Metal halide lighting operates similarly to mercury vapor lighting, but the addition of metal halide salts improves the color rendering and efficiency. Metal halide lamps are commonly used for large-scale outdoor lighting applications such as arenas, sports fields, streets, and parking lots. How does metal halide lighting work? Read on to find out.
How Metal Halide Lamps Work?
To put it simply, metal halide technology works by passing an electrical arc through a mix of gasses, creating light. The bulb contains two primary parts: the inner arc tube and the outer bulb. When the lamp is inactive, the mercury and metal halide salts are condensed inside the inner arc tube. Metal halide lighting features two electrodes –– one on each end of the inner arc tube.
When electrical current is supplied to the lamp, electricity passes from one electrode to the next, heating the mercury and metal halide salts contained within the inner arc tube. This causes those elements to turn into gas, and as the metal halide atoms move away from the electrical arc, they create white light. This process is why it takes metal halide lamps anywhere from one to 15 minutes to warm up.
Why Use Metal Halide Lamps?
Although they’re most commonly used outdoors, metal halide lamps are quite versatile and can be used for a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications. Metal halide lighting is known for its natural white light, but you can actually find a wide range of colors, depending on the type of metal halide salts used within the lamp.
On average, metal halide bulbs also last around ten times as long as traditional incandescent bulbs (15,000 to 20,0000 hours). They’re also significantly more efficient, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to reduce energy usage.
Save on Quality Metal Halide Lamps
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