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- Produces light when current flows through a conducting gas. Uses ballasts to start the bulb and to control its operation. Unlike fluorescent, most of the light comes from the arc itself rather than through the work of the phosphor.
- Used primarily for area and security lighting. They feature a lifespan of 20,000 to 24,000 hours. They come in a variety of shapes and in medium and mogul bases.
- One type is the mercury vapor lamp. These are used for exterior area and security lighting, such as dusk-to-dawn residential lighting. Mercury vapor lamps provide twice the light output per watt as incandescent lamps. Along with the higher output, they also have a longer lamp life, in some cases up to 30 times as long. They are also more expensive than incandescent or fluorescent. Mercury vapor bulbs produce a bluish white color. Self-ballasted mercury lamps can be used with a ballast in incandescent fixtures and are available for 120V systems in the lower wattages (up to 250 watts) and for 240V systems in both lower and higher wattages. These lamps deliver slightly more light output per watt as the incandescent lamps but have the long life of mercury lamps.
- Metal halide lamps feature medium efficiency, with 50 to 110 lumens per watt. They provide good color characteristics (similar to cool white fluorescent lamps) along with higher light output.
- High–pressure sodium lamps provide even higher light output per watt than metal halide (50 to 150 lumens per watt), with a golden yellow light. Residential applications include security and landscape lighting.
- Low–pressure sodium bulbs feature the highest efficiency, with 100 to 180 lumens per watt. They produce an orange light.
- When replacing HID bulbs, you must replace it with exactly the same type of bulb.
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