LED vs Metal halide lighting which is best?

LED vs Metal Halide Lights Comparison

If you’re still using metal halide lighting, we have one word for you: STOP.  Switch to LED lighting. We did a point by point comparison between the two and found that each and every time, LED wins. 


While a brand new metal halide bulb is very bright, you will notice that it tends to start dimming very quickly. In fact, after just half a year of use, you already lose 20% of its lumens. That doesn’t sound very efficient, does it? 

Another problem with metal halide bulbs is that it distributes light in all directions, but often in an uneven way. You have to use reflects or fixtures to limit and focus the light, but each time light bounces off a surface it loses some of its lumens too.  That’s why even if the bulb looked really bright when you tested it at a store, in reality, the “real” light you get is much less. 

On the other hand, LED lights to lose lumens very slowly, and provide focused and direct light. It’s a much more efficient and reliable light source.  


Most metal halide bulbs will last for 20,000 hours, and larger bulbs of 1,000 watts will only have 15,000 hours.  (And as we said in our earlier point, its lumens or brightness deteriorates very quickly over time.)

LED lights will give you 50,000 hours of steady light. It stays just as bright as it was when you first bought it and rarely flickers. By the time you’re ready to replace this light, you’ve already gone through 4 more metal halides.  


In terms of energy efficiency, nothing can beat LED lights – not fluorescents, not incandescents, not metal halides.  A high quality LED light consumes 80% to 90% less power than bulbs of equal wattage. Or, to put it another way, you save 80% to 90% more on your electricity bills. 

But that’s not all. Think about how metal halides lose their lumens over time. But even if it gives less light you are still using the same amount of electricity to run it. So not only are you spending more money, you are not even getting your money’s worth! 


It can get very complicated to change lightbulbs when they’re installed in high or hard-to-reach places. We’re not just talking about high ceilings or roof decks, but street lamps, or safety lights in construction sites, or decorative lights on a building’s neon signages. People need to hire a maintenance crew, which not only involves cost but inconvenience both for the owners but the people affected.   

On these factors alone LED is a clear winner. But that’s not all. Many LED suppliers offer bargains, rebates, and installation assistance. There are also LED retrofit kits that let you switch without having to redo your entire lighting system or buy new fixtures. That’s why going from metal halide to LED is so much easier than you expected! So in the war between metal halide vs. LED, LED wins… and so do you. 


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