The Metal Halide Lamp (MH)

The Metal Halide Lamp (MH)


Here we have some Metal Halide HID Lamps-High Intensity Discharge which in it self is a family of lamps that produces light by passing current thru a gas like a florescent but at high intensity. The arc itself produces enough light to actually be useable as a light source so unlike the florescent they don’t rely on phosphor to make the actually light they can generate the light in the arc itself and HID ???? basic family of mercury vapor, metal halide and high pressure sodium and also XMH (Xenon Metal Halide) which will be covered here to. But this particular lamp here is the most common, it’s an ordinary Phillips 400 Watts universal burning metal halide lamp, an MH400/U and this particular lamp can burn in any position and you can see the arc tube in the center is made of quartz and it runs about 50 PSI pressure which is pretty high even for an HID lamp and that’s how it allows it to produce high light output the predominant discharge is thru mercury vapor and there is halide salts and that’s what’s clouding up the arc tube that vaporize in to the mercury vapor to produce the white color that metal halide lamps are known for. the color is around 4000 Kelvin so is pretty white almost like cool white florescent. How the lamp works is, inside the arc, inside the lamp the outer envelope you have an arc tube and is made of quartz and is sealed on both ends as you can see, there’s an electrode at each end an operating electrode which is just a coil piece Tungsten, can’t really see it, it’s way up inside there and also there’s a starting electrode and starting resistor which helps the lamp to start when is cold. When the lamp starts initially the arc is thru argon gas the lamp is very dim at that point and the discharge fills the whole arc tube so the lamp is very dim and it glows a blue color. As the lamp heats up the mercury starts to vaporize first the arc gets smaller and brighter and is still blue, still the color of the mercury discharge. Then enough heat is made to start vaporizing the halide salts which are various chemicals and each one give off its own color so when they are all combine together and they mix with the blue color of the mercury vapor as they vaporize in to the arc stream, the lamp starts to shift from a blue color to a white color. And the reason the ends of the arc tube are white they are covered with ceramic to reflect heat back in to the lamp that will otherwise be wasted to keep the arc at a specific temperature because some of the halide salts need a certain temperature to stay vaporized if they go below that the lamp will shift in color so by painting the ends white it keeps the temperature in the arc up so that the lamp maintains its color. This 400 watts lamp putt’s out about 38000 lumens which is quite a bit more actually then a 400 watts mercury vapor which putt’s out about 20000 lumens so is a little more efficient that a mercury lamp not as efficient as high pressure sodium which is about 50000 lumens but the lamp is right in the middle and had white color it has a reasonably long life ???although???? shorter that mercury vapor and high pressure sodium and the lamp has the advantage that the coloration of light is very clean and crisp, so they can be used both indoors and out which is a nice feature of this lamps. The average life of a lamp like this if is burn based ??up?? is about maybe 20000 hours horizontal probably about 10000 hours and when you burn it horizontally the arc ???? and heats the quartz more so the arc tube will melt after a while and cause earlier failure of the lamp. This particular lamps are commonly use for high day lighting and parking lot lighting and underneath gas stations and things like that. Is a very common lamp, is an older lamp, that’s unfortunately slowly been fazed out for pulse start ???age ?? which is more efficient but less reliable of. On the metal halide lamps this is yet another dimension in metal halide lightning, this one has a tiny little arc tube inside of it that’s around 35 watts and this is actually the same basic lamp that they use in the headlights of a lot of today’s automobiles. The cars you see going down the road with a really bright blue or really white color headlights or HID headlights works on the same principle as standard metal headlight but the arc tube is much smaller and is actually even at higher pressure so it can produce even more light and is a bit more efficient. And it has a virtues of compactness so it can be put into a battery operated portable spot light like this one is. Here’s yet another format another dimension of metal halide lightning, this particular specimen is kind of a rare lamp that was put out by ??Venture Lighting International?? which is an US company and it was only made for one or two years around 1991 or 1992 and is kind of a collectors item now because they no longer make the lamp. its in a ??power?? 48 envelope similar to a car headlight the fixture that is in, is a fixture I had since I was a little kid come from a building my dad ????? turnd off ?? years ago, I restored it and put the metal headlight lamp in it so is a new lamp in an antique fixture. And this one’s pulse start uses an igniter which is down on the bottom here with the ballast like a high pressure sodium lamp, so it starts with a pulse like a HPS lamp yet is a metal halide lamp. This particular model has a shield around the arc tube to defuse the light and is also there so if the arc tube explode at the end of life, it wont blow up the whole bulb that acts like a shield to prevent violent failure of the lamp. This particular model also has a warm color when it lights up, it looks almost like a halogen or incandescent when is ???? so is a decent replacement for halogen that’s more efficient, unfortunately the company doesn’t make this lamp anymore

22 thoughts on “The Metal Halide Lamp (MH)

  1. can a light (1500 watt metal halide) that is wired 120volts be converted to 220 volts? These lights were used for a baseball feild and i ended up salvageing them. the ballasts are way heavy guessing the box weighs around 45 to 55 lbs. Thanks for youre time

  2. thank you so much, am a technology  teacher, and i use these vids to demonstrate lighting to my class. thanks again! 

  3. I've serviced a few MH 35 / 39W recessed can fixtures with electronic ballasts, and they are extraordinarily expensive to service and complex to wire up.

  4. I hope the name of this channel "EdisonTechCenter" didn't come from that thief Thomas Edison. We all know how Edison robbed, exploited and took advantage of the poor, but brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla.
    Edison was nothing but a copycat who took credit for someone else work.

  5. I would consider myself an HID nerd on par with and wouldn't mind shaking the hand of the presenter, but I suppose a comment and a like shall suffice. Flawless demonstration on the history and workings of an unappreciated part of modern life.

  6. The only comment I cant agree on is the word efficient when talking about HPS being more so than MH. The S/P ratio of MH is more than double that of a HPS lamp. While the HPS looks more impressive on paper producing more lumens per watt it is nearly half the VEL (Visually Effective Lumens) than the Metal Halide lamp. I hear this to often but when you put a 250W HPS next to a MH the MH blows it away on quality and visually effective light, largely due to the color spectrum of the bulbs. Gotta say I love Venture, great company there!

  7. I’ve been made jump a few times when the tube goes pop and shatters everywhere. It’s especially common in the tubular lamps because the outer glass is closer to the inner tube, but the inner tube after a while of running for a long time in a setting when they’re always on will bulge and cause the outer glass to bulge in a certain place and it’ll just shatter after a while.

  8. NO MORE EDISON TECH CENTER! I narrated this clip, as well as most of the lighting clips. The place is GONE. I busted my ASS getting all my stuff back home last summer (2018) and am still struggling in the dead of winter to get the stuff at least stored, especially as I use a wheelchair and did when this clip was made. The building sits empty. I got screwed out of 2 very hard to find and valuable huge R-80 mercury vapor flood light bulbs that were an important part of my bulb collection, and even the ballast that ran them! They didn't get the fixture, that is hanging in my basement off a joist now, safe, because it was boxed and what was written was the make and model, and no description, and these GE boneheads are too stupid to know what it was. Engineers they are NOT. No wonder GE stuff was, is, ans always will be SHIT. I am quite pissed over the loss of those lamps, especially since one was a Sylvania, and they only made these huge R-80 mercury vapor floods for 1-2 years, so they are rare. It had a clear face, too, so was a splendid specimen. If I find out that those lamps are at Union College, I will wheel in the school and take them back. They are stolen from me, and I will press charges. Since few people were allowed as a rule in the storage/workshop part of the building, and these were obviously taken along with the ballast (which has bad capacitors and only gets the lamps to 1/3 brightness at best, and the lamps draw heavy current at that low level and tend to burn up the bottom lamp and socket contact, the Westinghouse I had to repair the base bottom insulator and contact as high current from the bad ballast welded the contact in the socket, and it got ripped off the lamp, breaking the bottom insulator, so I made one from the top cap of a porcelain knob insulator for knob and tube wiring to repair it, which is a giveaway it is my lamp!) and I suspect it was somebody from the college that wanted these giant bulbs for classes there. If I find out, whoever took then and also allowed it at Edison Tech Center is in deep trouble, I will NOT let this rest or pass. So one was a rare clear face Deluxe White Sylvania with nickle plated mogul shirted-clamp base, and the other was a Westinghouse, frosted face, no phosphor (Sylvania has /DX white phosphor on the reflector area) and a damaged and repaired brass mogul skirted-clamp base with a white glazed porcelain insulator glued on with a now yellowed and brittle glue called "goop" that was not that good but all I had back then, late 1980's. If anybody knows where these lamps are, email me at [email protected] because I WANT MY DAMN LAMPS BACK! Edison Tech Center is no more, physically, and I seriously doubt it has a future. Good riddins, but in the process I lost these valuable lamps. Cheers.

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