OT - yard light help

I know this is OT, but the folks here are just too damn helpful! Have a yard light, that has been reliable for the better part of 10 years,
and now is dark. Replaced the bulb was the first step, but the problems lie deeper. This style of light (markings: Cooper Industries Cat# VAN17H12HRTLTY5A YD8335) has the built in photo sensor, and uses the large socket Mercury Vapor (phillips H37KC-250/DX) bulb. Removing the cover revealed a transformer, photo sensor, and the bulb socket. Any suggestions as to the next diagnosing step? Have ruled out two things: bulb is OK, and the unit has power. Thanks in advance, Ryan.
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Photo cells have a finite lifespan. Test power in/out with cell masked. No continuityd cell. JR Dweller in the cellar
Ryan wrote:

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wrote:

Yup...most common failure is the photo cell going west.
Gunner

The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of "loyalty" and "duty." Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute -- get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed. " Lazarus Long
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Was it cycling off and on or partially lighting? Was it humming loudly? When you cover the photocell do you hear a faint click? What does the ballast smell like? Was there any discolouration on the ballast or bulging of the capacitors? What are you getting for voltage at the primary windings? Did you check for loose connections that might show voltage and not pass current?
If you can answer the questions the answers should be simple to sort out.

lie
two
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Ryan wrote:

check to see if the photocell has a fuse in the covered box inside the fixture??? it happened to me.. one of those little glass fuses that you can get at radio shack for like $2 for a pack of four....
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wrote:

While troubleshooting of your light has already been covered, it may be in your best interest and save you time and money if you have this option. A lot of power companies will install a top line outdoor light at no charge top you, and then only charge a set fee added on your normal power bill over the course of time. I pay $4.00 extra on my power bill a month for a high pressure sodium light, that the power company installed for me in the location of my choice, they ran the wire, and if it fails to come on, they come and fix it. Sure beats having to go up a tall pole and trouble shoot off an extension ladder etc. They even installed a pole where I desired to have thre light installed, at no extra charge.
I may be wroing abaout it being high presure sodium type but its certainly not the typical security light of the mercury vapor type. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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Depending on what you find, you might want to consider replacing the fixture with one that is more efficient. A 250 watt mercury vapor could be replaced by a 150 watt metal halide light and you would still have the same amount of light. Would pay for itself in the next few years.
Dan

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On 11 Feb 2004 09:18:31 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@krl.org (Dan Caster) wrote:

Probably the photocell - usually a twistlock unit on the top of the fixture, just turn CCW a smidge and pull up. Jump the two straight slots to test the fixture, the L slot is the neutral. New photocells are available for not too much at your local hardware store. Be sure to get the right voltage, scratch the installation date on the bottom (10- 15 years is the average life) and if the location is partially shaded make sure to get the version with a time delay.
They make the same style without the 120-second delay for streetlights (so the city worker can check lamps quicker in the bucket truck, and move on to the next pole), and deep shadows or moving leaves will have it blinking on & off for an hour past sunrise/before sunset. Just that many more start cycles on the lamp and ignitor...

Agree with the above - MH is much more efficient than Mercury Vapor, and usually better color rendition. HPS sucks at color rendition with that sick orange, but much more energy efficient for security uses.
Mercury lights are Eeeeeeevil. They give full light output for the first 5,000 hours or so, then they start a slow slide down. After 10K - 12K hours (around 3 years, depending on how shaded the photocell is) you should change the lamp - but nobody does.
The Eeeeeeeevil part is, Mercury lamps keep running for 10 - 15 - 20 years, long after their light output is down 90% or more, but still sucking up the same input watts - they simply won't go out. With Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium fixtures, at least the lamps have the good sense to go out when they reach end of life.
And of course, if you change the fixture for a HPS or a pulse-start MH, be sure to change the lamps as soon as they go bad - or you wear out the ignitor. HPS lamps will cycle every 10 to 30 minutes at end of life.
MH lamps often rupture the arc tube while running when it goes out - if the fixture is open on the bottom, be /sure/ to use the lamps with the internal guard shield. Otherwise, the arc tube rupture can rupture the outer envelope, and if you are standing under an open high-bay fixture at the time this happens it can give you a nice (?) shower of hot broken glass...
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Question 1: How much would an ignitor cost?

And you call MV Eeeeevil???? <G> I've had a MV on a pole beside my garage for more years than I'd like to remember, and it still works fine (don't know about the light output as it still seems pretty bright - but can't compare it to what it USED to be). I've never changed photocells/bulbs/ballasts or anything. However, my neighbor bought a new MV light for his garage and replaces the whole fixture about every two years because they are junk made in China and the ballast fails. Ken

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On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 11:34:40 GMT, (Ken Sterling) wrote:

About $20 - I'll have to ask, the wholesale house I pick them up at doesn't price out their Will Call tickets. There are separate versions for 35 to 250W HPS, and for MH

Well, that failure mode for MH lamps has been known about for years, it just takes a while for all the Pointy-Haired Bosses in the world to catch on - they veto ordering the Shatter-Guard lamps for their open reflector high-bay fixtures because they cost an extra $5 each. Until they see one do that first hand, have to pay a Workers Comp claim for injuries sustained - or they get the hot-glass shower...
It's not a problem in enclosed fixtures, the glass lens stops it. Just a pain in the butt picking up the pieces when you open the lid.

If that MV bulb has 24,000 hours plus on it, change it - and be prepared to be shocked at the change. The fade out is so gradual, people simply don't notice the difference - same thing with frogs.
Put a frog in a pot of hot water, and he jumps right out. But put it in a pot of cold water and heat it gradually... (Note: No frogs were harmed in the making of this analogy. But they're probably mad at me for giving people ideas. ;-)

You get what you pay for. There are companies still making solid and reasonably priced fixtures in the USA with good components. But there are also major American brand companies where their 'value' fixtures are simply Chinese Junk with an american label slapped on.
Caveat emptor.
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