Metal Halide vs. CFL - Advice needed

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Old 08-08-10, 06:13 PM
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Metal Halide vs. CFL - Advice needed

Hello,

I have a 175-Watt Mercury Vapor dusk to dawn light mounted on my shed, that looks like this:



I am looking to replace the light with a similar type. I went to the local hardware store and found a 100-Watt Metal Halide lamp for about $60, and a 65-Watt CFL lamp for about $30. My question is - which is the better light to use? Considering the local climate of hot summers (90+ degrees F) and cold winters (0-30 degrees F), I wonder if the fluorescent model would be effective at such cold temperatures. Do they both give about the same amount of light? Which is more efficient? What makes metal halide twice the cost of the CFL?

Thanks in advance!
-Gil
 
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Old 08-08-10, 09:21 PM
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Your hardware store selling the lights should be able to provide you the rated lumens for each type of lamp and that would be your answer; lumens is a measure of light output. My personal preference for that application is metal halide, but if it was inside such as a high bay fixture, I'd go with fluorescent every time.
 
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Old 08-08-10, 10:54 PM
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100MH vs 65watt fluorescent

The two light fixtures are going to be very similar. We replaced metal halide with CFL often, but it does depend on the application. (What are you using it for).

If its for general security around a back door to building or garage barn, the CFL will work fine.

If you want to be able to work on a project outside that door, then use the Metal Halide.

Additionally besides your hardware store having no idea what the lumen values are, nor they being truly comparable, you will have to make a judgement call. Replacement CFL lamp will probably run anywhere from $15 to $20, where as the Metal Halide lamp will run $21 to $35 plus you may need a replacement ballast at some point which is probably going to mean it is cheaper to replace the Dusk 2 Dawn style fixture at that time.

You could (if your photo control is working still) on the existing fixture you already have, bypass the ballast and screw in a 65 watt CFL and see how you like it. Although usually a 100w Metal Halide is replaced with a 42 watt CFL Spiral.

Other advantages... Metal Halide suffers from color shift meaning the bulb may turn colors later such as a pinkish hue, where as cfl will maintain a consistant color.
 

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Old 08-09-10, 08:34 AM
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Thank you both for your replies. At this point, I'm leaning towards a Metal Halide fixture, however I may do as SynergyLighting said, and try a CFL bulb in my existing fixture. (Have to figure out how to rewire it while it's still mounted).

Are there any other reasons why Metal Halide is twice the cost of the CFL?

Thanks,
-Gil
 
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Old 08-09-10, 08:58 PM
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Are there any other reasons why Metal Halide is twice the cost of the CFL?
I'd say there are several reasons starting with the ballast and lamp. I think the metal halide is still a bit more popular as well which could also cause it to be a bit higher.
 
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Old 08-11-10, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
I'd say there are several reasons starting with the ballast and lamp. I think the metal halide is still a bit more popular as well which could also cause it to be a bit higher.
Thanks.

Also - Are there any advantages/disadvantages of having an open-bottom or enclosed lens on a Metal Halide fixture?
 
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Old 08-11-10, 09:53 PM
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It depending on which type of MH luminaire I know pretty good percentage of 100 watt MH Dusk to Dawn luminaire useally are enclosed bottom per lamp manufacter recomoneation.

But if it have open bottom verison it will have specail socket so you can not use the stanard enclose lamp in open bottom luminaire they will required open socket lamp { most case it will be pink socket to warn ya }

The MH are not affect very much with tempture at all compared to CFL espcally in super cold winter time where it run below zero° F { they are designed to start either -20 or -40°F depending on lamp and ballast ( pulse start will start much colder and quicker than old fashion probe start }

I don't have much issue with 100 W Dusk to Dawn MH luminaires at all they are simauir to 100 W HPS on brightness the big diffrence is colour itself.

But there are few other size of Dusk to Dawn MH luminaires I know they have 50 or 70 watter as well but yeah we can get larger verison as well { you can go big as 400 watt or larger }

Merci.
Marc
 
 

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