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Thread: 230V Light bulbs

  1. #41
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Milwaukee WI


    Right the High starting voltage usually in the kV range, is to ionize (I think thats the right term) the gas between the anode and cathode, which causes (in the case of metal halides) the mercury to warm up and vaporize as well. Over the next few seconds the voltage drops down to 70-100v (at least with the Vari-Lites I am familiar with). I just wonder how the resistance works, the way I see it the resistance would be the opposite of an incandescent. I would think the resistance is higher when lamp is cool and lower when it warms.

    Any ideas?

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    Ought to mention I was talking about standard fluorescents, as those are the closest discharge lamp to standard domestic incandescents, as far as purpose goes...

    Re arcs, they will take a massive current, if you let them. That's basically the starting point in ion lasers, to get the energy needed to get the population inversion for laser output. In series with most if not all CW discharge lamps there's a ballast, a current limiting inductance, to keep them operating safely. You'd have to use a resistance if it was a DC supply though. Pulse lamps also have an inductance to limit current and control pulse width too, especially in pulsed lasers. Photoflashes rely on the ESR of the capacitor to do most of the limiting, I think.

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