Metal halide light bulbs come in many varieties for commercial or industrial lighting.
One of the most commonly specified lighting products today are metal halide light bulbs. The versatility of this product makes it a natural for all kinds of illumination which includes industrial lighting, retail lights and even home applications. What makes these distinctive is the pure, white light that they emit while delivering a high degree of light control. All of the major manufacturers make these and that includes GE, Sylvania, Philips and even a specialty manufacturer called Venture which makes this type of bulb almost exclusively. They all have slight variations in the compound used in the arc tube itself, what that means for the end user is that the color will vary slightly from manufacturers. Sometime this is a problem for people especially in a retail lighting situation. The matching of light color can make a difference in how something is presented and the total look of the area. For most industrial lighting this usually isn't a concern.
There are a couple of choices now in these bulbs which are standard metal halide which have been used for decades and pulse start metal halide which is a more recent innovation. The pulse start versions are more energy efficient and give off a more consistent light over time. You must have the right ballast for these types and they're not the same. I mentioned something about color consistent light which is sometimes a problem with metal halides. The color they emit changes over time as the lamp gets older. This can be annoying and you have a couple of choices, either change the bulb when you see the color shift or go to a pulse start version which maintains that color better. There is no way around it, this color shift, that's the nature of the animal, but these are ways you can minimize the effect.
All these lights run on a ballast which is required to start the arc itself and then maintain it with the proper voltage. In the past, you could only use a heavy core and coil ballast for these lamps and that's still largely true today, but there are some alternatives coming up. Some companies have developed HID electronic ballasts and sometimes those are used for lower wattage or ceramic metal halide light bulbs. The ballast is critical the the operation for keeping the lamp burning properly, so if the lamp won't light you either have a ballast or component problem like a capacitor that's gone out. The capacitor stores a charge and then releases it at the proper time to deliver the high voltage needed to start the arc, when it loses that ability, then your lamp won't start.
Metal halide light bulbs continue to be the workhorse in industrial lighting and for many other kinds of lights you may not even think of. We have all brands including Sylvania Metalarc, GE PulseArc, Venture and Philips. Call us if you have any questions about these lamps. We stock them in sufficient quantities to meet almost any need that you may have.
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