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City possibly relamping mercury cobraheads with USED lamps.

City possibly relamping mercury cobraheads with USED lamps.

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I called my municipality about three months ago regarding the completely dark 250w mercury cobrahead on my street. My city owns and maintains all public lighting here, about 95% of which is still mercury vapor in 250w or 400w. Not only did it take three months for them to finally get to my service call, but it appears they replaced the spent lamp with a used lamp. The fixture (a 60's era cobrahead) was not changed, but the new lamp is less than 50% the intensity a new 250w lamp should be, and when initially starting, the phosphor coat emits no pink/reddish light, indicating an already used lamp.

20180310_212745.jpg 20180124_225108.jpg 20180103_175827.jpg 20171226_233210.jpg

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Filename:20180103_175827.jpg
Album name:BlueHalide / New album
Keywords:Lanterns
File Size:544 KB
Date added:Jan 03, 2018
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Date Time:2018:01:03 17:58:26
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BlueHalide
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Jan 03, 2018 at 06:19 PM Author: BlueHalide
The camera's exposure makes it look very bright in the pic, but its maybe the intensity of a 175w, as you can see it is already quite greened out. I have a feeling that whenever the city removes a non-working mercury cobrahead from service due to a ballast/cap failure, they save the lamp to be used in other fixtures to be relamped instead of having to spend a few bucks on new lamps
BlueHalide
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Jan 03, 2018 at 06:21 PM Author: BlueHalide
Also, streetlighting is only ever serviced here when people call and complain. I know residents here who tell me the streetlights in front of their house or business have been dark or super dim for a decade, theyre just too lazy to call the city
sox35
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Mainly the electrical side of things


missriaelaine
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Jan 03, 2018 at 06:25 PM Author: sox35
At least they're replacing like for like, an old mercury lamp is better than no mercury lamp...

Ria in Aberdeen
It'll be all right in the end, and if it isn't all right, it isn't the end Love

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Jan 03, 2018 at 06:43 PM Author: wattMaster
At least they aren't using corn-on-the-COB LED retrofits!

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BlueHalide
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Jan 03, 2018 at 07:02 PM Author: BlueHalide
Agreed, there are a few of those corn cob LED lamps stuck in MV fixtures around here, but I think this really shows just how broke the city is; a new LED retrofit lamp costs money, a used-but-working mercury lamp in a decommissioned cobrahead sitting in their warehouse costs nothing.

Also, there is no incentive here to employ more energy efficient technologies, someone once told me the city purchases power from the utility at an extremely cheap rate, like less than half a cent per kilowatt-hour. So even if the city had the money to invest in a huge LED lantern replacement, the return on investment in energy savings would take forever. I imagine this is the same reason why they didnt switch to HPS en-masse in the 90's.
streetlight98
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Mike McCann


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Jan 03, 2018 at 07:25 PM Author: streetlight98
In a previous picture we discovered most of the lights in your area in fact are 175W MV. This probably is a new lamp, and might be a diffuse-coated lamp, not a true /DX. Diffuse lamps have a sort of greenish appearance and are slightly dimmer than /DX lamps, since it's just a clear lamp with a soft white coating.

Way cool to see all these MVs still in use. hopefully they continue to stick around for years to come. Would be nice if they devised a half-way decent maintenance program though.

Please check out my newly-updated website! McCann Lighting Company is where my street light collection is displayed in detail.

BlueHalide
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Jan 03, 2018 at 09:50 PM Author: BlueHalide
@streetlight98, this particular one has a white "25" sticker on the cover/door, so unless they installed 175w gear at some point I can only assume its still original. The photo of the lantern I posted that youre mentioning isnt the same as this one. Also, its hard to notice from the pic, but there is a slight bit of color correction going on here, its really diminished, but not to the point where it visually looks like a clear mercury spectrum/color. The phosphor is just super weak.

Other possibilities, this could in fact be a new lamp (a generic chinese lamp with the poor quality phosphors), and the problem could be the cap has failed and the lamp just runs at partial power. Assuming this uses a CWA ballast with series capacitor.

When I noticed this last night, the first thing that popped into my head (other than "holy cow they actually serviced this") was that they appeared to have put in a used lamp. I got home in time this evening to watch it warm up, and it really does appear to be a used lamp. But it could be the gear also
streetlight98
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Mike McCann


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Jan 04, 2018 at 05:52 AM Author: streetlight98
From what I've noticed with mv cap failures the lamp tends to operate a dim purplish color and has an odd flicker to it. It's definitely different from a run of the mill dimmed out lamp. I guess either it is a cheap lamp with weak phosphors or it really is a used lamp.

What make and model is this light? Does it happen to have a yellowed regractor?

Please check out my newly-updated website! McCann Lighting Company is where my street light collection is displayed in detail.

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