In the lamp market, people are often confused by lamps of different types of light sources, and they can’t tell the difference between them, and they can’t figure out which lamp is more suitable for their project. And LED and Metal halide lamps are two very common lamps, especially in large outdoor projects, they are often used by customers to discuss and compare. Today we will make a detailed comparison between them and analyze the transformation relationship between them.

What is a metal halide lamp?

The metal halide lamp is a discharge lamp that produces arc discharge in the mixed vapor of mercury and rare metal halide. The metal halide lamp is a discharge lamp made by adding various metal halides to the high-pressure mercury lamp. Generation light source. The lighting adopts a sodium scandium metal halide lamp. The metal halide lamp has the characteristics of high luminous efficiency, good color rendering performance, and long life. It is a light source close to daylight.

What are the characteristics of metal halide lamps?

  • High light efficiency: The metal halide light efficiency is as high as 80~120Lm/W. Compared with other traditional lamps such as CFL, incandescent lamps, fluorescent, or HPS, they have advantages in light efficiency.
  • High CRI: Because the spectrum of the metal halide lamp is based on the continuous spectrum superimposed on the dense linear spectrum, the color rendering index is particularly high, that is, the color reproduction is particularly good, and the Ra can reach 90. In addition, the color temperature of the metal halide lamp is high, up to 5000~6000K, and the special projector lamp can reach 7000~20000K. Under the same brightness conditions, the higher the color temperature, the brighter the human eye feels.
  • Easier to be replaced: E27/E40 Base, it is easy to do installation and replacements even if there is any broken or burned, saving much more Maintenance costs.

What are the disadvantages of metal halide lamps?

  • Not environmentally friendly: The metal halide lamps on the market are the same as other gas discharge lamps. The filling of the lamp contains mercury. Mercury is a toxic substance. When the lamp is filled with mercury, careless handling will cause pollution to the production environment. Damage to the health of workers. When the arc tube is exhausted, a small amount of mercury vapor will be emitted. If it is not handled properly, it will be directly discharged into the atmosphere. When the lamp used is damaged, it will pollute the environment.
  • Fragile: The metal halide lamp is a lamp with glass as the main shell, which is very easy to break and not easy to transport.
  • Long startup time: A metal halide lamp is a kind of cold light source and cannot realize an instantaneous startup. It takes 5-20 minutes to warm up before the lamp works normally. At the same time, after turning off the lamp, it takes 10-15 minutes to cool down before it can be started again.
  • Low light utilization. The light efficiency of the metal halide lamp reaches about 100Lm/w, which looks similar to that of the LED light source. However, because the metal halide lamp is a 360-degree luminous body, coupled with the light loss of the lamp cover, the actual output light effect is only 50% or even lower than the initial light effect.

Applications of metal halide lamp

Metal halide lamps are suitable for large-scale spaces that require high illumination and good color rendering, such as stadiums, art galleries, exhibition halls, large shopping malls, industrial plants, street squares, stations, docks and other places. The method of mixed light illumination can obtain high luminous efficiency, and the light color can also be improved. It is suitable for street lighting and bustling street lighting. Floodlight or high pole lighting, high pole lighting can be installed in overpasses, squares, stations, docks, etc.

What is LED?

LED (Light Emitting Diode), a light-emitting diode, is a solid-state semiconductor device that can convert electrical energy into visible light. It can directly convert electricity into light. The heart of the LED is a semiconductor chip, one end of the chip is attached to a bracket, one end is the negative pole, and the other end is connected to the positive pole of the power supply, so that the entire chip is encapsulated by epoxy resin. LED can directly emit red, yellow, blue, green, cyan, orange, purple and white light. LED lamps are lighting equipment that uses LEDs as light sources inside some shells.

What are the characteristics of LED lamps?

  1. Energy-saving and environmental protection: At present, the actual effective luminous efficiency of LED lamps is basically 100-150lm/W. Compared with metal halide lamps, it can save at least 60% of energy. At the same time, it does not contain lead, mercury, and other polluting elements, which is not harmful to the environment. Any pollution is truly green. Most of the used LED lamps can be recycled and reused.
  2. Long life: The theoretical life of the LED lamp is 50000Hrs. The actual working time is at least 10 years. The traditional metal halide lamps, HPS, and incandescent lamps generally have a service life of about 2 years.
  3. The forms of lamps are diversified: LED can be made into lighting lamps with E27, E40 lamp caps, used to directly replace traditional E27, E40 metal halide lamps, HPS lamps, etc., and can also be made into lighting equipment integrated with the lamp housing , Such as outdoor led floodlights, SMD downlights, UFO high bay led light, led street lamps etc.
  4. Integrated design of lens and lampshade. The lens has the functions of light-gathering and protection at the same time, avoiding the repeated waste of light and making the product more concise and beautiful.

What are the disadvantages of LED lamps?

  • The initial purchase cost is high. Among the lamps with the same effective luminous efficiency, LED lamps are the most expensive. For some projects with cost budgets, this may be the biggest reason why they refuse to choose LED lights. However, as the technology of the LED industry continues to mature, the price of LED lamps has been declining in recent years. The price of some indoor lamps such as E27 led bulb has been close to or even equal to the price of the traditional E27 CFL.
  • Some LED lamps are not easy to repair. The forms of LED lamps on the market are very diverse. Some lamps are designed to be integrated, and the light source is directly fixed inside the shell, such as floodlights. Once the LED Chips have problems, such as burnout or flickering, it is inconvenient to be detected and replaced.

Application for led lights

Whether it is a narrow space or a large place, LED lights can be used in almost all places, indoor, outdoor, emergency, landscape, industrial, commercial, and civilian use.

Detailed comparison between LED lamps and metal halide lamps

TypeMetal halide lampLED
Power150W 250W 400W 1000W 1500W 2000WRange from 1W to 1000W
Input voltageMostly 110V, or only 220VAC 50/60HzAC100-240V 50/60Hz. DC12V/24V/36V/48V optional
Original Lumens80-100lm/W100-150lm/W
Effective lumens40-50lm/W.Halide lamps with 360degree beam angle,which means a half of light is not actually working.100-140lm/w.Mostly all lights from led chips can be used perfectly without any lose or only a little lose.
Color temperatureMost of them is 5000K.The other color temperature is not easy to doGenerally 3000K,4500k,6500K 2500K,8000K,Yellow,red,blue,green available as well.
Light sourceToxic gasSolid led chips
Color rendering indexCRI90-99CRI65-90
Beam angle360˚. Glowing from all sides is not conducive to effective use of all light, resulting in a lot of light waste.180˚. It is to let all the emitted light be used as much as possible.
FriendlyNoYes
Start-up time10-20Minutes to warm-up,then the lamps can be working normally.Instant up.
Light decayThe metal halide light decay is large: the average luminous decay reaches 17% in 500 hours. The average light decay reaches 25.2% in 1000 hoursThe luminous decay of LED is 0 for 1000 hours. 3000 hours light attenuation is 1% 10000 hours light attenuation is 3%
Lifespan6000-8000Hrs.50000Hrs.the actual lifetime is 5years at least.
CostCheap.Higher
IK RatingIK00, The metal halide light source is a glass body, so it has no shock resistance. Very inconvenient to transportIK07.It is stronger shock resistance.
Warranty1-2Years3-10years according to requirements

Through the above analysis and comparison, we can see that compared with metal halide lamps, LED lamps have obvious advantages in all aspects. At the same time, with the continuous development of LED lighting industry technology and the continuous decline of prices. LED lamps have gradually become the best choice when updating traditional lamps and choosing new lighting equipment. When replacing metal halide lamps, many people will ask: What is the LED equivalent of a metal halide lamp?

For this question, we made an LED convert to Metal halide chart as following:

From the above table, some people may have doubts about effective lumens. Effective lumens of metal halide lamp is different from original lumens.Metal halide lamps’ original lumens is about 80-100lm/W, however, its effective lumens is only 40-50lm/W. Why? There is a main reason as following for it.

The metal halide lamp (HID) is 360° luminous. When it irradiates one side, only half of the light it emits can be irradiated to the opposite side, and the other half of the light is actually not highly utilized and basically belongs to light loss. Welcome to inquiry us if there are any other questions or projects need to do lighting replacements or retrofits.