High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide lamps near plasma ball

In summary, the speaker bought a plasma globe and conducted experiments with it by placing different types of bulbs near it. They discovered that the Metal Halide bulb emitted a pale white arc that disappeared when the plasma ball was turned off, while the HPS bulb emitted a purple glow that lasted for several seconds after the plasma ball was turned off. They also asked why this happens and expressed concern about the bulbs exploding without a ballast. The response explained that this is normal for Sodium lamps and can also be seen in fluorescent lamps.
  • #1
I bought one of these plasma globes, decided to do some experiments with it.
Since a fluorescent bulb will light up if It's put near the plasma ball, i tried the same with two HID lamps.

The Metal Halide shows a very pale white arc, which disappears as soon as the plasma ball is turned off...

But the HPS is different, it emits a purple glow, which stays for several seconds after the plasma ball is shut off.

1. Why is this?

2. Also, since the only thing powering those bulbs is the plasma ball, is there any risk of they exploding due to the lack of a ballast?
 
  • #4
It's phosphoresence and normal for Sodium lamps, also visible in fluorescent lamps to a lesser extent. See the video where the Sodium lamp is turned off around 4:25 and fades to a purple afterglow.
 
  • #5
Thanks, understood :)
 

1. What is the difference between High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide lamps?

High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) lamps are both types of gas discharge lamps that produce light through the excitation of gases. The main difference between the two is the type of gases used and the resulting color temperature of the light produced. HPS lamps use sodium vapor, producing a yellow-orange light with a color temperature of around 2000K. MH lamps use a mixture of metal halides, resulting in a whiter light with a color temperature of around 4000K.

2. How do HPS and MH lamps work near a plasma ball?

Plasma balls are filled with a mixture of noble gases, typically neon or argon, and a high-voltage electrode at the center. When electricity is applied, the gases become ionized and the electric current creates a plasma discharge. When HPS and MH lamps are placed near a plasma ball, the high voltage from the plasma ball can interfere with the gas discharge process in the lamps, causing flickering or even failure of the lamps.

3. Can HPS and MH lamps be used as a replacement for a plasma ball?

No, HPS and MH lamps are not suitable replacements for a plasma ball. While they both use gas discharge to produce light, the mechanism and purpose are different. Plasma balls are primarily used for visual effects, while HPS and MH lamps are used for general lighting purposes.

4. Are there any safety concerns when using HPS and MH lamps near a plasma ball?

Yes, there are safety concerns when using HPS and MH lamps near a plasma ball. The high voltage from the plasma ball can cause interference with the lamps, leading to flickering or failure. This can also pose a fire hazard if the lamps are not properly secured. It is important to follow safety precautions and manufacturer's instructions when using these lamps near a plasma ball.

5. How can the interference between HPS and MH lamps and a plasma ball be minimized?

The interference between HPS and MH lamps and a plasma ball can be minimized by ensuring proper grounding and shielding of the lamps. This can be achieved by using grounded metal fixtures and keeping the lamps at a safe distance from the plasma ball. It is also important to use lamps specifically designed for use near plasma balls and to follow safety guidelines to prevent any potential hazards.

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