the area get pretty hot so I stay away from LED due the heat so still use remote ballasted PSMH they work just fine but LED remote driver that is kinda iffy.
I havent see that yet but I heard they are out there somewhere but I cant really comment on that yet.

Oh by the way Most PSMH are in autotransformer or reactor ballast depending on wattage and input voltage ( 277 volts and up useally are reactor )

as far for parking lot luminaires I would just go with LED from factor due they are lighter and dont have to worry about the damm corncobber ( they can get pretty hot on driver unit ) and size of corncobber can be a issue with some luminaires.
 
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