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50W MV fixture vs. other light sources

50W MV fixture vs. other light sources

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I decided to take some pictures to compare the brightness of my 50 watt mercury vapor drum light fixture, powered by an Advance L-140F-TP ballast, to other light sources. Needless to say, the results are kind of disappointing. It's about comparable to an F6T5 or a 40W incandescent. I would say the ballast is driving the lamp with 30 watts of power, at the most. Someday when I have more money to spend, I'll nab a 35 watt metal halide ballast and see how that does.

All these pictures were taken with the same camera parameters, except for the incandescent, in which I changed the white balance.

IMG_1018[1].JPG IMG_0784.JPG IMG_0639~0.JPG IMG_0610.JPG

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Album name:themaritimegirl / Experiments, Projects, & Mods
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Date added:Jan 25, 2014
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rjluna2
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Robert


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Jan 26, 2014 at 05:25 AM Author: rjluna2
Interesting

Pretty, please no more Chinese failure.

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Jan 26, 2014 at 07:31 AM Author: TheUniversalDave1
I second that. I would have expected more light from a HIGH INTENSITY Discharge... I wonder how my Universal Magnetek 413-C-TC-P will compare. If the BULB EVER GETS HERE!

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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Jan 26, 2014 at 07:39 AM Author: themaritimegirl
Well, when real 50 watt mercury vapor ballasts are virtually nonexistent, you gotta make do, I guess. Do you have a multimeter capable of measuring AC current? If so it'll be real easy to measure lamp power. Otherwise you may have to go by the brightness, since if I remember right you don't have a Kill A Watt meter. You can tell if the lamp is at least being driven hard enough to run properly by measuring the AC voltage across the lamp. As long as it hits 80 volts or so you're fine.

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USA (120V 60HZ)


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Jan 26, 2014 at 08:03 AM Author: Alights
I'm using a 50W MH ballast for my 50W MV the 50W MV lamps are rated at .6A and the ballast uses .7A total. If you assume ballast losses the ballast is a close match. I'd much rather slightly over power a lamp than under power it
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Jan 26, 2014 at 08:09 AM Author: themaritimegirl
Alights, what make and model of ballast are you using? I asked way back when I first discussed 50 watt MV stuff in the forums, but I guess you never got wind of it.

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Jan 26, 2014 at 08:30 AM Author: Alights
I have an Advance ballast model:71A5181-001D , total wattage is 61.5W here's the discussion
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Jan 26, 2014 at 08:55 AM Author: themaritimegirl
Thanks! Looks like one of those may be in my future. In the meantime, this ballast is able to run my lamp all the way to 96 volts, so I know I'm not hurting anything.

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Jan 26, 2014 at 09:06 AM Author: TheUniversalDave1
I will hopefully be getting a Kill-A-Watt meter in the near future. After all, it is a "Lighting Gallery Member Mandatory Must-have!"

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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Jan 26, 2014 at 09:56 PM Author: toomanybulbs
i would be concerned with sputtering the lamp to death by underdriving it.since its matched by a f6t5 at a blinding +- 200 lumens it must be seriously underdriven.
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Jan 26, 2014 at 11:03 PM Author: themaritimegirl
I've been told by Medved that if the lamp reaches it's full operating voltage (which it does), then it is not being underdriven enough that it will cause any ill effect. And I know at least one other member who uses the same ballast, and they haven't had a problem yet. So I'm not going to worry, but I am going to look into getting another ballast.

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Jan 26, 2014 at 11:58 PM Author: toomanybulbs
i remember killing one trying to dim it.
it was a 175 mh.
sputtered enough in a few hours to create measureable leakage to the starting probe.its not gonna start again!
at least the lamps were free.and i still have a lifetime supply +.
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Jan 27, 2014 at 12:03 AM Author: themaritimegirl
How were you dimming it? A triac dimmer?

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EYE H80 Mercury Vapour


Brian TheTellyman
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Jan 27, 2014 at 12:10 AM Author: BG101
50W mercury gear doesn't seem to be easy to get hold of here either .. and as for 40W my only viable option was to use a 35W MH ballast (I bought a cased one for about £20 and disconnected the ignitor) with my usual plug and socket arrangement. This runs quite cool even when left on all night.

A power meter like the ones you use would be a wise investment I think. Will have a look for one of those Maplin ones.


BG

Say NO to DICTATORSHIP in the form of bulb/tube/ballast bans !!

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Jan 27, 2014 at 02:32 AM Author: toomanybulbs
series cap.
figured out early on about the sputtering after wasting 3 bulbs.
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Jan 29, 2014 at 02:25 AM Author: themaritimegirl
Today I bought my first multimeter capable of measuring AC current. The lamp is in-fact being driven with 33 watts of power (94V by 0.35A). In comparison, the CGE ballast in my F30T12 strip light does 94V by 0.43A for an excellent 40 watts of lamp power. And you can clearly see the difference, too - the lamp is comfortable to look at on the Advance while it's blinding on the CGE. I would totally swap the ballasts and convert my strip light to preheat, but unfortunately the CGE ballast is far to large to fit in the MV fixture.

0.43A ... That makes my CGE ballast a perfect full-power F30/F40 ballast - cool!

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Feb 17, 2014 at 07:30 PM Author: TheUniversalDave1
There must be a newer, smaller ballast with the same values as the CGE. I'm going to try an Advance L-140F-TP or equivalent on my homemade fixture. I'll also get a proper 40/50 bulb.

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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Feb 17, 2014 at 07:36 PM Author: themaritimegirl
Don't bother with the Advance - it only does 33 watts. A full power ballast will be able to do at least 40, and the difference those 7 extra watts make is big in terms of brightness. (My CGE ballast does 0.43A, but I think there are some that do as much as 0.46.) There are standard-size full-power ballasts, I just don't know what they are. If you ask here some people should be able to point you to full-power preheat ballasts, and perhaps even send you one. I'd like to try my transformer idea if I can find a suitable transformer, so I could get the full 50 watts. I would try a 50 watt MH ballast (which actually does close to 60 watts on an MV), but they aren't cheap to come buy.

I commented (lengthily ) on your video, by the way.

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Feb 17, 2014 at 07:45 PM Author: TheUniversalDave1
I commented back, but I guess YT didn't care. Oh well the Lighting Gallery comments work better, so I guess we'll exchange info about lights here instead of there. Maybe I'll go around the city of Birmingham to all the electrical supply houses looking for a full power 40 watt preheat ballast. I hope this isn't going to be as hard as finding the lamp. Does ANYBODY know of a good ballast to use to run a 50 watt merc?

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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Feb 17, 2014 at 07:58 PM Author: themaritimegirl
I'd personally be surprised if you can find any preheat 40 watt ballasts, let alone full power ones. I've never seen any in stores. And you probably won't enjoy hearing this, but the ballasts most likely to be full power would be vintage ones.

Well, the only other wisdom I can give is if the ballast says it's rated for anything other than a 40 watt lamp, chances are it isn't full power. Since you have a ton of two-lamp ballasts, though, I would totally grab one that may be full-power, connect the MV in series with an F40T12 on it, and see how it works, if even just for fun. And I think you'd be the first person here to do such a trick. Alternatively, you could grab a second MV lamp, and run them both in series on a two-lamp ballast.

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Feb 17, 2014 at 08:04 PM Author: TheUniversalDave1
Not big on the first idea, but running TWO mercs would be awesome! I've got to find a bigger piece of wood, two more sockets, and another switch. Would I just connect one blue and one red to each lamp and cap off two yellows? If it's that easy, there will be a "Model 2" soon!

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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Feb 17, 2014 at 08:10 PM Author: themaritimegirl
I forget what you told me about how two-lamp ballasts wire up (I only deal with single-lamp stuff, myself), but just visualize how two regular fluorescent lamps would connect, and just remove one wire from each lampholder and cap it off.

The first idea would be more for testing than anything (it would make for an interesting, although inconvenient fixture), and it would give you an idea how how much brighter the lamp gets with a better ballast. But yeah, someone suggested the two-MV thing to me once since my fixture originally had two sockets, and it's a pretty nifty idea.

Oh, it turns out your YouTube comment did come in, just as a new comment, instead of a reply to mine.

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Feb 17, 2014 at 08:25 PM Author: TheUniversalDave1
I actually deal mostly in 2 and 4 lamp fixtures at my dad's job.That's how I got so many 2 lamp ballasts-from converting so many 4 lamp troffers to T8 via 4 lamp electronic ballasts. This week, I'm going to try to get 2 40/50 DX lamps to start building "Model 2."

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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Feb 17, 2014 at 08:29 PM Author: themaritimegirl
Holy crap, get a load of what I just came across! Out of my price range, unfortunately.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Robertson-MV50-H40-50-DX-45-46-Mercury-Vapor-Lamp-120V-60Hz-0-95A-Type-1-Outdoor-/151227039997?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2335d580fd

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Feb 17, 2014 at 09:05 PM Author: TheUniversalDave1
Well then! L@@k at that! Maybe somebody on Lighting Gallery will buy it, and we'll pass it around the entire planet just to get a chance to use a real live 50 watt MV ballast!

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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Feb 18, 2014 at 09:08 AM Author: don93s
There are "full power" 40w NPF ballasts still available on eBay. I had posted the first one I bought some time ago. I haven't tried mine on a 50w MV but if the lamp voltages are similar, it may be worth trying. Even though the ballast is rapid-start, you only need to cap off the extra wire on each end.
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Mar 08, 2014 at 11:55 PM Author: themaritimegirl
Well, darn. I decided that I was actually going to buy one of those 50 watt MV ballasts on eBay. I check my Watch List, and wouldn't you know it, some lucky guy bought both of them! I wonder if it may be someone on here?

Just seeing your comment now, Don. This definitely looks like it could be a solution. A rather affordable one, too! A 50 watt MV emulates a 34 watt F40T12, so I gotta keep that in mind if I were to put an antique ballast like that to the job. Given that the ballast in my fixture is mounted in the open (that is, the main chamber of the fixture rather than squeezed inside what would be the ballast compartment), though, and since I don't run the fixture often, I reckon it would be quite all right.

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Mar 09, 2014 at 03:42 AM Author: LegacyLighting
Make your bed and tidy your room this instant young man
Good comparison Trent. F8T5 wins for me - surprisingly good.
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Mar 09, 2014 at 01:15 PM Author: themaritimegirl
My room has never been the neatest - I blame it on owning too much cool stuff. I recently bought a second large shelf to put stuff on, so the part of the room past the lower-right corner of the photos, which use to have a lot of stuff piled on the floor, is now perfectly clear.

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Mar 09, 2014 at 03:39 PM Author: LegacyLighting
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Mar 22, 2014 at 10:36 PM Author: ace100w120v
I've dimmed a 175w MV with a regular TRIAC incandescent dimmer on a HX ballast before...
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Apr 21, 2014 at 10:13 PM Author: themaritimegirl
I finally have a Universal 50 watt MH ballast coming for this thing. That should bring it from the 500 or so lumens it's currently producing up to the 1800 it should be!

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Apr 21, 2014 at 10:16 PM Author: TheUniversalDave1
Congratulations! I loom forward to seeing a half-hour long video all about it. (Not sarcasm)

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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Apr 21, 2014 at 10:17 PM Author: themaritimegirl
I personally hope it won't be that long, but yes, it will definitely happen!

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Apr 21, 2014 at 10:19 PM Author: TheUniversalDave1
Excellent. I always look forward to actually finding INTERESTING videos in my YT subscriptions. Not just crap like I've been getting for months. Spoiler alert: I'm planning a big lighting video in the next week or so.

"If people only knew how much I secretly hated them, they'd love me for holding it in." -Matt Groening

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