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Pulse-Start Metal Halide Lighting

How Much Will I Save?

The combination of lower initial lighting power and longer lamp life offers the potential for operational savings when pulse-start bulbs are used instead of probe-start bulbs. Consequently, your actual cost savings will depend on electricity savings and the price paid for the pulse-start bulbs.

Table 1 below compares the annual electricity consumption for probe-start and pulse-start metal halide lamps in a typical warehouse installation. In this example, the pulse-start system provides a 24 percent reduction in annual electricity use. If the potential additional cost savings from the associated longer lamp life are also included, cost savings can be even higher. Combining pulse-start lamps with electronic ballasts provides the greatest savings. For even greater savings in high-bay spaces, fluorescent systems should be considered.

Table 1. Comparison of Annual Electricity Consumption of a Pulse-Start 320-W Metal Halide Lighting System with a Probe-Start 400-W Metal Halide Lighting System (both with magnetic ballasts)

  400-W Probe-Start 320-W Pulse-Start
Number of luminaires 100 89
Lamp life 20 000 hours 20 000 hours
System mean lumens 23 500 26 400
Input watts per luminaire* 458 349
Total system watts 45 800 34 900
Annual hours of operation 6 000 6 000
Annual kWh 274 800 209 400
Annual cost of electricity** $25,800 $19,700
Annual savings $6,100
Percent savings 24%
Initial cost*** $20,000 $21,360
Payback (years) 0.2

*Includes lamp and ballast.
**Assumes an electricity cost of $0.08 per kWh and a demand charge of $7 per kW.
***Lamp costs may vary widely depending on volumes purchased, supplier relationships and contracts.

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