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Old 05-20-2010, 10:13 PM   #1
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High Pressure Sodium question


I replaced a decrepit old HPS area light about 3 months ago. All was fine until 3 nights ago when it quit working. I put my meter in the socket and a cup over the daylight/night-time trigger and read 125 volts. So I figured it was the bulb. Bought and installed one. It didn't work. Okay, so I must have gotten a bad one. Exchanged it for another. The new one didn't work. Tried a regular 200 watt light bulb in the socket; covered the sensor and the light came on. Took the bulb back and exchanged it for another.

It's dark as pitch outside right now and the new light isn't working. I've got 125 volts at the socket and it won't light the bulb. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:57 PM   #2
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Was the original lamp a HPS? If the light was a sort of yellowish-goldish, then it was HPS. If it was more of a bluish color, it was a metal-halide. If it was kind of greenish-blueish, then it was mercury vapor.

A HPS lamp will not work with a metal-halide or mercury vapor ballast.

If the original lamp was indeed a HPS, most likely the ignitor is bad. A HPS lamp needs a high voltage to start the arc, and the ignitor will send a pulse of a few thousand volts, at very low current, out every few seconds until the lamp lights.

Rob

Last edited by micromind; 05-20-2010 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:21 AM   #3
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Bad ballast. Even though you might have voltage present in the socket, you can still have a bad ballast.

Replace the entire ballast assembly (ballast, igniter, capacitor) and try again.
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:50 AM   #4
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Yes, I'm positive it's an HPS. (Atlas model #DD150HPS) I didn't realize they had an internal ballast. So I guess I'll see if I can find my receipt; take it down and return it. Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:22 AM   #5
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Regardless of whats wrong, the easiest, cheapest and smartest thing to do is return it and get a new fixture.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:46 PM   #6
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..........................which is exactly what I did!
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Old 05-22-2010, 03:09 AM   #7
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There one more thing with 150 watts HPS there are two diffrent arc tube rating one is rated at 55V and the other one is at 100V you can tell by suffix numbers like example here: E28S150/55 { it mean E shaped bulb, S = sodium, 150= 150 watts, 55 = 55 volt arc tube rating }

The other example I ran into from time to time is BT15S150/100 this is diffrernt bulb shape also 150 watter but arc tube voltage is 100

That is the only quirk with 150 watt mogual based bulbs for meduim based bulbs it will always be 55 volt due short arc tube.

I know you did try with 150 or 200 watt indentscent bulb if that did lit up then ingitor is shot some luminaire you can able order new ingitor but most case I useally order ballast kit or order new luminaire depending on style it is.

Merci,Marc
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:31 AM   #8
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Thanks for the information, Marc, but I simply took the defective fixture back to the supplier and exchanged it for a new one. Problem solved.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:13 PM   #9
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Okay, now I'm really getting frustrated! I'm pretty easy going and realize companies have problems with quality control, and I'm not always going to get something that works the way it was advertised. But enough is enough. I installed this second fixture today. Put a coffee cup over the day/night sensor and climbed down the ladder. Flipped the breaker back on and within just a few seconds the light came on. SUCCESS at last.............well, at least until I walked back over the ladder with the intention of crawling up and removing the coffee cup. The light went out before I could ever get to the ladder.

This fixture is an Atlas brand. Is there a more highly recommended fixture?
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:25 PM   #10
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Putting a cup over the photocell (day/night sensor) may or may not simulate darkness. Some photocells I've worked with need black tape covering the entire opening to turn on.

Your description (on for a minute or so, then off) is how every photocell works when it's powered up after being dead for more than a few minutes.

I'd either cover it completely, or wait for actual darkness. Then we'll know.

Rob
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:57 PM   #11
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The "coffee cup" trick has worked adequately in the past. It completely seals light from the sensor. But you could be right. I'm too disappointed...........and frankly too tired of climbing up and down the ladder to take it back down today. I'll wait until Monday......................so if you are correct, it'll have two more natural night cycles to "prove" itself! If it still proves to be defective, it'll be "off with it's head".
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #12
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Well micromind, I have to admit I sincerely doubted your opinion.............but it was totally correct. Thanks for your help. I now have a light that's working the way it should.
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