life of a metal arc lamp

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by tregg, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. tregg

    tregg New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Iowa
    What is the longest you could expect a mercury or metal halide lamp to last? A person I know showed me a lamp in his lot that he says has been on since he took over the property in 1996. The photo switch is not working so it never shuts off. It looks rather dim but it's on. And he says two other parking lot lights with working photo cells are burned out.
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I have one that was installed pior to 1995 that is still going strong.

    I have installed them and they not last a month
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,126
    Location:
    New England
    Like many things electrical/electronic, some of them don't last as long if you turn them on and off, but can last a very long time if just left on.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Average life expectancy may be 20,000 hours. That means some last longer. Continuous on probably adds a lot of hours to the life expectancy.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,797
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is a light bulb in a fire station in California which has been burning non-stop since about 1910. It was only turned off once to move it to the new station.
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,126
    Location:
    New England
    Just a comment, but have you ever had a lightbulb die except when you first turn it on? I suppose if you had a big surge it might go while on, but almost 100% of the failures occur when the initial surge is applied. this applies more to incandescent bulbs rather than arc types, but they often die then, too.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The bulb will probably die before we quit yakking about it!
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