What is Mercury Vapor Lamp

Horace He

Last Updated: September 3, 2023

What is Mercury Vapor Lamp

A Mercury Vapor Lamp is a type of gas discharge lamp which operates by passing an electric current through vaporized mercury, which produces light. The lamp consists of two electrodes made of tungsten alloy, placed in a medium containing mercury vapor and argon gas. This setup is enclosed in an elliptically shaped glass tube made of silica.

When the lamp is powered on, a high voltage is applied to initiate the lamp and emit light. The neon gas present in the bulb changes color from pink to orange as it heats up. An ignitor, consisting of a bimetallic strip and capacitor, provides the high starting voltage. When the bimetallic strip expands due to heating, it short-circuits and turns on the lamp. Conversely, when the strip cools down, it disconnects the connection and turns off the lamp.

Mercury Vapor Lamps offer several advantages, including energy efficiency with a range of 35 to 65 lumens per watt and a long rated life of 24,000 hours. They provide high-intensity white light and are available in various colors, shapes, sizes, and ratings. However, there are some drawbacks to consider. These lamps have poor lumen maintenance, requiring 5 to 7 minutes to warm up fully and 5 to 6 minutes to cool down. Additionally, they are sensitive to voltage fluctuations.

Mercury Vapor Lamps find applications in different areas, such as industrial settings, street lighting, security lighting, stairwells, and even home appliances like garages.

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