The oldest and most well-known member of the High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting family is the mercury vapor lamp. These lighting systems were developed in the early 1900’s and didn’t really catch on until about the mid-1900’s.
Mercury lamps are not the best for growing due to its poor lighting spectrum and very low lumens-per-watt which makes these systems very costly to run while having much less in production output.
Mercury vapor lamps come in sizes comparable to other HID lights ranging from 40 – 1,000 watts and produce a fair amount of lumens while having a relatively long life, but shorter than other HID lights.
These lighting systems require a completely separate ballast system in order to operate and are much different from Metal Halide (MH) or High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) systems. Sometimes people will scour through old junkyards in search of these types of systems to get them at a cheap cost, if not free.
It is best to purchase these systems new if you want to use them since utilizing old systems that have been thrown away can dangerous to use if they are not in working order or assembled incorrectly.
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