High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps were the norm in the past for businesses that required illumination over a sizable target area. What finally resolved numerous issues with this kind of bulb with the advent of LEDs. Some firms have been forced to reevaluate their preferred lighting systems for industrial towers due to the promise of clean, energy-efficient illumination with no maintenance.
HIDs and LEDs differ primarily in how they produce light when in operation. The three most popular gases used in sealed HID lamps—metal halide, mercury vapour, and high pressure sodium—determine the type of HID unit. The components are highly delicate because of how HID bulbs produce light. The bulbs also contain dangerous gases that can leak if they break. This poses a serious risk in harsh conditions.
1. HID Disadvantages
HIDs and LEDs differ primarily in how they produce light when in operation. The three most popular gases used in sealed HID lamps—metal halide, mercury vapor, and high-pressure sodium—determine the type of HID unit. The bulbs also contain dangerous gases that can leak if they break. It poses a serious risk in harsh conditions. The need for warm-up time for HID light towers is possibly its largest disadvantage. To receive full light output, operators must wait 5 to 15 minutes. Additionally, when the system is restarted, the units are susceptible to cooling down and warm-up times. Waiting for the lamps to achieve maximum power over time can be exhausting.
Businesses can lose up to nine hours each month just by waiting for the lamps to illuminate completely (assuming two 10-minute warm-up times per day). The omnidirectional HID light uses reflectors to focus its beams on a target. Only 95% of the light can be used by the reflector component, which is crucial for HID because 5% is absorbed or turned into heat.
2. HID Maintenance
Another significant drawback of HID high mast lights is maintenance. Operators must often repair these units because they have an average lifespan of 15,000–25,000 hours, which can be difficult on demanding construction sites. Ballast replacement is usually a necessary eventuality that raises the expense of maintenance. It is not an easy procedure for HID bulbs to deteriorate. The lamps begin to change hue as they approach the end of their allotted lifespan. Operators will typically re-lamp the units at this point to preserve light quality for outdoor areas that demand the highest amount of lighting and clarity.
3. LED High Mast Lighting Advantages
Around 30% less energy is used by LEDs than by conventional lighting methods. For high mast systems, LEDs are the present and future lighting technology. The semiconductor materials that construct solid-state lighting provide light through electroluminescence without lagging filaments or hazardous chemicals. Because of this, they are extremely robust and can withstand harsh treatment, vibration, direct touch, and unforeseen environmental conditions. It is a big advantage for light towers because the assemblies are employed in commercial and industrial locations that are very difficult to access. Like HIDs, 9005 headlight bulb does not require a long warm-up period. They can switch on and off instantly without impacting the function of the light. Some LEDs have a color temperature capability between 2,700K and 7,000K, and some models can also be dimmed.
4. 30% Less Energy is Used by LEDs
Around 30% less energy is used by LEDs than by conventional lighting methods. Once more, this is a significant benefit for high mast lighting systems, particularly for remote assemblies powered by batteries or a generator. Additionally, lasting up to twice as long as HID models, LEDs have an average lifespan of 50,000 hours or more. Lower maintenance and repair expenses directly result from all of the qualities mentioned above, including its solid-state construction, long lifespan, and capacity to maintain light output. The debate between LED and HID lighting is moot; for all situations (notably high mast lighting), LED lighting outperforms HID lighting.
LEDs have a very long lifespan. Numerous high-mast LEDs are rated to have a lifetime exceeding 160,000 hours. Typically, outdoor lighting fixtures operate 12 hours per night, or 4,380 hours annually. These elements collectively lower the cost of repairs and maintenance. Undoubtedly, LEDs offer the best high-mast lighting solution for practically all applications, including roads, airports, stadiums, shopping malls, train yards, work sites, and everything in between.