Halarc 'First Light' Self-Ballasted Metal Halide

This "First Light" lamp is an advanced prototype of what was placed on the market a year later under its production name Halarc Miser Maxi-Light. It was a few decades ahead of its time, marking the first ever attempt to bring the efficacy of metal halide into the domestic sector. Its development was fuelled by the simultaneous work of GE's Elmer Fridrich on low wattage metal halide arc tubes, and the energy crisis of 1973. GE managers saw an opportunity to engineer his arc tubes into a domestic lamp that would halve energy usage.

At the heart of the lamp is a 32-watt sodium-scandium arc tube. To attain a warm colour light of 3200K for domestic use, it is operated on DC with the anode uppermost so as to draw sodium ions up into the arc stream. A quartz shroud helps to minimise sodium loss and keep colour stable during life. An incandescent filament is also included in the outer bulb. This provides instant light, even after a hot-restart while the arc tube is cooling, and helps miniaturise the electronic ballast by reducing the size of magnetic parts. The assembly is mounted on an 8-pin valve-type glass stem, and sealed into a soft glass bulb with argon-nitrogen fill, and a diffuse coating to mix the light from the filament and arc.

By the time GE completed development the energy crisis was over, and indeed Philips' SL lamp with compact fluorescent technology just beat it to the market. That overcame many of the drawbacks of the metal halide alternative, namely no colour instabilities, a pronounced flicker, restriction to vertical base down use, and the very high sale price. Despite millions of dollars of investment, GE's lamp was not popular and was withdrawn by 1984. It's arc tube however lives on in the Halarc 32 watt lamp.
Manufacturer: General Electric Co. (USA)
Lamp Power: 55 Watts
Lamp Current: 0.46 Amps
Lamp Voltage: 110-125 Volts
Cap Type: E26s/25 Aluminium + vitrite
Bulb Type: TB-60 TB-19 in eighths/inch
Bulb Finish: Diffuse Soda-lime glass
Electrodes: Asymmetric Tungsten
Arc Length:
Atmosphere: Inner: Hg, NaI, ScI3 | Ar Outer: Argon-Nitrogen
Luminous Flux: 2,250 lm lm (@ 100 hrs)
Luminous Efficacy: 40.9 lm/W (@ 100 hrs)
Colour Temperature & CRI: CCT: 3200K CRI: Ra 65
Chromaticity Co-ordinates: CCx: 0.421 CCy: 0.392
Rated Lifetime: 5,000 hours 50% survival++
Warm-up & Re-strike Time: 1 minute 15 minutes
Burning Position: Vertical Base Down only
Overall Length: 145 mm 53/4 inches
Light Centre Length:
Factory: NELA Piloting, Cleveland, OH U.S.A.
Date of Manufacture: 1981
Original / Present Value: US $15.00 (1981) 16.30 (2004)
References: 1) Photometric measurements of lamp.
2) Lighting Design & Application Vol.9, August 1979, pp. 63.
3) Smithsonian Institution Website "Lighting a Revolution" http://americanhistory.si.edu/lighting/20thcent/promo20.htm.