||The Mini WhiteSON lamp illustrated here is part of the natural development of the Philips WhiteSON lamp featured earlier in this section. Although the first generation White SON lamp proved to be very popular in retail lighting applications, particularly in food display areas or wherever a warmer colour light was desirable, it began to lose out to compact metal halide types in the mid 1990's as they became more popular.
Part of the reason for this was because the new compact metal halides were created as compact lamps, employing quartz outer bulbs which could endure the high temperatures present with such a small outer jacket. Small and elegant luminaires could be built around the new metal halide offerings. The WhiteSON lamp however was designed with an inexpensive borosilicate outer bulb at its inception, and its luminaires are large and inelegant by comparison with what could be done with metal halide.
In 2002 Philips revived the WhiteSON market by offering it in the compact quartz-jacketed package which consumers had clearly accepted as the standard for all new installations. The result was the Mini WhiteSON lamp shown here. It is not possible, however, for this lamp to run on the same circuitry as metal halide lamps owing to the lower volt drop of sodium lamps. A new series of compact ballasts of the same dimensions as metal halide types was therefore introduced at the same time to facilitate acceptance of this miniaturised lamp. To prevent accidental insertion of the sodium lamp into the metal halide luminaire there is a small lug beside one of the contact pins, the new modified caps being classified as types GX12-1 and GX12-2.