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HID Lamp Dimming
Oct 1, 2004 12:00 PM, By Craig DiLouie, Lighting Controls Association
Dimming HID lamps can produce significant energy savings and increase user flexibility
More than 105 million high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, ranging from 20W to 2,000W in size, are now in use in a broad range of interior and exterior applications in the United States. HID lighting systems currently consume about 12% of all lighting loads in the commercial sector, 31% in the industrial sector, and 87% in all outdoor stationary applications, which averages out to 17% of all electric energy consumed by all lighting systems in the United States. This base represents a significant opportunity for energy savings, peak demand reduction, and greater flexibility in multi-use spaces through dimming. Dimming can be employed in HID lighting systems to save energy and enable the space to adapt to different uses, ambient conditions, and time of day. A number of technologies can be deployed to enable HID dimming and capture the same benefits that are used for dimming fluorescent and incandescent lamps. Saving energy. HID lamp dimming can reduce electric utility operating costs through an occupancy-based strategy, daylight harvesting, and scheduled peak demand reduction. Dimming can be achieved manually (switch) or automatically (input from control device). Automatic dimming can be set to respond to a preset schedule or variable ambient conditions, such as occupancy and available daylight. Occupancy-based. Dimming can be used in spaces that are intermittently occupied but where the lamps need to continue operating for security and safety reasons, such as a warehouse or parking lot. In outdoor applications like parking lots, dimming has the added bonus of reducing spill light that may affect adjacent properties. Daylight harvesting. Dimming can be used to adjust light levels based on available daylight via input from a photocell. Peak demand reduction. Dimming can be scheduled using a time-programmable controller during times of peak loading to shave the facility's peak demand and thereby reduce utility demand charges. HID lighting systems are fixed-output systems, but some spaces like school gymnasiums or supermarkets may require different light levels because they're used for multiple purposes. Dimming makes both the lighting system and the space more flexible. In the case of a school gym, the lamps can be dimmed to provide suitable lighting for sports, assembly, social events, maintenance, and other purposes. In the case of a supermarket, the lamps can be dimmed during maintenance and stocking operations. Many spaces can be dimmed after hours to provide lighting for safety and security. Dimming technologies. HID lamps can be dimmed using step-level or continuous-dimming systems. Step-level dimming. Step-level dimming typically entails using a constant-wattage autotransformer (CWA) magnetic ballast with one or two additional capacitors added to the circuit. Relay switching of the capacitors results in additional system impedance, which reduces the lamp current and the wattage. The capacitor circuit configuration may be parallel (Fig. 1) or series (Fig. 2) connected. That selection is a compatibility issue that will depend on the type of control system you're working with. Any type of HID lamp can be dimmed using this method.
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When the lamps need to return to full light output. including panel-level HID dimming and relatively new electronic HID ballasts. Bi-level dimming is ideal for saving energy and providing lighting for safety and security during times when the space isn't occupied. enabling reduction in rated power down to 30%. improved color control. These control systems accept inputs from occupancy sensors. Continuous (line-voltage) dimming. they're designed to operate at a higher efficacy. and 100% to 30% light output for high pressure sodium lamps to preserve lamp life. less stroboscopic effect. This can result in energy savings as high as 40% to 70% during dimming periods. classrooms.clickability. can operate with occupancy sensors. occupancy sensors. Step-level dimming is generally less expensive than continuous dimming and is often more cost-effective than HID dimming panels for applications with few light fixtures. 1. Related performance issues. Fig. Electronic dimming ballasts for HID lamps (Fig. photocells. and waveform modification. The control signal can be transmitted along the power circuit or via low-voltage wires. The result of the capacitive-switching method is power reduction in stepped increments of two (two-level or bi-level dimming) or three (three-level or tri-level dimming) — usually at 100% and one or two steps between 100% and 50% of rated power. and time-programmable systems. The control system may be one of three types: variable-step transformer. Depending on the lamp type and wattage. variable-reactor. Efficacy. they're brought from their reduced light output to about 80% of light output..HID Lamp Dimming http://www. Continuous dimming is ideally suited for applications where it's advantageous to adapt the lighting system to a wide range of light levels to meet various uses of the space. In addition to dimming. Panel-level HID dimming is used by control systems installed at the electrical panel that reduces the power supplied to the circuit. Several technologies are available for smooth. Some control systems will require a parallel-connected capacitor circuit configuration. which typically operates with existing CWA ballasts and can reduce rated power down to 50%. which can reduce rated power down to 50%. and harmonic distortion under 20%. 3) are available in new fixtures and provide continuous dimming. compatibility. is suitable for retrofit. 2. 2 of 4 10/21/2010 5:30 PM . Tri-level dimming does the same but offers a greater degree of flexibility that addresses multiple uses of the space. Wiring diagram of an electronic HID dimming ballast.. Continuous dimming is also well suited for daylight harvesting because it allows the HID lamp output to be tuned to maintain a constant light level in the space. Step-level dimming can be activated based on input from manual switches. and is available in fixtures that have a dedicated occupancy sensor and dimming ballast for direct fixture replacement. Light output will be reduced further than the wattage reduction (Table). industrial facilities. continuous reduction of lamp wattage. Those that don t will require a series-connected capacitor circuit configuration. They Fig. and auditoriums. 3. typically from 100% to 50% light output for metal halide lamps. Electronic HID ballasts are generally not cost-effective in a retrofit but can produce significant energy savings in new fixtures. It allows for individual fixture control. scheduling devices. sporting arenas. lamp life. and photocells. followed by a brief warm-up time between 80% and 100% of light output. gymnasiums. photocells. and flicker. The ratio of reduction in wattage to reduction in light output isn't proportional during the operation of panel-level and step-dimming control systems. and time-programmable controllers. Important performance issues related to HID lamp dimming include efficacy. the low level in a bi-level dimming system may be 15% to 40% of light output and 30% to 60% of wattage. color.printthis. lobbies. such as airports. Fig.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=HID+Lam.
Some manufacturers recommend that metal halide lamps be operated base-up to preserve lamp life. Metal halide lamps take two to 10 minutes to warm up and 12 to 20 minutes to hot re-strike. color. Some panel-level dimming systems aren't compatible with electronic ballasts.. occupancy sensors are used with fluorescent lamps. Compatibility.5 times the power reduction for metal halide lighting systems (Fig. Self-extinguishing lamps aren't recommended for use with dimming systems. Source: National Color. Light output for a 400W coated metal halide lamp will decrease as system input power decreases. When HID lamps are dimmed below 50% of rated power.2 to 1. Source: Lighting of 50% rated lamp wattage Research Center. they may experience degradation in service life. dimming below 50% may void lamp warranties. Increasing emphasis on energy efficiency is going to make it necessary for lighting system designers to find ways to reduce load consumption wherever they can. they take less than a minute to hot re-strike but don't reach full light for three to four minutes.. it often isn't practical to switch the lamps based on occupancy if the space must be made usable again quickly.clickability. As a result. 4 below). turning the lights on or off after a determined interval based on detected occupancy in the space. In applications where HID lamps are used. switching the lamps can also result in shorter-than-rated lamp life.4 times the power reduction for high pressure sodium lighting systems. Manufacturers Association Efficacy is defined as the relative light (NEMA) suggests a maximum output divided by relative system recommended dimming level input power. 3 of 4 10/21/2010 5:30 PM . while pulse-start metal halide lamps take only one to two minutes. Sidebar: Overcoming HID Re-Strike Time Typically.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=HID+Lam. Metal halide lamps are most susceptible to changes in lamp color characteristics. as shown in this example of The National Electrical a 400W coated metal halid lamp. Canada.HID Lamp Dimming http://www. dimming below 50% of rated power may reduce high pressure sodium and metal halide lamp life With panel-level and step-dimming by 90%. Coated metal halide lamps experience a much smaller shift and a smaller reduction in CRI than clear lamps. meaning dimming options for HID lamps may become an attractive alternative. and lumen output. typically experiencing a 50°K to 200°K reduction in color temperature when they're dimmed. efficacy is lost as a lamp is dimmed. light output reductions are about 1. Flicker. The reason is that high-pressure sodium lamps can take three to five minutes to warm up. Inc. High pressure sodium lamps can also be affected. DiLouie is communications director for the Lighting Controls Association and principal of ZING Communications. In addition. These delays are unacceptable in many applications. while CRI experiences a minimal change. NEMA further recommends that the lamps should be operated at full power for at least 15 minutes prior to dimming (unless the lamp is extinguished from a voltage interruption and the input voltage activates the timer. and about 1.) Fig. Alberta. can make flicker more visible. particularly high pressure sodium lamps. HID lamps can Lighting Product Information Program (NLPIP). Calgary. In fact. 4. for both metal halide and high-pressure sodium lamps. since most lamp manufacturers rate HID lamp life at a minimum of 10 hours per start.1 to 1.. In general. reduction in color-rendering ability. or they may extinguish. Lighting experience a color shift during dimming and also a Research Center. Some panel-level dimming systems may introduce harmonic currents into the electrical system. Dimming HID lamps. Lamp life. causing them to appear more yellow. efficacy. in which case 30 minutes is recommended before dimming. systems.printthis.
which can yield significant energy savings. the lamps will be able to achieve full light output quickly. but dimming is a viable alternative.ecmweb.printthis..com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=HID+Lam. The lamps can be dimmed in response to a signal from an occupancy sensor (recommended for spaces where occupation isn't predictable) or timer or other time-programmable controller (for spaces where occupation is highly predictable). Figures 1-3 courtesy of Advance Transformer Company Find this article at: http://www..com/mag/electric_hid_lamp_dimming/index. 4 of 4 10/21/2010 5:30 PM . All rights reserved.HID Lamp Dimming http://www.clickability. Copyright © Source Interlink Media. When the space is occupied again.html SAVE THIS | EMAIL THIS | Close Check the box to include the list of links referenced in the article. It's impractical to switch HID lamps based on occupancy in a number of applications.
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