Metal Halide vs High Pressure Sodium

What is the Difference Between Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium?

superior lighting HPS light bulbmetal halide light bulb

Both Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium bulbs are part of the HID family of bulbs. The primary visual difference between them is that metal halide light is white and the light emitted from a High Pressure Sodium bulb is amber orange.

These bulbs cannot be interchanged without changing their ballast, the regulating element in all light bulbs. Their operation is a bit different and they therefore require different ballasts. Care should also be taken to choose the correct base lamp. Both metal halide bulbs and HPS bulbs are available in medium and mogul base screw in connections. Here we can examine why a metal halide or high pressure sodium light bulb is best choice for you.

Benefits of Metal Halide

250 metal halide

Metal Halide bulbs produce light by passing electrical currents through a mixture of mercury and metal halide gas to make a white light. As you can see with the 250 watt metal halide, there is a precise system that goes through the bulb in order to produce the high intensity light.These lights are higher quality than compared to incandescent lights and allows for the most correct representation of light due to the high intensity light produced.

Best Uses for Metal Halide

As stated, high output applications are best for metal halide lights such as stadiums, construction sites and parking lots. The 100w dusk-to-dawn light can be used for loading platforms, barnyards, and parking lots to provide optimum light for long periods of time. In normal applications the lights can be sued for vehicle headlights but it should be known these lights have the longest warm up period compared to all other lights.

high pressure sodium light

Benefits of High Pressure Sodium

A main benefit to HPS lights is the lifespan of about 24,000 hours and fairly cheap to replace compared to the metal halide bulbs. When using HPS lights consumers do not run the risk of coming into contact with mercury, infrared, or UV lights that can cause harm to animals and people. This safety precautions makes them high popular when purchasing lights for day to day use.

Best Uses for High Pressure Sodium

Due to the low color spectrum on high pressure sodium lights, the light emitted is limited to a warm deep yellow light. Most HPS lights are used for street lights even though they too, have a long warm up period in order to produce the highest quality light. One of Superior Lighting’s best sellers is the 150w dusk-to-dawn photo control light fixture due to its dual use in wet locations and precision die-cast aluminum as an added safety feature.

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Types of Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium Bulbs


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