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Self ballasted mercs in use in 2017

Self ballasted mercs in use in 2017

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came across these during a job, the building is from the 50's and has approx. 20 of these recessed square fixtures in the soffit along the building. To my surprise nearly all of them are using older GE self ballasted mercury lamps, only three of the twenty fixtures have CFLs installed. Management told me these fixtures run dusk till dawn and they just bought the building which sat vacant since 2014. Interesting, dont see this everyday

coralfacility.jpg 20170405_100615.jpg sbmv1.jpg sbmv2.jpg

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Filename:sbmv1.jpg
Album name:BlueHalide / New album
Keywords:Lamps
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Date added:Mar 28, 2017
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BlueHalide
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Mar 28, 2017 at 01:21 PM Author: BlueHalide
I would offer to relamp all to CFL at no cost in order to get the sbmv lamps, but the manager said they had no intentions to replace or retrofit any outdoor lighting, so I thought, might as well leave them in service
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Mar 28, 2017 at 02:03 PM Author: dor123
It isn't recommended to burn SBMV lamps horizontally, as this would cause them to cycle .

I"m don't speak English well, and rely on online translating to write in this site.
Please forgive me if my choice of my words looks like offensive, while that isn't my intention.

I only working with the European date format (dd.mm.yyyy).

I lives in Israel, which is a 230-240V, 50hz country.

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Mar 28, 2017 at 02:17 PM Author: Lumex120
Wow, that's really cool. Not something you see everyday. How long have the lamps been in use for? I have seen SBMVs that have dimmed out and the filament is brighter than the arctube. 120v SBMVs don't normally have cycling problems like the 240v lamps.

Any machine is a smoke machine if you operate it wrong enough.

BlueHalide
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Mar 28, 2017 at 04:44 PM Author: BlueHalide
Dor, as Lumex said the 120v versions dont cycle when operated horizontally, otherwise installations like this wouldnt exist. I took these photos during the daytime, with the circuits switched on to see these in operation. The pic above was the only fixture missing its frosted glass lens, had I not seen that lamp I never wouldve guessed these were mercury. I first thought they were 100w standard mercury vapor, but after switching on was more surprised to see they were all 160w sbmv. These 20 fixtures are on two 20A circuits (10 each), no photocontrol, wall switches, timers, or anything. These are only controlled by the breakers which is also kinda weird

@Lumex yes, there were several that were so dim that the ballasting filament was primarily the lamp's output color.
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Mar 28, 2017 at 09:03 PM Author: streetlight98
Way cool! Weird about their wiring though. I wonder if there was originally some sort of timer, switch, or photocontrol originally?

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Mar 28, 2017 at 09:47 PM Author: ace100w120v
But for such a large current draw (10 of those adds up fast) wouldn't it almost make sense to switch such a large load right at the breaker? I've seen many cases where large motors, etc. are simply switched on and off by throwing the circuit breaker. Back home, with one of my generators, I turn the output power on/off (on after letting it warm up, off before shutdown) by throwing the circuit breakers. Nothing fancy, just two 120v 20A breakers. I suppose eventually being switched on and off a couple times a day could wear the breakers out, same for industrial pumps, etc. turned on and off frequently with their circuit breakers.

This install may have had a (dayburning) photocell somewhere. And wow, the SMMV, especially now, definitely rare!
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Mar 28, 2017 at 10:27 PM Author: nicksfans
There are breakers made specifically not to wear out quickly when used as switches.

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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Mar 28, 2017 at 10:48 PM Author: BlueHalide
Yeah, considering these are the typical stab-in type breakers, along with the heavy load and frequency of switching (twice daily), I wouldnt recommend using the breakers as the only means of switching, like streetlight98 said, there was probably a timer originally, but why any and all controls/switches were removed is odd.

The rest of the building is lit with F40T12 troffers with magnetic ballasts, so clearing the last owners were a hard sell on "energy efficient upgrades/retrofits"
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Mar 28, 2017 at 10:58 PM Author: ace100w120v
Yeah, I'd heard "switch grade" breakers exist. I've also seen breakers which fit under a normal switch faceplate.

The ones I've used for switching equipment or turning on the output from a generator were just normal stab-in household/ light duty commercial breakers in a normal panel board.
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Mar 29, 2017 at 02:08 PM Author: Lumex120
Are you going to relamp these with SBMVs as they go EOL?

Any machine is a smoke machine if you operate it wrong enough.

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Mar 29, 2017 at 04:25 PM Author: BlueHalide
Unfortunately they didnt want any lighting service and opted to take care of future relamping and maintenance themselves, so once those sbmv lamps start failing, im sure theyll put whatever cheapest LED or CFL they can find in its place. The job I was doing here actually had nothing to do with lighting, but rather the replacement of fuses on a walk-in freezer disconnect.
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