Among the major types of lighting, Sylvania Metalarc metal halide light bulbs are
one of the best ways to achieve a high light output and get good energy
efficiency. The technology involved in 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 Sylvania Metalarc
metal halide is a great choice.
One of the chief benefits of metal halide 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 these 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. Another innovation has been the pulse start
metal halide, which is more energy efficient than the old standard metal halide
lamps and is available in many new fixtures. Sylvania also manufactures
what is called the Super Metalarc metal halide which has a higher light output
than the standards as well. The small or low wattage metal halides are
popular for fixtures like bollards or other kinds of outdoor security lighting,
where the need is to have a small fixture with a lot of light. Some of
these smaller envelope metal halide lamps have a protective sleeve around the
arctube for added safety when used in open fixtures without any covering over
All the major manufacturers like Sylvania produce metal halide light
bulbs in all kinds of wattages. Metalarc is Sylvania's name for their
metal halide 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. 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.
Some people wonder about the color of the Sylvania Metalarc metal halide.
Is there a color shift from different makes of metal halide lamps?
The answer is yes that there can be a different color between manufacturers.
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 Sylvania metal halide lamps 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. It will produce a truer color because it is whiter. 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. Although this may be true,
there are types like high pressure sodium that are
still used for security and roadway lighting for the energy efficiency and
Some of the most common varieties of metal halide light bulbs are as
follows: MH70, MH100, MH150, MH250, MH400 and MH1000. 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, but we stock the Sylvania Metalarc. We
have a large inventory of metal halide 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.