Metal halide is a high intensity discharge (HID) lamp with energy efficiency comparable to or better than fluorescent. Common screw base metal halide lamps are workhorses for applications such as big box retail, sports arenas, parking garages, pole mounts and other commercial outdoor applications. Upscale retail stores have embraced small form factor ceramic metal halide for display and accent lighting because it combines clean white light with strong color rendering, particularly at the red end of the spectrum. Metal halide lamps are available in a wide range of wattages. At the the low end are bulbs from 35 to 150 watts. Mid-range metal halide has wattages from 175 to 400 watts. At the upper end, these are powerful light sources with wattages up to 2000W.
Metal Halide Frequently Asked Questions
How do metal halide lamps work?
Metal halide technology consists of an arc tube located inside an outer glass envelope or bulb. Arc tube is made of either quartz or ceramic. Inside the arc tube is a mixture of mercury and argon gas plus metal halide salts. A ballast supplies a high startup voltage to electrodes inside the arc tube. The gases and metal halides inside the arc tube heat up. When the arc tube attains full operating temperature and pressure, the metal halides are vaporized. At the high temperature center of the arc tube, the metal halide vapor breaks apart into halogen and the metals. The resulting light output radiates the spectral characteristics of the metals. When the halogen and the metals cool migrate to the walls of the arc tube they cool and recombine to start the cycle again.
What are the advantages of pulse start metal halide lamps?
Pulse-start lamps offer several benefits: (1) higher light output per unit of electric power - higher savings if paired with electronic ballast; (2) higher light output as lamps age; (3) longer lamp life; (4) more stable color rendering as lamps age; (5) quicker startup - pulse-start lamps can reach full brightness in two to four minutes instead of the five to ten minutes needed by probe-start lamps. Topbulb offers ED & BT pulse start, and PAR pulse start bulbs.