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LPS SOX Sodium Lamps




trencheel303

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Yeah frontsidebus has some pretty decent YT videos. I'd love to more stuff like him but I have a bit of a complex about hearing my own voice in YT vids ... which is why I deleted most of my laser reviews :/

I've become a right lamp collecting geek recently, got myself a new cosmopolis lantern too, a compact ceramic metal halide that runs off an electronic ballast. These are really taking off here, anything to thwart the upcoming LED revolution is fine by me...
 

trencheel303

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bringing this one back from the dead as well, I miss when this one was buzzing...

anyhow,
I have a 26W SOX-E lamp (same length as 35W bulb, just even more efficient) sitting in the cupboard after removing it from one of my lanterns (which got converted to whitelight) and decided I wanted to do something with it.

A few weeks earlier I had dismantled some cheap CFLs and given them the massively over driven treatment on magnetic ballasts and sent them to their death. But I kept the bits and decided to use one of the drivers on the SOX lamp. This is the result of using an 11W CFL ballast/driver on the lamp.





As you can see it runs up, but to nowhere near full brightness. To be honest, I was kind of hoping the sodium emission wouldn't even factor in and I'd just get a pure neon discharge. This lamp never ran right on the lantern it came in, being a very flickery and strober of a lamp. On electronic HF it actually runs very well (despite obviously being underdriven) with no flicker. At this reduced brightness it made such a nice showpiece that I've actually put it on my mantelpiece and plugged it in to an existing supply that powers a bunch of incandescent bulbs.

The cathodes don't seem too bothered by it but I imagine the tube will blacken quicker than if it was being run at full power. Obviously I would never do this to a good quality, lightly used bulb, but this one was just sat at the cupboard feeling sorry for itself.
 
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Sigurthr

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I love the 26W LPS lamps. I use mine all the time for relaxed lighting. You can parallel up two or three of those CFL ballasts and get it to full brightness too. Ditto on the Ne lamp. I've been wanting a linear neon tube for quite some time, and eventually may get one made. The $$$ price tag is stupid and needlessly prohibitive though.
 

trencheel303

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I've been pondering what it would be like running one off a programmed start cfl driver. I have some cfl which have a very visually obvious programmed start by glowing for the first half second and then firing up. SOX lamps are cold cathode by design anyway and aren't designed to run on switch start ( preheat in American terms) circuits but preheating the electrodes certainly wouldn't harm it. The driver I am currently using may do this but after starting the lamp cold cathode, as the cathodes of the sox lamp continue glowing a whitish purple for about 3-5 seconds after ignition. I will refer to knowledge bases but I believe this "middle ground" between pre heating and and instant cold-cathode start is referred to as "quick start".

I don't want to bugger about with the setup just now ( or dismantle a good quality working cfl) but at some point I will try it. I think sox lamps were never designed this way as the two pin bc plug did not facilitate installation in a switch start circuit and the relatively infrequent starting meant cold cathode operation was not a big concern.
 
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Sigurthr

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Many lamps have the filaments where both ends come out of the envelope and then are electrically joined to meet the electrode connection on the bayonet. I've wondered how they would run with a heated filament.

Generally, it's seen as un-needed because the high ratio of Ne in the fill gas facilitates starting at incredibly low voltages. The whole reason you preheat in traditional fluoros is that while Hg is a low potential ionizer, it isn't -that- low, so you need thermionic emission to lower the ignition barrier.
 

Cyparagon

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It's also quite a bit more efficient to use a hot cathode. Voltage drop from the cathode to the gas is 10V or something like that, compared with up to a few hundred volts for cold cathode. Oddly enough, cold cathodes can waste a lot more heat :thinking:

SOX lamps are cold cathode by design anyway
Not true. Like all HID lamps, they are started when the cathodes are cold, but the current quickly warms the cathodes. All HID lamps are hot cathode devices.

I've wondered how they would run with a heated filament.
They are already adequately heated by the arc current. It might help lifespan a tiny bit if it's only done before striking the arc, but with a 15 minute warmup, no one is going to be starting these several times a day anyway.
 

trencheel303

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Not true. Like all HID lamps, they are started when the cathodes are cold, but the current quickly warms the cathodes. All HID lamps are hot cathode devices.
perhaps I should have been more clear and said cold cathode "starting". Obviously the electrodes heat as it runs, it would be physically impossible for them not to. A SOX lamp isnt really hid though it's a low intensity discharge.
 

Sigurthr

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Gorgeous! I can't imagine how bright it is with them all warmed up.
 

vk2fro

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Nice collection ionlaser555 - I too couldn't imagine how bright that would be when they're all up to temperature.

The pub I go to on a regular basis and sit in the outdoor smoking area has LPS lamps and I like others here think its way cool watching them plink on and start going through the motions of warming up. The pub doesnt need much outside lighting as one of the lamps is nearby and provides plenty of illumination for the outdoor area.
 

DashApple

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Thanks you two : D ,

Its rather bright , I was wearing goggles when I ran them , now just to get the other 2 135W and 180W ones going at the same time :p




1028 Watts of SOX ....
 
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trencheel303

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I wear my goggles too if I am going to do anything like that otherwise everything just turns green in my vision!
 

DashApple

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Not sure if any looks on this thread but ....

Much SOX ! ,180W , 135W , 135W , 135W , 90W , 90W , 90W , 55W , 55W , 18W ,18W

All running on Philips , Thorn control gear / ignitors .

007 by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr
 




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