Metal Halide Lighting Technology

Metal Halide


Metal halide lighting is a rapidly advancing lighting technology the offers many benefits over alternative lighting alternatives. These benefits include:

Long Life

Metal halide lamps have an average life of 15,000-20,000++ hours, more than 10 times that of incandescent lamps.

Better Light Quality

The output of metal halide lamps is closer to natural sunlight than most other light sources. People prefer white light because of better visual acuity, even at lower light levels.

Excellent Color Rendering

Metal halide lamps offer excellent color rendering, with a 65-90+ CRI (color rendering index).

Compact Size

Metal halide lamps generate high light levels from a compact light source. This allows for smaller, more controllable luminaries.


Metal halide lamps are unaffected by ambient temperature and are equally suited for indoor or outdoor use. Extensive style and wattage options allow for many applications.

High Efficiency

Metal halide lamps generate 65-115 lumens per watt, more than incandescent, fluorescent or mercury vapor lamps.

Positive Environmental Impact

Since metal halide lamps deliver light more efficiently than incandescent, widespread acceptance of the technology has a positive effect on the air quality and the environmental waste stream. Lower electrical power generating requirements means less air pollution. Efficient long-life systems mean less landfill waste.

MH vs Incandescent

A 100 watt pulse start metal halide lamp provides five times the lumen output of a 100 watt incandescent lamp, and will last 20 times longer. Although incandescent has a low initial lamp cost, metal halide has a lower total operating cost over the life of the lamp.

MH vs Mercury Vapor

Mercury vapor lamps have long life, but are not as energy efficient as metal halide, producing only 35-58 lumens per watt. Their limited blue-green light spectrum has a lower CRI than metal halide.


While HPS lamps offer long life, they do not deliver the same light quality as metal halide. Because of their dominant sodium content, HPS lamps yield strong yellow light (2200K) and have a very poor CRI of 20-25. The full spectrum light of metal halide lamps has a much higher CRI.

MH vs Fluorescent

Fluorescent lamps are difficult to direct because of their larger size. One 100 watt pulse start metal halide lamp produces the same light as three 48" high output T8 fluorescent lamps. Metal halide lamps are also tolerant of a wider operating temperature range. Fluorescent lamps are often limited to temperature-controlled indoor applications: T8 fluorescent lamps perform optimally at approximately 77° F(25° C), degrading measurably as temperature varies. T5 lamps perform similarly, but peak at 95° F (35° C).

Wider Range of Applications

Specifiers can now select from a broad variety of lamp types and wattages to suit almost any application. Metal halide lighting is used today indoors and out, for industrial, commercial, retail and municipal spaces. Popular for sports facilities, and sight lighting, it is increasingly found in supermarkets, big box retail, offices and lobbies.

The Most Advanced Technology

A major advancement in metal halide lighting was the introduction of Venture's revolutionary Uni-Form® pulse start system. This second generation technology holds the future for metal halide.

Uni-Form systems offer up to 50% more lumens per system watt than do standard probe start metal halide lamps and ballasts. Its capabilities continue to improve. Venture is the only manufacturer to offer Uni-Form lamps optimized for horizontal-only operation.