People know that LED Stadium Light, unlike Metal Halide lighting, have almost zero warm-up time. They reach maximum brightness almost instantly. This is one of the main advantages LED Stadium Lights has over Metal Halide lights and other traditional lights.

But, What about other advantages?

Let’s check them out.

Lamp Efficiency Comparison

While specifications of new 400 watt bulbs (Metal Halide) may vary a little, the specifications of a typical Metal Halide bulb of 400 watts are not very different from these:

  • Initial Lumens – Anywhere between 32,000 and 36,000
  • Color Temp – 4000K
  • Life Hours – 20,000

As you can see, initial lumens are on the higher side. However, does a Metal Halide bulb (400 watts) really give this kind of lumen output after, let’s say, six months?

No, not really.

The thing with new Metal Halide bulbs is they start off extremely bright but tend to lose their lumen output fairly quickly. That’s why often the lumen output drops by 20%, if not more, within the first six months alone.

So, even though initial lumens of 36,000 appear impressive, the lumen output drops to less than 30,000 within just six months.  Needless to say, as the time passes, lumen depreciation is even greater.

It has been repeatedly noted that when the bulb reaches its half-life (about 8,000 to 10,000 hours), the lumen output is no more than half of the original output.

Similarly, it is necessary to give the Metal Halide bulb’s operating nature a thorough look. These bulbs are omnidirectional. In other words, they distribute light in 360 degrees.

This is a big system inefficiency because this light becomes useful only when you first gather and collect it and then redirect it to the correct place. This is done by adding a reflector in the fixture design.

However, no reflector is 100% efficient. In fact, with most reflectors, you lose about 30% of light or more due to reflector bounce (The light that bounces back into your fixture after bouncing off the installed reflector.).

This further dents the efficiency of Metal Halide bulbs.

Let’s do some math to understand the kind of output a typical Metal Halide bulb would give. Continuing with the above example…

Initial lumens – 36,000

Lumens output after six months – 28,000 lumens (because of 20% lumen depreciation)

Lumens loss on the count of reflector bounce – 8,600

Net lumens output after six months – 20,160

 On the other hand, LEDs emit light directionally. So you don’t need reflectors. As a result, there’s no lumen loss because of reflector bounce.

Lumen depreciation does occur in LED stadium lights. However, the rate of lumen depreciation is much slower compared to the Metal Halide bulb. This means that LED maintains much of its original lumen output for a considerably longer time than a Metal Halide bulb.

5 Times more of Operating Life

The average Metal Halide bulb has an operating life of about 20,000 hours. This number is less, somewhere about 15,000 hours, for larger bulbs, such as a 100 watt one.

The life of LED stadium lights is described differently by different suppliers.

Most suppliers would use L70 to describe the operating life of LED stadium lights. L70 refers to the time LEDs take to drop their lumen output to 70% of their original output.

For Metal Halide bulbs, the operating life is in the range of 15,000-20,000 hours. It is also known that by the time they reach their half life, their luminous output shrinks by 50%. So while functional, these bulbs are highly ineffective by that time.

More disturbingly, the electricity consumption of these bulbs at half life, when they produce just 50% of their initial lumen output, is just the same as at initial years—400+ watts.

Compared to this, many LED stadium lights have L70 of about 10,000 hours. So by the time LEDs drop to 70% of their original efficiency, you would have used 5 Metal Halide bulbs, perhaps even more.

Touch LED Efficiency

It goes without saying that you stand to save more with a bulb with greater efficiency. Keeping this basic rule in mind, let’s see how Metal Halide bulb fairs vis-à-vis LED stadium lights.

The efficiency of these two can be compared by comparing their lumen efficiency. A usual 400W Metal Halide bulb consumes about 455 watts.

Therefore, lumen efficiency in case of Metal Halide comes to = 79.12 lumens/watt (36,000 lumens ÷ 455 watts)

A 150-watt LED stadium lights can give 23.250 lumens. So, its lumen efficiency comes to = 155 lumens/watt (23,250 ÷ 150)

This is nearly two times more than the efficiency of Metal Halide!

And, as you may know already, greater efficiency equals to greater saving.

Calculate the Energy Savings

In the above point, we said that energy consumption of a 400W Metal Halide is 455 watts while its lumen output is 20,500 lumens. In contrast, 150W LED stadium lights consumes just 150 watts and gives 23,250 lumens.

In other words, 150W LED consumes 66% less energy to generate more light.

You can do the math, don’t you?

Consider Maintenance Savings

This is another big reason why many businesses have started to choose LED stadium lights over Metal Halide.

If you could recall, we said that the life of LED stadium lights is at least 5 times more than Metal Halide. This means over the lifespan of one LED product, you would need to replace Metal Halide 5 times, if not more. So in the case of Metal Halide, you’ll also have to take into account higher cost of replacement.

Human costs are even higher than the lights(no matter what it is) itself, as you will need to hire technicians for the installation and maintenance.

However, People usually don’t know that Metal Halide bulbs, in general, require much more maintenance than LED stadium lights. This is an important factor to consider for stadiums, where the bulbs are installed at a quite a height.

One important reminder here we need to inform you:

The higher the installation height(the light pole), the greater the maintenance cost.

Better Light Quality

There are different ways to ascertain quality of a certain light. One such way is CRI, which stands for Color Rendering Index. It measures light quality in a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the best quality. Reports show that compared to Metal Halide, LED has a greater CRI value.

Light quality can also be measured using a light meter. However, Metal Halide bulbs produce light that falls inside the visible spectrum but also light that’s beyond it, like UV and IR. So in case of Metal Halide, the light meter’s reading would include both visible and invisible light. In contrast, LED stadium lights doesn’t produce light that doesn’t fall inside the visible spectrum.  Its light meter reading consists of just visible light.

That’s why LED stadium lights usually looks much brighter than Metal Halide even when the light meter says that the latter is producing more lumens.

No Dimming Problem

LED stadium lights are extremely easy to dim. Plus there are many options available, from 100% to as low as 0.5%. There are two ways LED dimming functions work. You can dim LEDs by either modulating the pulse duration or reducing the forward current.

However, note that conventional incandescent dimmers, which reduce the amount of voltage that is sent to the light, don’t work with LED stadium lights. You will need to invest in LED dimmer switches to be able to dim LEDs.

Different magnetic or electric ballast are used for dimming Metal Halide bulbs. However, they work by changing the voltage input of the light. This in turn changes the characteristics of the light.

Typically the efficiency of Metal Halide bulbs drops when they run at less than 100% power. Also dimming can lead premature expiry of these bulbs.

Last but not Least: Accessories

Another benefit of using LEDs in place of Metal Halide bulbs is that they don’t require as many accessory parts as the latter. As a matter of fact, LEDs need significantly fewer accessory parts compared to Metal Halide.

Also, LEDs are much smaller than Metal Halide and that’s why they can be used with almost every type of lighting application.

Now Over to you.

All in all, LED stadium lights offer significant advantages over Metal Halide lights. They are more efficient and last longer. Most importantly, they offer significant energy savings, year after year. Additionally, your maintenance costs will be much lower when using LED stadium lights.

Now you understand the benefits of LED Stadium lights, did you?