Below is a video on a way to avoid buying an older mercury bulb or replacing a mercury fixture that you can’t find the correct bulb for.
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Here we have an older mercury fixture a 40-50 watt that has a bad bulb and is causing it not to light. As you may or may not know they stopped making mercury light bulbs for these older fixtures. Now I know that the newer compact florescent bulbs contain mercury and I thought that they might work in these older fixtures so I tested my theory… So I installed a 60 watt equivalent compact florescent bulb into the fixture and covered the photo control eye that powers the light and the compact bulb lit up.
So at another location we have a bunch of 100 watt mercury light fixtures used to light up walkways. So I also tested my theory on these fixtures as well. So I installed a 100 watt equivalent compact florescent bulb into the fixture and then covered the photo eye that powers the light and the 100 watt compact florescent lit up. The last part of the video shows you this on one we had in the shop.
So it appears that if you pair that output wattage of the mercury fixture to what the compact fluorescents equivalent wattage is they seem to work. NOT to what the compact florescent actually uses. So that will save you time spent looking for the bulbs or the time and money replacing these older fixtures with newer high pressure sodium, metal halide or LED lighting.
*Note* I have been running these compact flurescent bulbs in both the 40-50w and the 100w light fixtures for a month now and they are still going strong. They are on a photo cell running dusk to dawn.