Author Topic: Are european and North american metal halide lamps interchangeable?  (Read 1181 times)
RadiantMV
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Are european and North american metal halide lamps interchangeable? « on: September 06, 2022, 11:15:57 AM » Author: RadiantMV
I know mercury lamps of the same wattage can usually be used on both european and North American ballasts. Is this the same with metal halides? Will a european 400 or 1000 watt MH lamp work on a North American M59 or M47 ballast and vice versa?
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sol
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Re: Are european and North american metal halide lamps interchangeable? « Reply #1 on: September 06, 2022, 01:12:03 PM » Author: sol
Small (150W and less) MH lamps (and ceramic as well) operate just fine on both. I have ordered several from Europe and they work nicely here in Canada. I believe the larger lamps do have differences (pulse start mainly in Europe and later fixtures here, probe start not so much in Europe as here). Some European MH lamps are closer to European HPS than mercury.
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Medved
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Re: Are european and North american metal halide lamps interchangeable? « Reply #2 on: September 07, 2022, 02:01:10 AM » Author: Medved
Probe start in Europe are very unusual, as the 230V OCV of the common series choke ballast is not enough to ignite them so they need at least a low voltage ignitor.
So very early on, they got replaced by simpler construction HV pulse start (no auxiliary probe, resistor nor probe bypass bimetal, easier handling of the arctube heat management because the missing probe gives more design freedom to shape the arctube there to tune the temperature profile,...).
And because other pulse start lamps were already becoming the mainstream, the HPS (again, in Europe designed with arc voltages in the 70..90V range to suffice with a 230V OCV series choke), the pulse start MH's, mainly the lower wattages, were designed along the HPS specs.
But many higher power MH (mainly "400W" and above, even when HV pulse start) were designed along the MV specs (arc voltage in the 100..135V range), as that yields lower ballast losses.
So in Europe, many MH's of higher power rating exist in two formats, one for "HPS ballast" and one for "MV ballast", not interchangeable. Some more modern lamps were rated for operation on both ballasts, but each ballast type yields different optical properties (and the lamps are rated so; warmer color and higher real power and output on HPS gear, colder color temperature and lower power and output for operation on MV ballast - e.g. a "400W" tend to operate at 360W 5000K Ra70 on "400W MV" and 420W 4000K Ra80 on "400W HPS"), so although the same lamp, the different properties make these two ballasting options not interchangeable either.

And these pulse start MH specs were then brought to the US, where each lamp spec got its ANSI code. But they are essentially the European spec lamps, so practically each European (pulse start) MH will have its matching ANSI code.


The only HID family where there is no correspondence US vs Europe are the HPS. There not only the designed arc voltage differ, but as well the response on varying power, so different ballast load characteristics (US lamps are more thermally stable, so less prone to thermal runaways, but have wider tolerance of the arc voltage at the nominal operating point). Plus the US has its speciality in the low voltage HPS lamps (the 55V lamps designed for a series choke at 120V; Europe has all lamps in the 70..100V arc voltage range, just because of the anticipated 230V mains).
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Rommie
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Re: Are european and North american metal halide lamps interchangeable? « Reply #3 on: September 07, 2022, 06:20:46 PM » Author: Rommie
Personally, I've found that the higher wattage HPS lamps (250W and up) work fine on our ballasts, it's only 150W and below that are different, although 100V 150W lamps do exist and they are fine on our 240V ballasts.
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Ria (aka Rommie) in Aberdeen
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RadiantMV
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Re: Are european and North american metal halide lamps interchangeable? « Reply #4 on: September 07, 2022, 07:09:24 PM » Author: RadiantMV
So i assume a pulse start ballast of the equivalent wattage would be the best option for running a European MH lamp in North America then?
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Rommie
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Re: Are european and North american metal halide lamps interchangeable? « Reply #5 on: September 07, 2022, 07:27:59 PM » Author: Rommie
You could try that, but personally I've always tried to run lamps on the ballasts they were designed for, which is why I get the genuine ballasts for my US lamps where necessary (like low arc tube voltage HPS) and run them from a 120V 60Hz inverter.
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Ria (aka Rommie) in Aberdeen
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WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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HID, LPS, and preheat fluorescents forever!!!!!!


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Re: Are european and North american metal halide lamps interchangeable? « Reply #6 on: January 31, 2023, 10:35:16 AM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
One thing to also note is that European low wattage high pressure sodium lamps are indeed electrically interchangeable with low wattage pulse start metal halide lamps.
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DISCLAIMER: THE EXPERIMENTS THAT I CONDUCT INVOLVING UNUSUAL LAMP/BALLAST COMBINATIONS SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER KNOWLEDGE. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURIES.

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