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Old 01-31-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
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dusk to dawn light


I have a dusk to dawn light that sometimes takes about an hour to "warm up".
I'm thinking that it might be that ballast in which case I will just replace the light. Problem is i can't find a ballast to even get a number off it to see what kind of bulb it might be to rule that out first. Can anyone tell me if my theories are correct that it is either the bulb or the ballast. oh yea i think it is mercury vapor. problem is i can't seem to find the ballast to be able to find the proper lamp for it.

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Old 01-31-2008, 06:25 PM   #2
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dusk to dawn light


If you plan to replace the entire fixture, then it does not matter if it is the lamp or the ballast. Best to just replace both at the same time. Most new fixtues come with lamp anyway.

This does sound like a ballast failure. If it were the ignitor, the light would not come on at all. Usually a bad lamp will strobe on and off.

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Old 01-31-2008, 06:25 PM   #3
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Are you talking about the common plain jane http://www.acuitybrandslighting.com/...DC/TDC.200.jpg 175 W MV something like this one ??

If so sometime it is cheaper just get new luminaire than try to fix it some new one will use less engery than the old school luminaires will take.

Most common one i sell is 100W MH or 150HPS for plain jane dusk to dawn luminaires note that the 100W MH is simauir to 175W MV but use less power for same brightness and more whiteish than old MV will give out pretty bleuish tint. but HPS that diffrent story if no one object with orange colour then it will be good choice to use it.

speaking of CFL in warmer area it will work very well but cold climite area it may work or not depending on what manufacter listed how cold it can lit up.

Merci, Marc

Oh by the way most common 175W MV ballast 120v verison are reactor type and dont even have any capaitors in there.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:46 PM   #4
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dusk to dawn light


I don't want to replace if i dont have to thus i want to replace bulb first and see if this works but the problem is i cannot find the ballst to get the proper bulb. could the ballast be incorperated with the photo cell. i have not gotten to this kind of stuff at vo-tech yet.
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:04 PM   #5
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Ok I just replaced the whole light. Disassembled the old one and found the problem. It was a broken wire from the photo cell to the ballast sometimes it would make contact other times it wouldn't.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:53 PM   #6
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dusk to dawn light


Metalarcs/Mercury/HPS alway take time to warm up (15-30 minutes) give or take. They take even longer if you shut them off and then try to start them up again. They have to cool down first before they relight. New lamps take hours to "burn in" and obtain full brightness. Older lamps are dimmer. They cycle on and off when they need to be replaced. I've replaced lamps when it's taken days, yes days for the new lamp to catch, and yes I know the ballast is bad on those ones but they are never shut off unless there's a power outage, so who cares.

In other words, don't worry about it.

If you really want to learn something that will be useful to you in the future, buy yourself one of those new "induction lights". The price is almost competative with metalarcs, better color than mercury, takes less power ( a 70 watt seems to be about as bright as a 150 HPS), they are good for 10 years, and when they are shot you replace the whole fixture, no lamps to change. Look to the future and leave us old guys in your dust.

And you will be the only one in your class, including your teachers that knows anything about them.

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