How to Replace Mercury Vapor Lamp Ballasts

Mercury vapor lamps have been used for decades to provide high intensity lighting in industrial, commercial and street lighting applications. Over time, the magnetic ballasts that operate these lamps can fail or wear out. Replacing the old magnetic ballasts with newer, more energy efficient electronic ballasts can save energy and extend the service life of older mercury vapor fixtures.

Reasons for Replacing Mercury Vapor Ballasts

There are several reasons you may need to replace a mercury vapor lamp ballast:

Replacing bad magnetic ballasts with new electronic ballasts can extend the service life of older mercury vapor fixtures and save on energy costs.

Ballast Compatibility Considerations

When replacing a mercury vapor lamp ballast, you need to select a new ballast that is compatible with the existing lamps. Key factors to consider are:

Always review the lamp-ballast compatibility specifications before selecting a replacement ballast. The ballast must match the lamps for proper and safe operation.

How to Replace Mercury Vapor Ballasts

Replacing a mercury vapor fixture's magnetic ballast with a new electronic ballast is a relatively straightforward process:

Turn Off Power

Access the Old Ballast

Install the New Electronic Ballast

Restore Power and Test Operation

With the correct ballast matched to the lamps, the mercury vapor fixture should now operate efficiently with the new electronic ballast. Proper lamp-ballast compatibility helps ensure optimal light output and service life.

Benefits of Electronic Ballasts

Upgrading from magnetic to electronic ballasts for mercury vapor lighting provides several benefits:

While requiring a higher initial investment, new electronic ballasts save energy and operating costs over time while optimizing lamp performance in aging mercury vapor fixtures.

In summary, with some electrical safety precautions and matching the proper ballast to the lamp specifications, DIYers can successfully replace mercury vapor ballasts and breathe new life into older fixtures. Choosing electronic over magnetic provides efficiency and performance advantages. The result is upgraded lighting at lower long term cost.