Why You Should Replace Your HID Lights with LEDs

While you may have never heard of high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting, there’s virtually no doubt you’re familiar with the concept. First discovered in 1705, HID technology operates by means of electricity arcing between electrodes within a transparent glass or fused quart housing filled with a noble gas. The electrical arc, hence “arc light,” heats and then vaporizes a metal, producing the light. HID lighting includes mercury-vapor, metal-halide, ceramic MH, xenon short-arc, and the most common arc lighting by a wide margin, sodium-vapor lamps.

HID lighting was something of a revelation in its heyday. Sodium-vapor lights lasted around twice as long as incandescent bulbs and produced light in a visual range the eye is well-suited to pick up on. That means less power to produce more light for much longer, and all inexpensively. Before LED wall packs, HIDs made sense as a cheap, efficient, long-lasting way to viably illuminate large areas. That’s why their orangey glow could be found in most every streetlight, parking lot, roadway, industrial and manufacturing facility, etc. from the 1970s on.So, why move away from a technology that was known to be cheap, effective, and efficient? The short answer: Because this is no longer the 1970s and there are now better options out there. We’ll dive into some of the cons of HID lighting and a number of the pros of LED lighting below.

Quality of Light

As cheap, efficient, and effective as they were, sodium-vapor arc light really isn’t that nice. Of the common lighting technologies, HID, and definitely sodium-vapor, has among the worst color rendering available. It’s exceedingly monochromatic, bleaching light colors to appear very pale and washed out and draining any dark colors to a shadowed black.

Plus, HID lights have to warm up. If you’ve ever seen a streetlight come on but only produce adim, pinkish glow, it’s because it can take 5-10 minutes for them to warm sufficiently to vaporize the sodium. Additionally, as HID lights age, they become less efficient. They require more energy to produce the same amount of light before failing altogether.

Mercury and Directionality

One of the most troubling features of most sodium-vapor lights is their mercury content. Mercury is present both in the glass of sodium-vapor arc lights and will be released as toxic gas when the bulbs are broken. This makes disposal an issue and can present a potential hazard in any space utilizing this kind of HID lighting.

Additionally, the light they’re producing at any stage is omni directional—shining in 360 degrees—while LEDs offer directional lighting—illuminating 180 degrees. The latter may not sound like a benefit until you consider that most lights being used to illuminate areas inside or out are meant to be directing their lumens down to the ground or to a specific space, where it’s needed and useful. That an LED bulb for floodlight illumination doesn’t require additional reflectors or lose half or more of its light in directions other than where it’s meant to go, is certainly a benefit.

Why LED?

LED lighting addresses every one of the benefits and drawbacks of sodium-vapor arc lights and other HID lights. Though sodium-vapor lighting is more efficient and has roughly double the lifespan of incandescents, LED lighting is considerably more efficient and has roughly twice the lifespan of HIDs. The quality of their light is essentially the opposite of HID: Rather than cold, monochromatic blanched white and shadow-black, LED light is rich, warm, and broad spectrum. There’s no cumulative loss of efficiency, no warm up time, and no mercury. When it comes to lighting your home or business, LED lighting is a safe, highly efficient option, whether you need LED tube lights or could benefit from LED flood light bulbs.

About Hyperikon

Back in 2010, two brothers were going to local businesses to share their passion. That passion? The production of the most efficient, easy-to-install LED lights, giving businesses and consumers consistent access to them, and doing so with impeccable service. The approach has paid off, and in 2014, U.S.-based Hyperikon launched the brand on the Amazon marketplace, featuring over 250 LED products—including their commercial-grade, high-efficiency LED barn lights—to nearly 3 million customers. Even in light of that success, the company’s fundamental passion for the best, most innovative LED lighting solutions supported by unparalleled customer service, remains. Hyperikon holds a number of U.S. patents and has earned more than 700 certifications and qualifications.

Light up your home or business with efficient, cost-effective LED lighting from Hyperikon, at Hyperikon.com

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