hid lamp very early failure

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  #1  
Old 09-16-05, 10:22 AM
Ikedaman
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Unhappy hid lamp very early failure

i'm trying to find out why i went through 2 70 high pressure sodium bulbs in a small floodlight fixture i bought from a certain company and 1 80 watt mercury vapor floodlight fixture from same company all 3 bulbs in 5 weeks. i am mounting these upside down (knuckle up) under the eaves of my house and have emailed the company twice if this is ok (heat dissapation) with no response. i finally installed a twin par 38 floodlight to same junction box as i used for each floodlight as i returned them and bought another fixture (took floodlights back) and it is working fine (no ballast, no enclosed case). voltage checks (several) show 125v. no breakers have tripped. lights worked fine all night but then one night would never come on again. photocell is ok - tested withwithout tape and then voltage check. thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 09-16-05, 08:21 PM
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If you bought them at a Home Center, the short answer is probably that they didn't cost enough.

If they're of good quality, the problem may be mounting them base-up. Not all HID lamps are rated to do that with. The lamps that are should be marked either "BU" (base up) or "U" (universal).
 
  #3  
Old 09-17-05, 04:56 AM
Ikedaman
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Unhappy me again

thanks for replying
they are a Regent sfl70h 70 watt high pressure sodium bought at Lowe's for 68.00 and a Regent smnv80 80 watt mercury vapor also bought at Lowe's for 44.97. the manual(s) say nothing about mounting position and in fact Regent's web site and Simply Lighting's web site show the smv80 mounted base up. this is such a shame because i really liked the high pressure sodium but now i am "gun shy" about hids in general and will probably stick with par 38s. it was my first experience with hids and was not aware of "ballasts". i will put my money on heat dissipation slowly frying the ballast. the first high pressure sodium lasted 3 weeks the second one lasted 1 week. i think the ballast was getting near death. thanks again
 
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Old 09-17-05, 11:05 AM
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I have that 70 watt Regent on my house. It was really cheap, but mine has worked for over a year. It's installed base-up, too.

I have found that when a factory selling to home centers gets a bad run, that the run can be huge and every thing the store carries from that manufacturer will have the same problem for a long time. It takes a while for all of the returns to trickle back so they can fix whatever is wrong. This may be what you're seeing here.

You're going to hate the PAR lamps, mainly because the bulbs don't last and they're expensive, but also because they're not efficient.

Have a look at this website (there are lots more like it too) and consider getting a different brand on-line. RAB isn't the finest fixture in the world, but they're only a bit more expensive than Home Center brands and I've never had any trouble with them.

http://www.prolighting.com/rabtallpacks.html
 
  #5  
Old 09-17-05, 12:09 PM
Ikedaman
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what you have to say is very interesting - i know i installed the fixtures correctly - my confidence has been restored. an interesting sidenote to this - when Regent didn't respond to my e-mails i called customer service and talked to a very polite lady named Sandy who sent me another SFL70H at no charge. i just received this and will probably install it now. i found this forum (Do-It-Yourself.com) by accident and never thought about joining but i am glad i did now. thanks for your help.
 
  #6  
Old 09-17-05, 12:18 PM
Ikedaman
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one more quick note - if this sfl70h fails it looks like the RAB ff70 will do the job. base up of course!
 
  #7  
Old 09-18-05, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ikedaman
one more quick note - if this sfl70h fails it looks like the RAB ff70 will do the job. base up of course!
I figured you'd want the WPTS 70W - it looks so similar to the Regent model I have that I wonder if it isn't made on the same manufacturing line.

Does the new one work?
 
  #8  
Old 09-19-05, 04:39 AM
Ikedaman
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i will check it out as soon i post this reply - i originally just did a quick check of the web site you suggested. i have some more interesting news to tell you - the sfl70h that Regent sent me at no charge has a new silver sticker on the back of the case that is dated 7/28/05 (the sticker that lists model #, voltage, cautions, etc.) it now has an arrow with the word "up" above it . the arrow is pointing away from the knuckle (base down). the one i bought from Lowes on 7/29/05 that had been sitting there for a year or two judging from the amount of dust on the box had no such arrow or word "up" - i don't remember the date on the sticker but i remember looking at it several times when i first started having problems. Regent is obviously aware of something. this is becoming quite interesting. thanks again for replying.
 
  #9  
Old 09-19-05, 10:09 AM
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Sounds like they provided a whole bunch of fixtures with BD (base-down) lamps, only to find later that their customers wanted to install them base-up. If you still want to install the fixture upside-down, you could just change the lamp. Ballasts don't care which direction they face.

Your fixture is different from mine, which explains the different model number.
 
  #10  
Old 09-19-05, 12:14 PM
Ikedaman
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is that what bd-17 means? base down? what does ed-17 mean? or i've seen bt-37 and ed-37? by the way that little arrow on the sfl70h Regent sent me has put a damper on me installing the sfl70h because of the way my eaves/soffits/raingutters are arranged on my house. thanks.
 
  #11  
Old 09-19-05, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Ikedaman
is that what bd-17 means? base down? what does ed-17 mean? or i've seen bt-37 and ed-37? by the way that little arrow on the sfl70h Regent sent me has put a damper on me installing the sfl70h because of the way my eaves/soffits/raingutters are arranged on my house. thanks.
No - those numbers are shapes and sizes of lamps.

Here - copy and paste this PDF file from Sylvania and go to page 62 for a primer on HID lamps and more than you ever wanted to know about them:

http://dafnwebpd.sylvania.com/idmweb/doccontent.dll?LibraryName=ecomcspd^dafnctpd&SystemType=2&LogonId=5242761c1dd96ba7f3db7b012bb25097&DocId=003683477&Page=1

Unfortunatelly, the lamps that came with your fixture probably don't have any markings at all.
 
 

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