The lighting solution of choice for large buildings such as warehouses, manufacturing facilities, gymnasiums, commercial retail stores, and industrial spaces has historically been metal halide lamps. These lamps used higher wattage bulbs in conjunction with high bay ceiling fixtures to produce adequate lighting for large spaces. When compared to mercury vapor and high-pressure sodium bulbs, halide bulbs produce better color rendering and, consequently, higher quality illumination.
Metal halide bulbs have an expected lifespan of around 20,000 hours, making them quite efficient in comparison to traditional alternatives. However, today’s technology has changed the game entirely. Read on to find out how.
Advantages of LED Lighting
When compared even to metal halide bulbs, LED lighting solutions have proven to offer longer product lifespan, lower energy costs, and more convenient control options. They can be expected to last as long as 50,000 hours, compared to metal halide’s still impressive 20,000-hour lifespan. They also consume approximately 50% less energy.
Determining Appropriate Wattage
In addition to having a longer lifespan, LED lights also require less power. That means an 800w metal halide bulb can be replaced with a 400w LED replacement lamp without reducing the amount of light available. The end result is a 50% reduction in yearly energy use.
Metal halide bulbs require a minimum of 2 to 5 minutes when they are started up cold before they can achieve maximum light output. When they are turned off, they require both a 5 to 10-minute cool-down period and an additional 10 to 15 minutes before they can warm up again. All of this downtime can add up to lost profits for companies, which could be avoided by installing LED lamps since they require no start-up time and no cool-down period.
Although the labor costs associated with replacing metal halide bulbs with LED lamps are also quite low, there are a few concerns for property owners looking to retrofit. For example, heat build-up can become a serious problem if the light fixtures are not well-ventilated, yet open light fixtures can produce an unacceptable amount of glare and uncomfortable brightness. These issues can be avoided by giving adequate thought to design and considering whether or not a fixture lens could adequately change the light distribution pattern after installation.