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Two years ago I installed a 175w mercury vapor light on the pole in front of my house. It was old unopened stock from a warehouse and had probably been sitting for ten years.

About a year ago I noticed the light would flicker every 30 seconds or so; no power elsewhere would flicker so I know it was limited to that light. It did this for a year. Finally yesterday the fixture didnt come on at all. I know there is power to it because I checked the junction box at the base of the pole.

My question is, where do I start? Should I change the bulb, the photocell, or assume the ballast is toast and just replace it? It's 35 feet up in the air so it's going to be a PITA whatever I do haha.

The old fixture was from the early 70s and worked fine until a lightning storm got it a few years back.....
 

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If it only flickers when it is powered, first two things to check is the bulb and the ballast. Those bulbs do not last forever. Change the power sucker out for a LED. You will see your electrical bill drop ten fold.

http://www.ledsmagazine.com/ugc/iif...-175w-mercury-vapor-exterior-barn-lights.html

Retrofit guide. http://www.myledlightingguide.com/ledretrofit.aspx

They call the replacements "Corn Cob Bulbs". Check with your local electrical warehouse if they have them as a stock item, or can get it cheaper than you can find on amazon.com.
 

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Two years ago I installed a 175w mercury vapor light on the pole in front of my house. It was old unopened stock from a warehouse and had probably been sitting for ten years.

About a year ago I noticed the light would flicker every 30 seconds or so; no power elsewhere would flicker so I know it was limited to that light. It did this for a year. Finally yesterday the fixture didnt come on at all. I know there is power to it because I checked the junction box at the base of the pole.

My question is, where do I start? Should I change the bulb, the photocell, or assume the ballast is toast and just replace it? It's 35 feet up in the air so it's going to be a PITA whatever I do haha.

The old fixture was from the early 70s and worked fine until a lightning storm got it a few years back.....
Mercury vapor is outdated technology. Don't waste your time trying to repair it. In a few years you may not be able to buy replacement bulbs.

Look into LED outdoor lighting. The bulb may outlast you depending on the fixture.
 

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I had a wonky mercury vapor light above the garage, the bulb would "reset" itself and turn off for several minutes every time the freezer in the garage started up and dropped the voltage briefly. I bypassed the ballast and installed a 65w CFL instead, no more problems.
 
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