The Differences Between Metal Halide Lights & Energy Efficient High Bay Lights

When changing out your lighting fixtures, there are many options available and it can become overwhelming. Many people want to change from fluorescent to something a little bit more powerful. With their improved efficiency over metal halide lighting fixtures, fluorescent are a solid choice. People often choose their lighting based on the size of the fixture, and for this metal halide would be obvious choice, but don’t let the size of an energy efficient fluorescent high bay fool you. Let’s take a look at a few of the differences between metal halide lights and energy efficient high bay lights.

One of the main differences between metal halide lights and energy efficient high bay lights is the output. Metal halides offer a reliable output, but the staying power isn’t as effective as with fluorescent. Fluorescent use fewer watts to create lumens of light. With metal halides, it will be an average of 400 watts being pulled to create the lumen output specified whereas a T5 fluorescent fixture may operate at around 32 watts per bulb and offer 3000 lumens as their output.

It is also important to consider that metal halides have a faster depreciation rate than your standard fluorescent. For instance, a depreciated metal halide, which is usually achieved within three years of regular use, will offer the same output as your standard T5 fluorescent in an energy efficient high bay model, and the fluorescent with a four-lamp design will not depreciate over time at the same accelerated rate. This factor alone is why many people are switching over to energy efficient high bay solutions.

The other thing to remember in this area is that there is a difference between the T5 and T8 when dealing with high bay applications. The T8 is thicker and longer which will yield a better light spread for a low bay ceiling whereas the T5 is thinner which will make it ideal for higher ceilings without much loss of light spread. Of course, the amount of spread will also depend on the reflectors in the fixture.

For a closer look at these two types of lighting options, check out our video here.

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Video Transcription

Hey, I’m going to explain the difference, it’s James Abraham again with warehouse-lighting.com, just wanted to give you a difference of what you’re doing when you’re changing out fixtures in your warehouse. A lot of people call up with the question, “Hey, you know, I’m not sure what to replace it with. I know I want to go with a fluorescent fixture or an LED or an induction.” You know, what I’m going to tell you here is this here is probably my best example of a 400-watt fixture. This is hanging in your factory. It may be aluminum shroud. This one here is acrylic. If we pull it up, you can see that, you know, it probably looks like the one you’re trying to replace. There’s really two ways to do this on the fluorescent side. One is to replace it with a T8 fixture, or I’m sorry, a T5 fixture which is here, or the second way to do it is to replace it with a T8 fixture.What I’m going to give you is, you know, a rule of thumb that we follow here, is if you have a 400-watt metal halide fixture like this, you know, a good rule of thumb is a four lamp T5 will take the place of that after it's been diminished for three years. What I mean by that is after three years, the fixture’s going to lose about a third of its total light, and its total output so if you’re happy with the light level that you have in your facility now, this would be the way to go. You could either go with a four lamp T5 which will give you consistently about the same light level as that metal halide did after the three years, or a six lamp T8. Obviously, a T8 bulb is a little thicker, has a little spread at lower levels. The T5 has a better spread higher up, it pushes more down to the floor, and this is actually a small T5. We’ve got others that are bigger. This is just more of an economy brand. So, to give you an idea, you know, if you’re happy with the light level in the facility you could use one of these two options to replace that fixture. We’re finding that, you know, the T5 is getting to be a little bit more popular, you know, as replacing these fixtures. Just to kind of bring you back up to speed on these, there’s 54 watts per lamp position in this fixture, and 5000 lumen output on this fixture. It’s 32 watts and 3000 lumen output so just to give you an idea here this is going to be a 20,000 lumen output fixture. This is going to be an 18,000 output fixture. Yes, it may be bigger, but it doesn’t pack the wallop of a T5. So, you got to remember this if you want a little bit more light, or this if you’re not so, you know, you don’t want the extra 2,000 lumens. So, again it’s James Abraham with Warehouse Lighting. You can get a hold of us by calling 414 525 9027, or go to our website tell us what you think. Our number, our website address is www.warehouse-lighting.com. Thanks a lot. Have a great day. Look forward to talking to you.