Troubleshooting Damaged HID Bulbs

In spite of the measures taken to protect our lights, most of us will have to deal with a damaged bulb in our dive light at some time. A damaged HID bulb will not ignite. Often, the bulb stem will seem to sparkle as the electric arc attempts to establish itself. However, it is likely that the gases/chemicals required within the bulb have escaped and, without the pressurized sealed environment, the bulb will not function. It may also be expected that a slight buzzing or clicking may be heard emanating from the ballast as it attempts to fire the bulb. With HID bulbs, a break in the bulb can be very difficult to see with the naked eye. It may be possible to locate the break by switching on the light in a darkened room. The electric arc will seek the path of least resistance. No longer confined by an intact quartz arc tube, the arc will probe the damaged area, allowing it to be seen. It is important to note that some types of HID bulbs may be pressurized up to approximately 500 psi (35 BAR) during operation. Halcyon strongly recommends proper eye/face protection be worn when handling/visually inspecting any light head. Further, it is recommended to ensure the lamp cover is in place during these procedures. Breaks due to impact and improper handling tend to occur at structural support points, such as at the support wire or base. Broken bulbs should be replaced as specified within the Halcyon Lighting Systems Owner’s Manual.