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Hello, the university that i do electrical maintenance for, has a handful of stadium light bulbs that arent working. These are metal halide bulbs, we have replacement ballast on hand, i just had the question. Is there anyway to test the existing ballast to make sure im not replacing a good ballast? Each pole has 20 or more lights on them with individual ballast. Is there a quick way to find which ballast goes to which light? Ill attach a picture of the new ballast, unfortunately most of the troubleshooting to get to this point, of deciding its a ballast, was done before i started working here.
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since it is a stadium .... no doubt there are out of the ordinary expenses involved to repair the lights

the fact is ... if a bulb does not fix it, it needs a ballast

because it costs so much to get up to the lights to work on them, it is not worth reusing any part of the old ballast and chancing an immediate or even short term breakdown

as you said, the trouble shooting was done before you got their
eyes open, mouth shut, paying close attention = learning mode
 

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I like ceiling fans & EMT
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Theoretically you could use a voltmeter and etc etc etc. But if you want to bench test components the easiest way is to have a known good fixture on the bench, and then swap in components one by one to see what works.

I've never done stadium lights (and I'm kind of jealous) but for parking lots, I try the bulb first, then the starter (if applicable) then the capacitor, then the ballast. In this case It looks like the capacitor and ballast are designed to be replaced together and there is no starter. So I'm cosigning the above posts. If a new lamp doesnt fix it, just change the ballast.
 

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Theoretically you could use a voltmeter and etc etc etc. But if you want to bench test components the easiest way is to have a known good fixture on the bench, and then swap in components one by one to see what works.

I've never done stadium lights (and I'm kind of jealous) but for parking lots, I try the bulb first, then the starter (if applicable) then the capacitor, then the ballast. In this case It looks like the capacitor and ballast are designed to be replaced together and there is no starter. So I'm cosigning the above posts. If a new lamp doesnt fix it, just change the ballast.
I did parking lot lighting maintenance for almost 3 years. Step 1) change the bulb, if that doesn’t work then step 2) change everything else.

We didn’t change out any of the single items, it was always just: new lamp, new ballast & capacitor, new socket. It was way cheaper for the customers to have us do that then come back and sevice the same light fixture again within a years time frame.

After you’d serviced the same parking lot for a year or two, and you’d have to do would be drive through and replace bulbs on your QM’s.
 

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You can check the Cap with uF meter. Bad caps will not allow bulb to illuminate. However...listen to the two posts above.
If you have 10 lights out...put 10 ballasts/cap/lamp holder assy's in the lift with the lamps and replace it all. Cost too much money on a big lift to f**** around.
You can get a capacitor tester that will give you the value, etc, for about $20 on Amazon. I keep one on hand.
 

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I like ceiling fans & EMT
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I did parking lot lighting maintenance for almost 3 years. Step 1) change the bulb, if that doesn’t work then step 2) change everything else.

We didn’t change out any of the single items, it was always just: new lamp, new ballast & capacitor, new socket. It was way cheaper for the customers to have us do that then come back and sevice the same light fixture again within a years time frame.

After you’d serviced the same parking lot for a year or two, and you’d have to do would be drive through and replace bulbs on your QM’s.
I was employed by the facility, not by a contractor, so my time was considered "free". If we could save $0.02 by working an extra hour it was fine by them.
 

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I was employed by the facility, not by a contractor, so my time was considered "free". If we could save $0.02 by working an extra hour it was fine by them.
That is all fine and good however…

You should not be replacing these Balis at all. He should be replacing the entire fixture with LED, and shrouded and with optics that focus the light exactly where it needs to go.

There is a park like stadium near my home that I sold on Long Island, the existing football field and one of the softball fields was lighted when the park was built back in the 80s. But a new extension on that park which contained two full sized artificial turf soccer/football fields was just done a couple of years ago, and the new lighting there along with all other new park and stadium and arena lighting is 100 times better than the old metal halide floodlights of years past. Quite literally there is only I would guess 5% of the light not going where its intended projected target is. There is almost 0 glare. In fact if you turned your back to an entirely lighted field in the dead of night, you would not even know the lights were on .

Now I’m an old school guy and I just love vintage things and harkening back to the past because I can appreciate it since I was there… But somethings we used to do just need to die.
 

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I like ceiling fans & EMT
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That is all fine and good however…

You should not be replacing these Balis at all. He should be replacing the entire fixture with LED, and shrouded and with optics that focus the light exactly where it needs to go.

There is a park like stadium near my home that I sold on Long Island, the existing football field and one of the softball fields was lighted when the park was built back in the 80s. But a new extension on that park which contained two full sized artificial turf soccer/football fields was just done a couple of years ago, and the new lighting there along with all other new park and stadium and arena lighting is 100 times better than the old metal halide floodlights of years past. Quite literally there is only I would guess 5% of the light not going where its intended projected target is. There is almost 0 glare. In fact if you turned your back to an entirely lighted field in the dead of night, you would not even know the lights were on .

Now I’m an old school guy and I just love vintage things and harkening back to the past because I can appreciate it since I was there… But somethings we used to do just need to die.
Any idea of the longevity (real not projected) of those LEDs?
 

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Any idea of the longevity (real not projected) of those LEDs?
No I don’t, but I will say this:

Even if they only expected to last 15 years or say even 10 years. The optics of these lights and the features are worth it. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a night game at a municipal park or a college stadium but watching the game without experiencing any of the glare from the flood lighting is worth it’s weight in gold. Although I do believe that as I age I am developing a severe light sensitivity, as normally in the evenings every light in My Home is dimmed to less than 40% and it simply annoys me if anything is brighter.
 

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I was thinking LED too. The problems are cost, and miss matched lighting. I’m not sure if you can retrofit an existing HID fixture to LED and get the kind of performance that would make them happy. If you can get them to spring to change one standard to new LED fixtures, they will be sold.
 

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I was thinking LED too. The problems are cost, and miss matched lighting. I’m not sure if you can retrofit an existing HID fixture to LED and get the kind of performance that would make them happy. If you can get them to spring to change one standard to new LED fixtures, they will be sold.
You can't. Those lights are actually pretty carefully designed, the output and the photometrics have to be just right for bright even lighting. Replacing the whole thing with LEDs for a small stadium is a $six-figures job.
 

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I got involved with the stadium lighting upgrade for ASU, for Superbowl XXX. I was working for the state so my time was free. We found that the old fixtures had at least 20% light scatter, IE not where it was needed. We had 106 lumens on the 50 yard line and 80 some at the goal line and 60 some at the goal posts. Not good for TV cameras. I chose the most expensive fixture at the time for stadium lighting still metal halide, 2000 watt if I remember correctly. It allowed for a 1/3 reduction of the number of lights on the tall poles. We still had to add 60 fixtures for the end
zones. I learned a lot about lighting fields and focusing said lighting. It is time consuming and when done correctly makes a big difference.
I would discourage mixing of the light sources. It would not hurt to check with the manufacture for a better back which will focus the light better. Cleaning is always a good idea as well as replacing the seals to keep the bugs out.

I am of the same thoughts, if a lamp does not do it a complete redo of all the parts. We had lots of parking lot fixtures. We also kept a map of the fixtures when they were rebuilt.

We had medium voltage wires over several of out fixtures, a good 5kv set of gloves helps when working on those. 15kv gloves are hard to work on lighting.
 

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Many owners of large quantities of lights have a maintenance schedule so they know their work/ budget going forward and so everything always works.

Example: Street lights burn around 4160 hours per year. Buy 10k hour equipment and change it all out every 2.3 years. Change bulb, ballast and control all at same time on scheduled interval.
 
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