What is the Difference Between Probe-Start Metal Halide and Pulse-Start Metal Halide?

Sustainable energy technology continues to advance as the Probe Start and Pulse Start Metal Halide light sources compete for supremacy. High intensity discharge (HID) Metal Halide lighting sources pass an electric arc through a gas. The technology continues to advance in order to achieve the best light intensity, color and affordability.

“What is Probe Start?”

The Probe Start Metal Halide lamp has better lumen maintenance and longer life than older technologies. Just like a car starter or match, it uses a trigger starter probe located near one of the primary electrodes to get the gas lit. Once the gas is ignited in the chamber, the trigger is turned off kind of like blowing out a match. This Probe Start Metal Halide was an advancement, but still seen as a bit inefficient due to the presence of the probe trigger.

“What is Pulse Start?”

As the manufacturers searched for even better technology, they began to consider the possibilities of a Pulse Start Metal Halide lamp. They wanted to increase the voltage and fill pressure with a superior design. The starter probe trigger was the weak link in the Probe Start lamp; thus, designers figured out how to ignite the lamp without it.

The Pulse Start Metal Halide system delivers numerous volts to get the lamp started. The increased arc tube fill pressure allowed for higher lumen maintenance and life. The top Metal Halide lamps range from 32 to 1000 watts.

With the removal of the probe start trigger, lamp sizes have been reduced. This has lead to more affordable, efficient, cooler-operating systems. The Pulse Start Metal Halide lamp is more energy-efficient than the Probe Start Metal Halide lamp.

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