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High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps
Technical Information

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Basics of... High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps

Mercury Vapor, Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium comprise the family of High Intensity Discharge lamps (HID). In HID lamps, light is produced by passing an electric current through a gas or vapor at high pressure. The current produces an arc/discharge of very efficient light with a longer life than a std. incandescent lamp.


Common Characteristics of HID Lamps

  • All HID lamps have a warm-up period that lasts from 3-10 minutes (depending on the type and wattage) before it produces full light output
  • It is important that an HID lamp have the correct ballast to operate properly (compare ANSI code on ballast and lamp package)
  • HID lamps have a restrike time (the time it takes for a lamp to re-light after a power interruption) which ranges from 1-15 minutes depending on type and wattage
  • Applications include: landscape lighting, dusk to dawn fixtures, roadways, parking lots, floodlights & security, retail/commercial buildings and airports

Types of HID Lamps

Mercury Vapor

  • Lower initial cost, but higher operating costs compared to HPS (High Pressure Sodium) or Metal Halide lamps due to lower efficiency
  • Bluish green appearance
  • Higher color rendering
  • Gets dim over time and rarely burns out (wise to replace them to restore light levels)
Mercury Vapor Hid Lamps

High Pressure Sodium (HPS)

  • Most efficient HID lamps available
  • If color rendering is not critical and energy saving is important, HPS is an excellent choice
  • Attracts less insects than other light sources
High Pressure Hid Lamps

Metal Halide

  • Crisp white light
  • High efficiency
  • Good color rendering
Metal Halide Hid Lamps
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