February 27, 2018


High Pressure Sodium Bulb Algorithm

The high intensity discharge 600w high pressure sodium (HPS) bulb is a technology that is commonly used for personal indoor horticulture. The HPS bulb is situated within a horticultural system which requires a grow tent, a hood, a ballast, a plant, and electricity.

HPS Routine: Set Up

The HPS bulb needs to be properly installed before it can be used. First, the bulb is mounted in the hood located within the grow tent. The hood expands the surface area covered by bulb’s light while the hood and tent absorb excess heat from the lamp. The hood is also connected to an electrical system called the ballast, which supplies electrical current through its connection to a power source, such as an electrical outlet. Once installed, the system is activated with a switch and light is provided to the plants.

HPS Subroutine: The Ballast

The ballast performs a series of actions which change alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC) waves that efficiently provide the lamp with the correct level of wattage. A striker circuit initially hits the lamp with a high voltage pulse, beginning the chemical reactions in the bulb. This pulse is followed by lower levels of current that maintain the chemical reactions without causing the bulb to overheat or require excessively high levels of energy.

HPS Subroutine: The Bulb

The arc tube’s primary tungsten electrode receives volts of electricity through the eyelet, and then sends the electricity through the starter gas Xenon to the second electrode at the opposite end of the arc tube. The heat is generated through this process. The bulb’s growing heat then enables the Mercury inside the arc tube to vaporize and output a blue spectrum light. As the temperature continues to increase the tube’s Sodium vaporizes, creating a red spectrum light that appears orange. Finally, the blue Mercury light output and the orange Sodium output interact with each other to produce the high pressure sodium bulb’s signature yellow glow. The bulb’s yellow light output is considered to be on the white light spectrum.

The Full Algorithmic Process for the High Pressure Sodium Bulb