Self Ballasted Metal Halide bulbs?

Ken_McE

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,684
Usually HID bulbs have a separate ballast. However I stumbled on some German self ballasted mercury bulbs and I like them. I'm not wild about rewiring my fixtures for a particular bulb. A metal halide HID should have better color rendering. Does such a thing exist? Are they any good?
 

DNova

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
42
I've seen them sporadically on ebay, but I've never used one. I'm sure they're fine. Be sure to only operate them in the position recommended by the manufacturer (usually base down for self-ballasted lamps).
 

brickbat

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 25, 2003
Messages
885
Location
Indianapolis
65535 said:
Probably quite similar to self ballasted flourecent bulbs, either that or they run on rather high voltage.

I'd say not similar. Try to find a CFL spotlight that has a 10 degree beam...

They are true HID Ceramic metal halide lamps. The arc tube operating voltage is in the range of 80 volts or so, and yes, they do use a high pulse voltage to start.
 

EricB

Enlightened
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
267
Location
NYC
I never even knew about that square bulb from the 80's.
As for the one where they ditched the integrated ballast; I always wondered why noone though of a screw-in ballast adapter! (Sort of like the adapters used for bulbs with different bases).
 

2xTrinity

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
2,386
Location
California
Usually HID bulbs have a separate ballast. However I stumbled on some German self ballasted mercury bulbs and I like them. I'm not wild about rewiring my fixtures for a particular bulb. A metal halide HID should have better color rendering. Does such a thing exist? Are they any good?

I'm somewhat curious, what sort of application do you have in mind for the Metal Halide bulb? As it is, the only Niche market I can really think of where MH would be an advantage over fluorescent for a screw in bulb would be for spot-lighting, paricularly for retail (lots of screw lamps, not practical to rewire each one -- that's the market for those Philips bulbs). Any sort of moderately bright flood lighting (up to a few thousand lumens) IMHO, compact fluorescent is best. If you need several thousand to tens of thousands of lumens from a lamp, you're going to probably need an external ballast no matter what.

I have seen grocery stores now start to use small metal halide spotlights, with external ballasts, to light up the fruit -- the cool white color temperature, and the fact that it's a point source (rather than a diffused source like fluorescent) actually looks very nice. This sort of low-intesity spotligting, such as tracklighting for pictures, or small retail displays, I expect to be covered by LEDs pretty soon.
 
Last edited:

65535

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
3,320
Location
*Out There* (Irvine, CA)
It seems rather non ecenomical, ballasts normally last a fair bit longer than the actual bulb itself, so from the standpoint throing the bulb and the ballast away is a pretty poor idea.
 

Ken_McE

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,684
2xTrinity said:
I'm somewhat curious, what sort of application do you have in mind for the Metal Halide bulb?...
Area lighting in a room the size of a house.

If you need several thousand to tens of thousands of lumens from a lamp, you're going to probably need an external ballast no matter what.
I am replacing 300 watt incandescent bulbs and am having trouble finding a CFL that will put out 6,200 lumens, (the output of an ordinary 300 watt incan.) yet fit into a space twelve inches long. The CFLs that do fit in that length are around 105 watts, and they are marginal for keeping the same lumen production per fixture. More powerful CFLs exist, but they are long rather than wide. Wide would work.

I don't have the budget to bring in an electrician and rewire the room, and it would be improper to rewire the fixtures (say by hard wiring in new ballasts) myself.

HID lighting would fit the bill so long as it was self ballasted. That makes it a matter of changing a light bulb, albeit an expensive bulb, and that is something that is proper for me to do.
 
Last edited:

Ken_McE

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,684
65535 said:
It seems rather non ecenomical, ballasts normally last a fair bit longer than the actual bulb itself, so from the standpoint throing the bulb and the ballast away is a pretty poor idea.
In this application the longer life of an HID bulb would compensate for the cost of the ballast. We have to bring in machinery to get at the fixtures, and that's a pain. What I'm finding is that self-ballasted metal Halide bulbs on the market seem to top out at around 35 watts, and that doesn't equal the output of a 300 watt incan.

I have picked up some 250 watt German made self ballasted HID Mercury bulbs, other than the color and the restrike issue I like them. They have maybe eight or ten times the life expectancy of the original incans. Metal Halide would still have the restrike issue, but the CRI should be improved.
 
Last edited:

2xTrinity

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
2,386
Location
California
Hmm... I think ideal for indoor area lighting is probably T5 or T8 fluorescent fixtures. With electronic ballasts, those will be more efficient, and have much better color rendering than any sort of Mercury/Metal Halide HID lighting, but since that would require rewiring, which I understand isn't practical at all, your options are fairly limited. Cost for these entire fixtures though can be fairly cheap, as they're mass-produced for lighting up retails stores, offices, and warehouses etc. There isn't enough of a market for self-ballasted HID to fit your particular application.
 

Bjost

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
6
I have an old warehouse with over 1000 sockets and have tried a few incandescent replacements over the years. At one time 2000+ 22 watt circleline flourescent screw in replacements went in with two per socket using a Y adapter. OK, but still too dim. I eventually phased them out with 30 watt circleline flourescent screw in replacements ($20 each ten years ago) which helped. I moved up to 42 watt compact flourescent tube screw in lights. Still just OK.


I now switched to a new 42 watt compact flourescent spring bulb that has a 5100 degee K color. Even though this bulb is the same wattage as the other compact bulb I was using, the color difference of the bulb makes it appear much much brighter. It was amazing, the place appears so much brighter and cheery. The employees are very happy. I replaced even almost new bulbs with this upgrade. If you are replacing 300 watt incandescents, I would highly recommend these lights using two per socket with a Y adapter. This also provides light when one burns out which helps to not leave you in the dark. The bulbs were $9.50 each last time I bought them.

Large aluminum disposable pizza pans purchased from a wholesaler made for some great cheap reflectors. I used a hole saw to put the hole in and then set it over the bulb. My eyes and light meter readings showed surprising improvements.

Good Luck
 

Ken_McE

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,684
2xTrinity said:
Hmm... I think ideal for indoor area lighting is probably T5 or T8 fluorescent fixtures.
The building across the street went with T-5's for a similar space. They're bright and efficient, but there is something painful about the quality of the light, not sure what it is exactly. I'd rate them just above sodium lights for the attractiveness of the light.
 
Last edited:

Ken_McE

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,684
I now switched to a new 42 watt compact flourescent spring bulb that has a 5100 degee K color. Even though this bulb is the same wattage as the other compact bulb I was using, the color difference of the bulb makes it appear much much brighter. It was amazing,
What brand, what supplier? How many lumens output? What are the dimensions of the bulb?

I would highly recommend these lights using two per socket with a Y adapter.
I did something similar earlier and found that the plastic "Y" adapters started to fail from the heat. What brand do you have?

Large aluminum disposable pizza pans purchased from a wholesaler made for some great cheap reflectors.
I've pulled the existing reflectors and sent them out to be plated, probably with nickel.
 

brickbat

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 25, 2003
Messages
885
Location
Indianapolis
Maybe not the place for it, but should this thread have been moved? OK, it does deal with HID lamps, but I always thought since the 'spotlight/lanterns/HID' heading falls under the 'flashlight' forum, this sort of thread, which is NOT flashlight-related, is better off in the 'general light" section under 'non-flashlights'...
 

Bjost

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
6
They are from a company called TCP. It is a SpringLamp model 2894251K. 42 watt, 2800 lumens, 10,000 hours, 7" tall, 2.8 max width, Min stating temp -20. I would suggest a local electrical supplier for purchasing them. Try a few to see how they work for you.

The Y socket adapters are Leviton.

If you have reflectors with a narrow neck, the ballast may not fit in. I had some of those and put in an extension with the outlet in it to add a few inches.
 

Ken_McE

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,684
brickbat said:
...should this thread have been moved? OK, it does deal with HID lamps, but I always thought since the 'spotlight/lanterns/HID' heading falls under the 'flashlight' forum, this sort of thread, which is NOT flashlight-related, is better off in the 'general light" section under 'non-flashlights'...
Mark_Larson said:
Looking at where the discussion was going, I too think that it would have been better off in GLD..
Well guys, it started out in General Lighting, some passing mod bumped it over here, I figure they've got enough to do already, so I'm gonna' live with it.
 
Top