Mercury vapor lamp, high pressure

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A type of high intensity discharge lamp that has been used for lighting streets, parking lots and other outdoor open areas. First developed in 1934, high pressure mercury discharge bulbs are sealed quartz tubes containing mercury vapor under high pressure. An arc of electricity efficiently produces a bright discharge. Mercury lamps emit light from ultraviolet to the blue visible region (200 and 1400 nm) with average color temperatures in the range of 3300 to 3600 K. The lamps are rugged, durable and have a long lifetime. For most applications, such as black lights, the ultraviolet light is filtered to reduce its intensity and provide selection of short- or long-wave radiaton.

Synonyms and Related Terms

discharge lamp; quartz lamp; black light; Hochdruck-Quecksilberdampflampe (Deut.); lampe à vapeur de mercure (Fr.)

Resources and Citations

  • High Pressure Mercury Vapor Lamps: website
  • Book and Paper Group, Paper Conservation Catalog, AIC, 1984, 1989
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998