Ignition of mercury-free high intensity discharge lamps

Marc Czichy, T. Hartmann, Jürgen Mentel, Peter Awakowicz

Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 41 (2008)


To achieve a better understanding of the ignition behaviour of D4 lamps for automotive headlights the ignition of mercury-free metal iodide test lamps characterized by a high xenon pressure, a small electrode distance and small electrode–wall distances is investigated. The ignition of these lamps is dominated by a high voltage requirement. Nevertheless lamps are found that show a surprisingly low ignition voltage. Electrical measurements and simultaneous optical observations of the ultra-fast streamer processes show that the breakdown takes place in two different modes. One of the ignition modes which requires a high ignition voltage is characterized by a breakdown in the volume between the electrode tips. The other mode is characterized by streamer discharges along the wall. In this case the cathode, its base and the wall around is involved in the ignition process and the lamp breaks down at low voltages.


tags: hidl