What is HID Lighting? – Complete Guide Before Buying


​Are you in the market for new lighting for your home or business? Have you considered ​ HID lighting​? High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting is a type of lighting that uses electrical discharge to produce a bright, white light. HID lights are commonly used in outdoor settings, such as parking lots and sports fields, as well as in indoor settings, such as factories and warehouses.​​

hid lighting 

We will explore all the details of this unique option in this article. This way, you will have a comprehensive understanding of HID lighting and be able to make an informed decision on whether it is the right choice for your needs.


What is HID Lighting?


HID lighting is a type of electric light that uses metal-halide salts to produce light. An HID lamp is made up of three parts: a gas mixture (mercury vapor and xenon gas), an arc tube, and electrodes. The electrodes are located at either end of the arc tube and ignite and sustain the flame inside.

what is hid lighting​​​

The best way to describe HID lighting is to think of the discharge. Unlike traditional incandescent bulbs or LED lights, HID lights produce a bright, white light similar to natural daylight. Most of these lights are available in different types, such as metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and mercury vapor. Each type has its unique characteristics and can be used in various applications.​​​

Metal halide lamps, for example, are known for their bright white light and are often used in outdoor settings such as sports fields and parking lots. On the other hand, high-pressure sodium lamps are known for their yellow light and are commonly used in street lighting.​

​Where Did HID Lighting Come From?

HID lamps began their journey in 1675 when Jean Felix Picard uncovered illumination to a shaken mercury barometer. It then was tested and innovated for years, introducing new gases and form factors until a significant turning point in 1913 at Thomas Edison’s company. That was when the patent was purchased, and newer lamps were created similar to what we have today, with advancements in control, color, and sustainability.

The primary journey to follow is the material used inside the HID fixture. For example, it started with mercury vapor, went to high-pressure sodium, and started using metal halide.

Over time, the technology behind HID lighting has evolved significantly. In the 1980s, high-pressure sodium lamps were introduced, which were more energy-efficient than metal halide lamps and had a longer lifespan. This type of HID lamp quickly became popular for street lighting. In the 90s, the mercury vapor lamps were replaced by metal halide lamps which were more efficient and had a better color rendering.

As technology has advanced, HID lighting has become even more efficient and versatile. Today, HID lamps use a variety of gasses and phosphors to produce different colors and intensities of light. It has led to the development of new types of HID lamps, such as Ceramic metal halide and LED retrofit kits that can replace traditional HID lamps.

How do HID Lights Work?

HID lights work by passing an electrical current through a gas-filled arc tube. It creates a plasma that produces ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light then excites a phosphor coating on the inside of the arc tube, which in turn makes visible light. The amount and color of light produced can be adjusted by changing the composition of the gasses and phosphors used in the arc tube.

Even today, you can find variants of HID lighting according to the various gas and materials used inside to display differing colorings. LEDVANCE has a popular line of metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and mercury vapor HID lamps that all suit different needs depending on the buyer. Everyone from sports stadiums to car lights for seeing at night makes use of this reliable lighting fixture to ensure safety.

What are the Advantages of HID Lamps?

HID lamps are known for their bright, white light and energy efficiency. They offer a high light output level and can illuminate large areas with minimal power consumption. This makes them an ideal solution for outdoor and indoor settings where high levels of light are needed.

Another advantage of HID lamps is their long lifespan. These lamps can last up to 20,000 hours which is significantly longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. This makes them a cost-effective option in the long run as they require less frequent replacement.​​

The universal advantages of HID lamps include:

  • Bright, white light and high energy efficiency

  • Long lifespan of up to 20,000 hours

  • Versatility in size and shape, making them suitable for a wide range of applications

  • Cost-effective in the long run due to less frequent replacement

  • High level of control and flexibility as it can be dimmed, controlled remotely, and can change colors​

Where HID Fixtures Can Be Used? 

HID lights are used in many applications, including:

  • Automotive. HID lighting is the most popular choice for a headlight replacement or upgrade. Not only does it provide excellent visibility, but it also enhances the appearance of your vehicle.​

hid fixture 

  • Industrial. For its high efficiency and durability, HID lighting is ideal for industrial and commercial purposes, such as manufacturing plants and warehouses where there's always a need for bright light output and long-term performance.

  • Commercial. You'll find HID fixtures in hospitals, schools, restaurants, bars/clubs/nightclubs, etc., where they illuminate areas that require extra brightness without generating excessive heat (elevators).​​

While there are home applications, they tend to be in workshops or garages because of the high-intensity lumens of these HID fixtures. It is not something you would want in your sitting room or library.​


The expert team at LEDVANCE utilizes three forms of HID lighting, all in different sizes and applications according to your needs. This includes a Metalarc Metal Halide, Lumalux High-Pressure Sodium Lamp, and Mercury Vapor Lamps.​

ledvance hid lighting 

The Metal Halide is an excellent choice if you are looking for energy efficiency in your business or commercial space, as it uses very little energy for brightness and reliability.

If you want longer lasting, the High-Pressure Sodium may be a better option due to its exceptionally long service life. Perfect for outdoor parking lots or security areas you wish to have fully lit up so you can detect any unwanted intruders. No matter your need, LEDVANCE has the HID lighting to solve your illumination challenges.


HID lighting is the best option for people who want a robust and reliable light source. It is an energy-efficient technology that can help people save money on their electricity bills while providing them with increased safety and security at night.

While HID lamps may be more expensive than traditional lights, they are worth it because they last longer than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. So if you're looking for an efficient way to light up your home or business, consider installing some HID fixtures today!​​


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