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Thread: Dusk to Dawn Security Lighting Question

  1. #1

    Dusk to Dawn Security Lighting Question

    Hey guys what is better for a dusk to dawn security light. High Pressure Sodium or Mercury Vapor? Advantages/disadvantages of each? I've never used either, but need to install a couple on a building in a month or so.

    Thanks - John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Collin County Texas
    John, Mercury Vapor gives a better light, but is out of favor because of the Mercury scare We have a HP Sodium "street light" on the utility pole that holds our pole pig. It gives off crummy orange light, but it does light the area sufficiently. Our electric Co-op charges a flat $6.50 per month for the light since it is attached directly to the pole pig.

    Stop by the borgs and talk to them, they might even have one working on display.

    I put in a front yard lantern light last summer that uses a 70 watt metal halide lamp. That lamp surely does put out the light, and it is a nice, nearly full spectrum light. I got the pole and electric eye at the orange borg. The lamp requires a MH specific ballast that a good electrical supply house will have. My ballast is by Advance, and slides down in the latern post.

    If I were in your position, I would check into a 250 watt metal halide lamp and fixture.
    Best Regards, Ken

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Marquette Heights, Illinois
    Metal Halide is the best of both worlds - Long life and very efficient. The color is better, too.

    I've sold electrical products for 43 years and gone through the MERC, HPS, and Metal Halide lighting.


  4. #4
    Thanks guys, the light is for a small garage not associated with our home, and only for security. I would like one front and back, but the building is long and narrow, so only about a 25 x 35 area on both ends. Any idea to how many watts I might need?

    Thanks again - John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    John....I bought a dual lamp halogen fixture at the local BORG. My youngest son had given me a cheap one and it didn't work correctly. I bought a more expensive one. It cost about $40....has dual halogen lamps with independently adjustable heads. It can be set to work dusk-to-dawn or motion/infrared tripped. This will sound crazy but I use it in the motion/infrared sensing mode and it acts as a burglar alarm of sorts. When the light on my new shop comes on.....I know something or somebody is out there in the dark. During the day....lights automatically shut off. It also serves to light the way when I go out there to work in the evenings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Williamston, SC
    70 watt HP sodium would do the job most economically.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    San Jose, Middle California
    Remember this please, your neighbors may not want to see your light for reasons of their own. Make sure you shield it so it only lights the ground.

    A bright security light a mile away can be an annoyance when you are trying to enjoy a star-lit evening.
    Michael in San Jose
    Non confundar in aeternam

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Monroe, MI
    I've got one that looks something like this on the front of my shop that works well. I'm not sure on the technology it uses (it throws a greenish colored light.) It lights the area in front of my shop nicely without being overly briight. The previous owner installed it. I did have to replace the light sensor module which just plugged right in.

    I also have one of those motion detector lights that uses two floodlights (again installed by the previous owner) over the entrance door. It comes on whenever you approach the door. It is extremely bright. When we are in the hot tub and the dog wanders over there, its pretty startling when it kicks on. It will occasionally "stick" on and I have to reset it by killing the power to it for a minute or so. This seems to be caused by momentary power outages. We have another one over our garage that doesn't have this problem.

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