HPS Light Bulbs

HPS Light Bulbs

High Pressure Sodium Lamps (HPS Light Bulbs)

The HPS lamp is the most ubiquitous lamp for street lighting on the planet. The lamp is an improvement over the LPS lamp in that it has more acceptable color with the great efficiency of the sodium lamp. The better color rendering comes with a bit of sacrifice, it has less efficiency than the LPS. General Electric first developed the lamp in Schenectady, New York and Nela Park, Ohio. The first lamp came on the market in 1964.



How HPS Lights Work

The HPS lamp consists of a narrow arc tube supported by a frame in a bulb. The arc tube has a high pressure inside for higher efficiency. Sodium, mercury and xenon are usually used inside the arc tube. The arc tube is made of aluminum oxide ceramic which is resistant to the corrosive effects of alkalis like sodium.

The lamp comes in variations, but the most common way to start the lamp is with a pulse start. There is an ignitor built into the ballast which sends a pulse of high voltage energy through the arc tube. This pulse starts an arc through the xenon gas. The lamp turns sky blue as the xenon lights. The arc then heats up the mercury and the mercury vapor then lights, giving the lamp a bluish color. The lamp heats and the sodium is the last material to vaporize. The sodium vapor strikes an arc over 240 C. The sodium is mixed with other impurities to create a more "white" light. The mercury helps add a blue spectrum light to the pure yellow of the sodium.


Advantages and Disadvantages of HPS Bulbs:

Advantages of HPS Light Bulbs:

  1. Good efficiency (lumens per watt)
  2. Smaller size than LPS or fluorescent, the HPS fits into many fixture types
  3. Can be retrofitted into older Mercury Vapor fixtures
  4. Better bulb life than LPS lamps

Disadvantages of HPS Light Bulbs:

  1. Still has a bad color rendering compared to metal halide and halogen lamps
  2. Requires a lossy ballast (inefficient) that operates a low arc voltage of 52-100V. This reduces the actual efficiency of the lamp when you count the whole system together.

HPS Statistics:

CRI 20-30
80-140 lumens per watt
Bulb Life: 24,000


How to Dispose HPS Light Bulbs

The Sodium in these lamps is a highly volatile substance. When exposed to air the sodium may explode. The sodium lamp should not be disposed of in normal the normal garbage disposal. There have been many cases of garbage trucks catching fire when the bulbs in the back broke. Sodium lamps also contain mercury. The newer LPS lamps contain less mercury than before, but this has effected performance negatively.


Top-Rated HPS Light Bulb Supplier

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