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LED vs. Legacy Lighting

The electric light bulb is arguably one of the world’s most impactful inventions. The ability to illuminate spaces when the sun goes down has improved people’s time at home and work as well as made nighttime activities possible. 

When in the market for new lighting, there are tons of different options out there. Choosing the right lighting type for your space doesn’t have to be difficult, though. Here’s a breakdown of popular light bulbs and their benefits. 

Light-Emitting Diode Lighting, Or LED Lighting

An LED light bulb is a long-lasting, energy-efficient light source. Capable of fitting into standard sockets, they emit the same light output as other bulb types at a lower wattage, which means they use less energy. Other advantages include: 

-Improved Environmental Sustainability

-Operate In Cold Conditions 

-No Heat Or Ultraviolet Light Emissions 

-Low Voltage Operation 

-Many Color Options Are Available 

-Emits Light Instantly 

-Withstands Frequent Switching  

-Dimming Capabilities Are Available 

-Directional Light Is Possible

LED bulbs operate by using an electrical current passed through semiconductive material to illuminate the tiny diodes. A heat sink absorbs any generated heat, keeping the bulb surfaces cool to the touch. As a result, the LED lights can brighten a space without contributing to heat buildup. This cuts down on air-conditioning usage.

When the temperature drops, most lighting types require a higher voltage to start and the intensity of light produced diminishes. LED lights, however, are resilient against cold conditions. Consequently, they’re perfect for use in freezers, meat lockers, cold storage spaces, and refrigerated display cases. Outdoor areas such as parking lots, street lamps, and building perimeters can benefit from LED lights. 

Capable of turning on and off instantly, LED lights are well-suited for critical applications, laboratory or testing environments, and manufacturing processes that demand precision illumination. Additionally, they emit light in specific directions, unlike conventional types that produce light 360 degrees. Directional lighting means there’s no lost lighting power, which is perfect for recessed lighting applications or artwork display areas. 

Available in standard and weather-resistant configurations, LED light bulbs are perfect for a wide array of applications. Examples include: 

-Cold Storage Lighting 

-Color-Changing Lighting 

-Color-Turning Lighting 

-High-Mast Lighting 

-Hazardous Location Lighting 

-Indoor Lighting

-Outdoor Lighting 

-Residential Lighting 

-Commercial Lighting 

-Industrial Lighting 

-Automotive Lighting 

-Aerospace Lighting 

-Laboratory Lighting

-Educational Lighting 


Halide Lighting 

Halide light bulbs produce light by passing electrical currents through a mixture of mercury and metal halide gas to make white light. It’s a type of High-Intensity Discharge lamp, or HID lamp, primarily used because of its ability to provide extremely bright white light in a relatively efficient manner. Other characteristics include: 


-More Efficient Than Incandescent Bulbs

-Produces Light With A High Color Temperature 

-Lasts Longer Than Incandescent Bulbs

-Long Startup Time

-Lamps Get Hot

-Generates Ultraviolet Radiation, Or UV Radiation

-Creates Infrared Radiation

-Contains Mercury


As a good source of white light, metal halides are ideal for applications that need the most correct representation of color possible. Examples include art installations and paint spray booths.


Capable of incredibly high light discharges, they’re also perfect for illuminating vast spaces. Halide bulbs are commonly utilized in stadium, sports field, arena, parking lot, and automotive lighting systems. Another common use is lighting for street lamps. 

Although metal halides are great light sources, it’s important to understand that they have a long warm-up time. It can take up to 20 minutes to reach full operating temperature. 

Additionally, the light emitted from halide lamps is omnidirectional. As a result, the light must be reflected or redirected where needed. This can cause light spillage and lessens overall efficiency. 

Halide lights produce ultraviolet and infrared radiation as well as heat. Care should be taken when handling since they contain mercury.  


Halogen Lighting 

Halogen light bulbs are incandescent lamps that utilize halogen gas to increase light output and rated life. They’re known for moderately high efficiency, quality of light, and rated lifespan compared to incandescent lamps that don’t leverage halogen gas. Here are the features of this lighting type:


-Very Bright 

-Emit Warm Colors 

-Available In Compact Sizes

-Longer Life Than Standard Incandescent Bulbs

-Low Manufacturing Cost 

-Extremely Hot To The Touch

-Generates Ultraviolet Radiation, Or UV Radiation

-Creates Infrared Radiation


With the same appearance as traditional bulbs, halogen bulbs don’t look out of place in light fixtures. They create a warm glow with a yellowish cast, which feels traditional. With the inclusion of halogen gas, these bulbs light fully without hesitation. 

They are sensitive to skin oils and run hotter than traditional incandescent bulbs, however, so it’s important to keep flammable materials away from them. Touching a halogen bulb’s surface can leave a hot spot that shortens its lifespan. 


LED vs. Legacy Lighting

Although LEDs may be more expensive upfront than halide and halogen bulbs, the long-term benefits are unmatched. Instead of paying more over the long run for lightbulbs that inefficiently use energy, you can purchase LED bulbs once and forget about it. Additionally, you’ll get better light and utilize less energy without the worry of ultraviolet or infrared light radiation exposure. 


The Lighting Experts 

Finding the best light bulb type for your application is challenging. At Spark Lighting, we make it easy. Our team offers a range of services developed to help clients in Texas optimize their commercial, industrial, governmental, or public-use building’s lighting. 





-LED Lighting Retrofit



If you’re researching the benefits of halogen or metal halide light bulbs simply because that’s your lighting system, you’re likely a great a LED lighting system retrofit candidate. Moving from those bulbs to more efficient, high-performing LED ones can cut down on energy usage and minimize bulb replacements, saving you money and hassle long term. 


LED retrofitting is ideal for a commercial and industrial property with a good layout but has a lighting system that lacks efficiency and performance. Examples are those utilizing metal halide, T12, T8, T5s, or other outdated lighting technologies. They consume more energy, produce light less efficiently, and require more upkeep.


If you can’t find the lighting information you need in this blog post, please get in touch with Spark Lighting. Our experts are happy to answer your questions in greater detail. .

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The staff at Spark Lighting was very knowledgeable and professional when providing lighting solutions for our property. They provided excellent LED solutions and explained cost savings in a detailed manner. The installation of the product was seamless and without error. They were a pleasure to work with and they know their stuff!

Jim DeGeorge