Metal halide lamps are very useful forms of high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps that are widely used for the illumination of large outdoor spaces, often outside. Because of their high light output of very high-quality light and wide range of color temperatures, high-intensity discharge lamps are beloved among those who have a need to provide for area lighting. Oftentimes, stadium lighting, high bay lighting, street lighting, and parking lot lighting comes from HID lamps, such as high-pressure sodium lamps, mercury vapor lamps, and other metal halides lamps.
The thing is, unlike simpler incandescent bulbs that can simply be screwed in, plugged in, and switched on, metal halide lamps need some specialized know-how to operate properly. For example, many HID lamps cannot be burned in any light fixture. Some HID lamps might be oriented vertically and some horizontally in order to function properly.
This only scratches the surface, however, because in order to function efficiently, in order to function properly – in order to function at all – an MH lamp needs a metal halide ballast.
Some lights, including MH lamps and other HID lamps in addition to fluorescent lights, need a special device known as a ballast in order to work at all. Metal halide lamps need a ballast not only to remain lit, they actually need a ballast just to start up. Even after they turn on, they require the ballast to regulate both the current and the voltage to the lamp so that it will remain on at the proper brightness without burning out.
First, however, a metal halide ballast must start the lamp. These lamps often require a higher starting voltage than they do simply to operate, and therefore the ballast must first supply a higher voltage to a lamp to get it going. Some ballasts are called pulse start metal halide ballasts because they supply pulses of higher voltage to get the lamp lit. Even with a pulse start ballast, the lamp will take a few minutes to achieve its intended brightness.
After the lamp is lit, it will require a steady current and voltage in order to maintain its luminosity. In addition, as metal halide lamps get older, they require higher voltage in order to work at the same level of brightness or efficiency. Therefore a ballast or a ballast kit must be able to provide for this as a lamp ages if it is going to continue to function.
Without getting too far into the details of how a ballast like this works, suffice it to say that without a ballast, a metal halide would not work at all. Either it would not start, or the voltage to the lamp would increase until the lamp burnt out. One way or the other, a metal halide lamp, just like other HID lamps, simply could not be operated in the absence of the proper ballast.
If you’re looking to learn more about these types of ballasts for lamps, or you just want to find a wide selection of them so you can be sure to find what you need, the quick and easy answer is to visit Atlanta Light Bulbs.
Atlanta Light Bulbs, operating from AtlantaLightBulbs.com, is your number one resource for all different types of lamps, ballasts, and other lighting equipment. For nearly 40 years, their team has provided the equipment that many businesses, industrial complexes, and homeowners have relied on to keep the lights burning, so to speak, and they’d be glad to do the same for you. Whether you’re looking for core and coil ballasts, electronic metal halide ballasts, or even some other specialty product, check with them first. Either they have it or they can find it for you, so visit their site today.