In the Spotlight #2: Metal Halide HID Lamps
This article is the second in my ‘In the Spotlight’ series. This article will illuminate metal halide high intensity discharge (HID) bulbs. We have received a lot of questions over the phone and online about what exactly these bulbs are and how they differ from other HIDs, so I will tackle these questions and more in this article. Metal halide lamps are typically used in commercial, theatrical, projection, industrial, and outdoor floodlight applications. Metal halides are a great choice where good color rendering, bright light, and durable lamps are needed. With that in mind, you are probably wondering what the ‘metal halide,’ in metal halide lamps means. To answer this question it is useful to know a little bit about how a metal halide HID lamp works. In a metal halide, electricity ionizes the starting gas (typically argon) and the mercury vapor and vaporizes the metallic material inside the arc tube. The electricity continues to excite the mercury vapor and the vaporized metals inside the tube, producing visible visible light, and reaching full brightness usually under less than a minute. The metals inside are of course the metal halides which allude to a family of metals including sodium, tin, scandium and others. Different metals are chosen by manufacturers to yield different light color temperatures and properties.
Out of all the HID lamps, metal halide lamps probably come in the most shapes and with the most bases. Metal halide lamps come in the familiar PAR shapes and their various sizes and in less familiar shapes like the T4.5s, the ED28, the BD17, and many others. Metal halide lamps are offered in even more base types than they are shape types. From the ubiquitous medium screw E26 and E27 and their bigger brother the mogul screwbase, to the less common RX7S RSC and others, metal lamps come ready to fix into a multitude of fixtures. This fact hints at the numerous applications of the metal halide lamp and suggests how popular a lighting technology the metal halide really is. Equally suggestive of their diversity of application is the fact that metal halide lamps are available in wattages anywhere between 20w and 24,000w.
There you have it: the metal halide HID. If after reading this you realize that the metal halide lamp is right for your needs, check out our comprehensive metal halide lamp offerings. If you are still on the fence, leave a comment or call us at 1-877-622-0897 for further consultation. We are here to help!
High Intensity Dischage (HID) Bulbs