Grisee08
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Why Has Mercury Vapor Been Banned?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:46 pm

Hello, I am really sorry for all the questions, but this is my last one for now.

I have attempted to do some research, but can't find a complete explanation. I am wondering why the production of Mercury Vapor lighting fixtures have been banned. I do know some manufacturers still produce bulbs for support of existing fixtures, but companies (example: General Electric's 201 model hood) are not allowed to manufacture Mercury Vapor light kits.

The electrical company I am under (Ameren Illinois) used to come out when a MV light was burned out, and simply replace the bulb. Now, even though the bulbs are still produced, under limited quantities, they simply replace the fixture with a 100w HPS fixture. Just yesterday, I watched as the journeyman technician removed an entire 175 watt MV assembly, and replace it with a brand new 100 watt HPS assembly (The only problem with the assembly itself was nothing, except it needed a new photoelectric control, as the other one was exhibiting fail mode by staying on all day).

So can anybody answer this. I am aware Mercury is an element that is harmful, but that does not stop the production of flourescent tubes, Metal Halide, and High Pressure Sodium lamps and assemblies, ALL of which still contain minimal amounts of mercury,
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Aesma
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RE: Why Has Mercury Vapor Been Banned?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:01 pm

They're less efficient than other kinds of lamps, that's the reason. In the EU even incandescent bulbs have been banned.
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Klaus
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RE: Why Has Mercury Vapor Been Banned?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Quoting Grisee08 (Thread starter):
So can anybody answer this. I am aware Mercury is an element that is harmful, but that does not stop the production of flourescent tubes, Metal Halide, and High Pressure Sodium lamps and assemblies, ALL of which still contain minimal amounts of mercury,

Toxicity and inefficiency are the main reasons – they are already in the process of being replaced by LED lamps, but the transition will take a few years.
 
Grisee08
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RE: Why Has Mercury Vapor Been Banned?

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:48 pm

Would I be correct in my math to say that replacing a 175w mercury vapor fixture with a 100w HPS fixture (even though it would be more expensive to do so initially) would be more economical in the long run? (At last check, a 175w Mercury bulb cost about $9.00 and a 100w HPS bulb costs about $23.00 a pop)
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ltbewr
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RE: Why Has Mercury Vapor Been Banned?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:25 am

Over the last 20 years, we have far less tolerance for mercury in all products as we understand better the huge environmental and medical problems they create, especially with children. In the case of mercury vapor lamps, the quantity of mercury, especially if the lamp is broken, the difficulty in properly disposing them, even if intact, is too difficult and expensive to allow their continued use. Further, more efficient style lamps have been developed for the most common uses of mercury vapor lamps so the electricity costs are reduced, enough to offset the higher costs of the replacement lamps. As to other forms of lamps, including florescent lamps and their mercury content, over the years the content of mercury has been significantly reduced although it is much less.
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Why Has Mercury Vapor Been Banned?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:01 pm

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 3):
Would I be correct in my math to say that replacing a 175w mercury vapor fixture with a 100w HPS fixture (even though it would be more expensive to do so initially) would be more economical in the long run?

Yes it would, assuming that the HPS provides sufficient light. My calcs:

175w MV uses around 210w (extra is due to an inefficient ballast). Based on 10c/kwh and 12,000 hrs operating life it will cost around $250 to run. The 100w HPS will cost around $140 based on the same assumptions.
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Skydrol
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RE: Why Has Mercury Vapor Been Banned?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:41 am

Quoting bristolflyer (Reply 5):
175w MV uses around 210w (extra is due to an inefficient ballast). Based on 10c/kwh and 12,000 hrs operating life it will cost around $250 to run. The 100w HPS will cost around $140 based on the same assumptions.

I believe the mercury vapor lamps and bulbs are still available here in Canada. We have many of the MV yard lights, and I have to be honest, the pink-orange light output from 150W HPS units doesn't compare with the bright blue-white light output from the 175W MV yard lights. There is a huge difference between areas with night illumination of MV or HPS when viewed through a security camera. The white balance is terrible with HPS.

For sure white LEDs are the best for color temperature, efficiency and lifespan. But until their price comes down A LOT, we will stick with mercury vapor yard lights.





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