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LED Lighting Versus HPS Lighting

One of the larger debates in the lighting world today revolves around street lighting: which bulb is the best, which bulb burns brightest, which bulb keeps drivers awake and focused, which bulb keep streets safe. Traditionally, high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps have been used for street lighting. You’ll recognize their dull yellow/orange hew and loud buzzing. Now that LEDs have stepped onto the street lighting scene, HPS lighting is up for a fight. Here is how HPS lighting fares in comparison to newcomer LED lighting.

The History of High Pressure Sodium Lamps

HPS lighting was introduced in the 1970s and have been the primary light used in street lighting since. But why did they become so popular? Despite their deficiencies, HPS lamps create the greatest amount of photopic illumination, meaning visibility in well-lit areas, while also reducing energy consumption. Yet, despite being the providing great photopic illumination, they still can’t live up to the amount of visibility offered by white light sources, such as LEDs.

Issues with HPS Lighting

HPS lamps have fallen out of favor in recent years for many reasons. They are not the most energy efficient option on the market any more, nor offer the best visibility. HPS lighting owes its visibility dilemma to a lack of color limitations. HPS lamps simply cannot accurately reproduce colors, due to it’s narrow spectrum of light, which falls in the yellow/orange arena.

White Light Sources and LED Street Lighting

Compared to HPS lamps, white source lighting has been proven to increase drivers peripheral vision twice over as well as increase brake reaction by 25 percent. One of the best white light sources on the street lighting market is LED lighting. LEDs are able to outperform HPS lamps every time, providing better lighting, better color rendering and better energy savings. LED street lights consumer anywhere between 40 and 80 percent less energy than HPS lamps.

The Winner is: LED Street Lighting!

You’ve heard the phrase, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” I believe we have proven HPS lighting, while still used today, is broken and in need of fixing. LED lighting is the future of street lighting. Get a head start on your future plans by investing in LED streetlights today! Give us a call at (319) 653-2123 or send us an email to get started!

Posted in Lighting Comparisons