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OT Maybe, Metal Halide Light problem.

Bobnotthecat

Cast Iron
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Location
S.W. PA
Sirs,
My shop is lighted by three metal halide high bay lights. About a year ago the center lamp burned out and was replaced. Afterward it started to buzz in a most unpleasant manner. Thinking it was the brand of bulb I recently changed it again. Still no relief. I have tried to find the cause or cure in many searches to no avail. Someone please help me as I am about to losing my mind!!!! The other two lights emit a not unpleasant hum that I don't hear at all when a machine is running or the stereo is on. What is it? What must I do. Wife says turn it off. What say yinz?

Rattled,
Bob....not the cat.
 
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I'd switch to LED. Unfortunately we have had bad issues with high bay LED lights burning out after a year. So far the panel lights from home depot seem to be pretty good.

If you aren't a cheapass you can probably just buy decent commercial lights to start with and not deal with the constant hassle
 
Sirs,
My shop is lighted by three metal halide high bay lights. About a year ago the lamp burned out and was replaced. Afterward it started to buzz in a most unpleasant manner. Thinking it was the brand of bulb i recently changed it again. Still no relief. I have tried to find the cause or cure in many searches to no avail. Someone please help me as I am about to losing my mind!!!! The other two lights emit a not unpleasant hum that I don't hear at all when a machine is running or the stereo is on. What is it? What must I do. Wife says turn it off. What say yinz?

As others have said, the ballast is almost certainly shot. Eventually, LEDs will take over, but maybe not today. I'd replace the fixture with a new 400 watt metal halide fixture. The new lamp bulb is likely OK.

War story: Some decades ago, a neighbor mentioned that the lamp on their front walk kept burning out. Turned out that the fixture was for a 400 watt metal halide (arc) lamp, but had a quartz halogen (incandescent) lamp installed, and the ballast was running the quartz halogen lamp at over voltage. Took the ballast out and rewired the fixture (neighbors liked the style), and no further problems.
 
That buzzing from your metal halide shop lights sounds seriously irritating. If changing the bulb didn't help, it could be the ballast acting up. Might need a pro to take a look and see what's up.

Considering the buzz, have you thought about switching to LED lights? They're more energy-efficient and tend to have fewer buzzing issues.
I've heard LED lights are more energy-efficient and have fewer issues like buzzing. Plus, anything to make life easier in the shop sounds good to me. If they're as good as they say, not only will it solve the buzzing headache, but it might even save some money on the energy bill in the long run.
 
Guys,
I have considered changing to led lights, but I don't know whether I could just screw in the led bulbs or have to change the whole fixture. As it stands, I am driving these with straight 208 volts and not ready at this time to change wiring as well as fixtures.

My plan now is to remove the annoying light and debug the ballast. What I mean is checking and removing actual bugs. Some years ago, the ballast in the light nearest the big door lost its smoke. Upon removal I discovered that the heat sink feature was filled with an insulating pack of these Chinese lady bugs.....thousands! So, the transformer got toasted and so did they. I now wonder if they have cooked the offending noisy light.

Anyone else encounter this situation?

Bob....not the cat.
 
Here's an idea, not mine, but one.

I switched to these Primelights, no issues.
 
"As it stands, I am driving these with straight 208 volts and not ready at this time to change wiring as well as fixtures."

many newer led lamps are rated 100v-277v , and electronically compensate for any
supply within . your 208vac will be fine .
 
They make led tubes that directly replace 4 foot fluorescent bulbs. Powered by the existing ballast. Problem is the ballast still hums and wastes electricity. When it fails there is no more light. Better to just bypass the ballast and run direct from the supply voltage.
I am not really sure what is made to fit you kind of fixtures. Again, talk to your utility and what they can do to help.
Bill D
 
i'd just get the appropriate fixture and replace what you have . wire it into the existing junction box and be done . i'd ignore the old ballast and fixture and use a self
reflecting , hanging lamp. those shower head and corncob style leds with the mogul
base don't have the same dispersion as an HID halide or mercury vapor lamp.

actually, i believe all HID lamps -MH,HPS,MV- contain a drop of mercury......
 
i'd just get the appropriate fixture and replace what you have . wire it into the existing junction box and be done . i'd ignore the old ballast and fixture and use a self
reflecting , hanging lamp. those shower head and corncob style leds with the mogul
base don't have the same dispersion as an HID halide or mercury vapor lamp.

actually, i believe all HID lamps -MH,HPS,MV- contain a drop of mercury......
Do they even make fixtures for LED bulbs? I took an old Haz-Loc HPS fixture, gutted out the ballast, and put a 1000W corncob bulb in it, best light in the shop! Before and after pics below, same room.
 

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Do they even make fixtures for LED bulbs? I took an old Haz-Loc HPS fixture, gutted out the ballast, and put a 1000W corncob bulb in it, best light in the shop! Before and after pics below, same room.
I like having a LOT of light in the shop also.
When the shop was in the garage, I have 4 of those 1,000 watt corn cobbs in 500sq ft.
its definitely bright!
 
1000w led? never seen one for indoor use .
do you mean 240-300w led , 1000w hid equivalent ?

the fixture is the lamp itself :


 
1000w led? never seen one for indoor use .
do you mean 240-300w led , 1000w hid equivalent ?

the fixture is the lamp itself :


I think the 1000 watts is just a bs marketing label
 








 
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