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Pulse start metal halide light bulbs for increased energy efficiency. HID lamps for high output for warehouse, security and roadway lighting.

Among the major types of lighting, pulse start metal halide light bulbs are one of the best ways to achieve a high light output and better energy efficiency in a HID lamp.  The technology involved in pulse start metal halide 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 bright, white color in security, warehouse, parking lot or on the freeway.  Most people prefer the white color in most lighting situations, therefore the metal halide bulbs are a great choice.   

One of the chief benefits of pulse start light bulbs are the gains in energy efficiency over the standard product.  These lamps have more lumens per watt than the standard variety, making it more energy efficient.  Sometimes a 320 watt pulse lamp can replace a 400 watt standard with no light loss. So in applications like production facilities or warehouse lighting it mean more electrical cost savings.  Another key feature is that these bulbs will last a very long time and will produce usable light over that time. The pulse start metal halide has a faster restrike if it goes out, that means the lights come on sooner after a shutdown.  The average life of a standard model is typically about 24,000 hours. Compare this to a classic metal halide bulb, which has an average life of about 20,000 hours. It is easy to see the energy savings (thus cost savings) that these bulbs provide. They save energy while reducing maintenance costs because of their extra long life.

All the major manufacturers like Sylvania produce metal halide light bulbs in all kinds of wattages.  Metalarc is Sylvania's name for this type of lamp. It has an excellent construction and has been a top performer amongst the other brands. Be aware that like fluorescent light bulbs, these also have a specific ballast that is used for each wattage.  That's especially true for pulse start metal halide lamps which require a ballast specifically designed for the pulse start variety.  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. So all you have to do is remove the covering and look to the label for lamp operation. If you don't the correct lamp and ballast combination you can reduce both lamp and ballast life and cost yourself more money in maintenance. They are designed to be matched with the appropriate ballast. This means that the bulbs are not interchangeable with one another. A metal halide of 100 watt cannot be swapped with a 250 watt and so on.  Keep this in mind when changing lamps or changing a ballast with these special lamps.

Some people wonder about the color of these light bulbs.  Is there a color shift from different manufacturers?  The answer is yes that there can be a different color between manufacturers and various lots although pulse start bulbs have less color shift than the older standard lamps. The Sylvania and GE brands tend to be whiter and more true in color while the Philips is a warmer color almost having a yellow appearance.  If color is a very important thing to your operation, then you may want to consider using the Sylvania brand instead.  Be aware that color can shift over time in use and the only way to get back to the original color is to replace the lamp.  It's sometimes a sign of end of lamp life.  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, other types of bulbs are being specified less often.

Some of the most common varieties of pulse start metal halide light bulbs are as follows: MH300, MH320, MH350 and MH400. The number in these codes pertains to the wattage of each lamp. They are usually followed by a PS if it's a pulse start lamp.  The various manufacturers have different names for their product, but we stock the Sylvania and Venture metal halides. We have a large inventory of these lamps for nearly every type of light fixture in the field.  If you need help identifying a bulb, our customer service representatives can help you determine what you have.

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