Jul 11


Stephen M Anderson

Stephen M Anderson

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In this article, the comparison between Induction lighting and Metal Halide is given. Which will be more preferable for Factory Lighting, Area Lighting.


Metal Halide(MH) is a common older style of High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting which was first developed in the 1960’s. It has been a very popular form of lighting over the last 40 years and has been improving in its lamp life capability and ballast technology in recent years. But there are a couple of bad characteristics inherent with MH lighting which need to be taken into account,INDUCTION LIGHTING vs METAL HALIDE Articles especially when used in factory lighting. Firstly they are a single point light source which makes them very high glare and secondly they run very hot which makes for incessant turning on and off to cool the lamp, the heat also increases fixture deterioration and there is also the occasional exploding globe.

    The following is a point by point comparison between Induction lighting and Metal Halide (MH) lighting.

  • MH technology can be relatively cheap to purchase but as per most lighting, you get what you pay for, so for quality diffused MH fittings there is no major difference between Induction lighting and MH lighting when it comes to initial fixture costings. Both MH and Induction lighting have lumen outputs between 70 and 85 lumens per watt, although there is the rapid 20% deterioration in output over the first 2,000 hours to take into account when comparing MH lighting. Both technologies have high CRI ratings in the region of 75 to 85Ra. We can conclude across these measures there may be marginal advantages for Induction lighting over MH lighting but nothing too substantial.
  • It is in the lamp life statistics where Induction lighting becomes a big winner over MH lighting. MH lamps vary widely on cost and along with that comes a wide range of expected lamp life. At best MH lighting can have up to 25,000hrs life but this can get down around 5,000hrs for cheap lamps and fixtures. Compared to Lightingretrofit Induction lamps which have an average 80,000hrs lamp life and one would need to have 3 to 6 MH lamp or fixture changes before any maintenance or replacement to our Induction light fittings. Depending on the difficulty in accessing a particular buildings area lighting infrastructure will dictate exactly how much saving could be made by using Induction lighting in place of MH lighting. This saving can be very substantial in a factory lighting application where expensive lifting apparatus or scaffolding may be required to access Highbay lighting. So in conclusion, it is the very long lamp life which makes Induction lighting substantially cheaper than MH lighting in the lifetime cost of facility area lighting infrastructure.
  • Glare and flicker are the second major advantages of Induction lighting over MH lighting. MH lamps are single point light source running at 50Hz whereas Induction light is a relatively large fluorescent technology running at 230KHz. Many companies have tried frosted lamps and expensive diffusers with MH but because of the large drop-off in lumen output this has not been progressed much in recent times. The single source point makes for very high glare which can create safety issues especially in warehouse lighting applications with forklift activity. The high glare is also a substantial issue in sports halls where most participants are looking up for much of their activities. Flicker is a lesser known, but no less important problem in factory lighting where the strobing effect of the 50Hz output in highly lit inspection and production areas is a problem because it tires the vision of workers during a shift. This can have detrimental effects on both employee health and on product quality as concentration levels wane when exposed to long periods of bright flickering light.
  • The instant switching of Induction lighting in area lighting applications allows customers to firstly start working immediately instead of waiting for MH lighting to heat up and when included with motion sensors, timers or programmed control systems there are even more energy savings and operational advantages available when using Induction lighting as opposed to MH lights which do not have instant switching capability and need to stay on just in case someone comes into an area.
  • Being based in Dandenong South, Victoria allows Lightingretrofit to distribute our Highbay lighting and Area light fittings quickly and cost effectively across the whole of Australia’s Eastern seaboard.