Managing Cold Weather Affects On Lighting

During colder weather seasons, the following tips will help insure that you

Get The Best Performance Out Of Your Lighting.


HID Lamps

With good lamps, ballasts and igniters, most HID lamps should operate reliably down to -20 degrees F.

Slow starting could indicate a failing HID lamp or ballast.

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Incandescent Lamps

These create their own heat, so they always work, even in extremely cold weather.

However, sudden tempature changes can lead to thermal shock, leading to breakage.

If you have a concern for this happening,  you could use Shatter Guard Coated lamps.

For spot heating, our Infrared Reflector lamps are perfect.

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Electronic Ballasts

Most all of M.E.’s ballasts are designed for normal, indoor temperatures.

Minimum starting temps vary for specific ballasts.

If you need cold weather rated ballasts, contact us to determine what will work best for your situation.

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Fluorescent Lamps

Standard wattage Rapid Start and Instant Start lamps are good for temperatures above 40-50 degrees F.

Energy saving versions are very sensative to cooler temps and shouldn’t be used below 60 degrees F.

HO and VHO lamps are the best for cold locations; with the right ballasts, they will start below 0 degrees F.

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Arm-A-Lite Sleeves

A way to protect fluorescent lamps from the cold is to slip on Arm-A-Lite Sleeves.

These insulate the lamp from the cold and hold the lamp’s heat inside.

In the North Country, where fluorescent are used in outside applications, we put sleeves on our lamps in the fall and take them off in the spring.

Colored sleeves can also add a festive touch for the holidays.


Compact Fluorescents / Lumi-Twists

M.E. recommends these units for normal room temperatures, but they are rated for operation as low as -5 degrees F. for the PAR Lumi-Twists, with our regular Lumi-Twists rated for 5 degrees F..

Hard starting caused be extreme cold temperatures can shorten life.

In southern climates, plug-in CFL’s have been used in outside fixture location, prevailing winds, and average temperatures can help keep the lamp warm enough.

You may wish to experiment with a couple of Lumi-Twists to see if your cold applications can be upgraded to compact fluorescent lamps.

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