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Thread: Sulphur-Plasma lighting. Awesome stuff.

  1. #1
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Sulphur-Plasma lighting. Awesome stuff.

    Anyone heard of this? I was at Carnivoren and read about these. From what I understand.. they were promising in 1998 and then went kaput and as of 2005 have been in production yet again. They use sulfur and argon gas and are powered by a magnetron. NO MERCURY! YAY! I saw pics of them in industrial settings as well as horticultural, and I must say the pot they were growing was very healthy. There are no electrodes. I found a few websites, yet no prices

    From my understanding, the lamps are spun while they are in operation to keep the plasma in center. Here's a lamp on start up,

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...at_startup.jpg

    Here is a plasma lamp next to a 1000 watt metal halide lamp for size comparison.
    http://us1.webpublications.com.au/st...103351_3mg.jpg




    Here is a youtube video of one in operation. The man is reading out the power it's at while it's working and you can see it spinning.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=BLI9usuBK...e=user&search=


    In this video, you can see a super-bright beam shoot out of it. These things look like they are begging to explode but they seem very safe. I think I read the bulb actually outlasts the magnetron that runs it.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=lveEQWrDR...elated&search=

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Cool stuff. I'll be interested to see some pricing information. Why exactly did they never take off in 1998?

    Quote Originally Posted by JustLikeAPill View Post
    Here is a plasma lamp next to a 1000 watt metal halide lamp for size comparison.
    http://us1.webpublications.com.au/st...103351_3mg.jpg
    I'm guessing the one on the right is the plasma lamp? lol. The bulb on the left looks like Ben Franklin himself made it.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

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    Cool!
    They probably cost a fortune though
    I have emailed them and asked for a price list and availability.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I don't know why they never took off. I guess impractical at the time since MH was already around.

    The one on the right is the plasma lamp, the one on the left is a metal halide.

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    I have no specific knowledge of this light, but I have worked with a few magnetrons

    they are used to generate RF energy up into the Microwave frequencies

    they are also the heart of todays microwave ovens

    Personally, I would bet safety was/is an issue

    definitely something that can hurt you really bad and really quick...

    Cheers'
    Av

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    This is from a pot forum. I'll just copy and paste

    This is about the sulphur plasma lamp. It is a technology developed by NASA as a replacement for sunlight for deep space vehicles. In PAR ratings it equals or rivals the sun and yet puts off almost no heat. It flat blows the doors off of current indoor plant lighting HID in PAR, waste heat and energy efficiency!

    The price for them is about $1600 USD and they can be purchased at http://www.nurturelite.com/photoponics.htm. As far as I know they are the only people that still make them. It causes interference with wireless networking standards so it was discontinued. However, the basic technology is excellent and worth the money for large scale growers or just people that want the best. A national museum used them to replace a bunch of HID with 2 of these and had more light.

    The bulb is rated for roughly 10yrs but the magnetron must be replaced every 6-18 months at a cost of $50-60 USD. They are talking about making a cartridge type replacement system for the magnetron to make it easier to replace.

    I know, I sound like a salesman but I am in no way affiliated with them. Just a tech nut that likes to spread the knowledge. I was promised some pictures from plants being grown in Europe in about 2 months. I'll post them as I get them.



    This is from lamptech.co.uk.
    The Sulphur lamp was invented by Michael Ury over the period 1986-1990, the principal reason for his interest being that the spectral distribution of its energy is very closely matched to the sensitivity of the human eye. Owing to the completely molecular radiation produced by sulphur, the spectrum is continuous and good colour rendering indices can be attained. Once the high efficacy of the discharge had also been demonstrated the patents were licensed to Fusion Corp. of Rockville, MD, U.S.A. who manufactured and marketed it.The extreme electronegativity of sulphur means it is fiercely corrosive towards many materials found in other lamps. Tungsten electrodes are attacked and destroyed very rapidly, thus it is necessary to create an electrodeless lamp. Power is coupled to the discharge using a magnetron operating in the microwave frequency range, but efficiencies of 70% at best were attainable here. Because of the large bulb size convection currents are also a serious issue, and to deliver the temperature uniformity required to attain full vapour pressure of the sulphur (5 atm.) , it is necessary to slowly rotate the bulb horizontally about the axis of the quartz support rod. The argon filling acts purely as a starting aid.

    The spectral output peaks at 510nm, imparting a distinctly greenish hue to the illuminated environment and this is something which has proved to be a major obstacle in its marketing. It was also found to be impractical to make the system in lower wattages than with the 1000W lamp shown here. Sulphur lamps were trialled in many applications, most notably using 3M's light pipe system. But the green colour, restriction to high wattages, inefficiency of the magnetron and great noise from its cooling fans saw the lamp axed in 2000.

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    I dunno Clint,

    high voltages, microwave radiation, 70% efficiency, 6 month magnetron life, electromagnetic interference, 510nm wavelength limit (when up to 720nm is needed)

    if a 1000w lamp is 70% efficient then 300 watts is being converted into unusable heat/radiation instead of usable light.... so you gotta cool the thing big time

    it is interesting.... but a lot of bugs to work out

    Av

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    That is really neat, small bulb.. BRIGHT LIGHT. It sounds kinda noisy though.

    Really cool lightbulb.. that metal halide bulb looks weird. It's all... HUGE.
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