Nobody likes opening up a new grow light and finding looks like used. Fortunately for indoor gardeners, a burn mark or a stain in an HID grow lamp doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need to make another trip to the store. Here’s how some burn marks and other items can actually help your plants.
What are Those Burn Marks in my Bulb?
While burn marks or stains may look like the lamp has already been used, the lamp is typically just fine. The stain you may see in HID bulbs is actually the exclusive chemistry which goes into each of our grow lights.
This exclusive chemistry mix produces the quality spectrum you have come to know with grow lamps. Sometimes this chemistry, which is made up of different elements such as Sodium or Metal Halides, will collect in spots on the internal arc tube as the lamp cools down. When the lamp is turned on, the arc tube heats up and the chemistry elements are incorporated into the plasma arc, thus creating light.
Why is There a Small Silver Ball in My Bulb?
Not to worry, that little silver ball is supposed to be there. While loose parts can be problematic, that little silver ball rolling around in your grow lamp is actually an extremely small dose of mercury. Mercury is a necessary element inside any HID bulb. The mercury affects the spectral output of the lamp as well as regulating the operating voltage of the lamp. This means what you thought was a loose piece is actually a vital part of your grow light.
Special Chemistry for Special Grow Lights
It can be easy to misinterpret these burn marks on new grow lights. Knowing what those materials are and what they are for can clear up any confusion with your indoor grow lamps. These assumed imperfections are key to providing your plants with the best light spectrum in the grow lighting market.