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High pressure sodium light bulbs in the HID category for energy efficiency long life. Sylvania, GE and other brands for your lighting needs.

Among the major types of lighting, high pressure sodium light bulbs are the one most people know the least about. It is, however, one of the best options for energy saving and long life. The technology involved in HID lighting is similar to fluorescent lighting. An arc is established between two electrodes in a gas-filled tube which causes a special vapor to produce the light you see. Unlike fluorescent bulbs, this light does not need a coating of phosphors in order to produce the light, the light comes from the arc itself and creates a tremendous amount of light. In the broader category of HID lighting, these are the ones you see with the slightly yellow color in a parking lot or on the freeway. 

One of the chief benefits of sodium lighting is energy efficiency. The lumen or light output from one of these bulbs is equivalent to the output from a normal incandescent bulb many times the wattage. Another key feature is that these bulbs will last a very long time. The average life of a standard model is typically about 20,000 hours. Compare this to a classic style bulb, which has an average life of about 1,000 hours. It is easy to see the energy savings (thus cost savings) that metal halide bulbs provide. This is why you see them used in parking lots, roadways or warehouse facilities that run for long periods of time. They save energy while reducing maintenance costs because of their extra long life.

All the major manufacturers like Sylvania produce high sodium light bulbs in all kinds of wattages.  Be aware that like fluorescent light bulbs, these also have a specific ballast that is used for each wattage.  You can't change from one wattage to another even if the bulb might fit in the socket.  Most of the time the ballast is a core and coil type which is very heavy. The ballast will be clearly labeled as to which type of lamp it operates.  It's very important that you have the correct lamp and ballast combination.  If you don't you can reduce both lamp and ballast life and cost yourself more money in maintenance. It's true with all HID bulbs. They are designed to be matched with the appropriate ballast. This means that the bulbs are not interchangeable with one another. A metal halide cannot be swapped with a mercury vapor, a 175 watt metal halide cannot be swapped with a 400 watt metal halide and so on.

Some people wonder about the color of these lamps.  Will they be able to distinguish color readily by using this type of lamp?  The answer is yes that they will be able to distinguish color as the white portion of its spectrum gives the human eye enough variation to see the various colors.  But if color is a very important thing to your operation, then you may want to consider using metal halide lamps instead.  They have a completely white light in which you can differentiate all types of color and still get good energy efficiency.  In most architectural specifications, metal halide is becoming the HID lamp of choice for almost all applications.  With the advent of more efficient metal halide lamps, high pressure sodium light bulbs are being specified less often.

Some of the most common varieties of high pressure sodium light bulbs are as follows: LU70, LU100, LU150, LU250, LU400 and LU1000. The number in these codes pertains to the wattage of each lamp. Of course, there are other far less common wattages, shapes, and sizes available. The various manufacturers have different names for their product, Sylvania Lumalux, GE Lucalox and Philips Ceramalux. We have a large inventory of high pressure sodium bulbs for nearly every type of light fixture in the field.  If you need help identifying the bulb you have, our customer service representatives can help you determine what you have.

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