HID Spotlights: Unrivaled Sheer Power|
When it comes to sheer light power, there are few sources that can rival HID equipped lamps. HID, or “High Intensity Discharge” lamps utilize a set of contacts within a gas filled glass tube to produce an arc that ignites a reaction with the gas and creates a plasma reaction. This reaction once started is easily maintained with low voltage and produces an intense flood of illumination. Combined with specially designed reflectors and housings, these HID lamps are ideal for use in a wide variety of specialized applications where an intense and efficient source of illumination is needed. Available in almost any configuration imaginable, HID lamps are used extensively in military, law enforcement, industrial, agricultural, marine, and private applications on an increasingly frequent basis.
HID lighting is seeing an increasing surge in popularity for several reasons. The most obvious reason for their desirability is the intense and high quality illumination they create. The light from HIDs is the closest to the natural light spectrum out of all the different types of illumination available. This makes them excellent for applications where good rendering of natural colors and crisp outlining of illuminated subjects are needed, such as in law enforcement or the military. This has also led to their explosive popularity in the aftermarket automotive industry where proponents of HID headlights swear by the improvements in visibility that HIDs offer over traditional halogen headlamps.
HIDs have become particularly popular in the spotlight market, with manufacturers aggressively developing steadily stronger HID lamps capable of illuminating objects up to half a mile or more in distance while fitting in a housing no bigger than the proverbial breadbox. These lights are finding a receptive audience in the professional and marine industry because they offer extreme power in a small package. Lights like the 50 Watt HID Golight Stryker offered by Larson Electronics are favorites in the marine and utilities industry. Small yet producing 4,500 lumens of intense light that can effectively reach out to over 4,000 feet, these HID spotlights are well suited to applications where extended ranges and limited operating spaces are prime considerations. Boaters frequently utilize these lights as bow or bridge mounted auxiliary lighting capable of acting as navigational aids or emergency searchlights when necessary.
Utility companies have been using these lights for several years, mounting them on work trucks either singly or in pairs and using them to illuminate lines and poles in all manner of weather conditions to great effect. These lights are enhanced by remote control capabilities that allow operators to control the lights from within either a cabin or cab, or from outside of the vehicle, adding an extra level of convenience. Although power is the first trait that sets these HID spotlights apart from others, they possess several other qualities that further add to their desirability. HID lamps operate on an entirely different principal than traditional halogen incandescent spotlights. Halogen lamps rely on the tried and true tungsten filament to produce a yellowish light that although fairly bright, is still highly inefficient and nowhere near as powerful as the HID. This filament not only limits the incandescent in how much light it can produce, it also adds a level of vulnerability not present in the HID lamp.
The tungsten filament in an incandescent lamp is fragile, particularly so when under power. Vibrations and shock can significantly reduce the lamps lifespan, and quite often are the cause of premature failures. HIDs however have no filament in their construction. Since they use two electrodes to ignite gases, they are inherently durable and highly resistant to damage from vibrations or impacts. This makes the HID very desirable in law enforcement and military applications where the lamps are often subjected to extremes of environment and usage. Industry and agricultural applications benefit from this durability as well, with the HIDs being mounted to heavy equipment and industrial grade machinery that would make short work of traditional lamps. The agricultural industry in particular has been aggressively including HIDs in the manufacture of new farming equipment, with their power and durability being the most cited factors for their addition.
Of further benefit is the energy efficient nature of HID lighting. HIDs produce a great deal more lumens per watt than the traditional incandescent, allowing them to produce more light with less power. Although they require a high initial amperage draw when first starting, once the arc has been started, they require little energy to maintain it. This is of great benefit in applications where power is limited as is oftentimes the case with smaller boats or in vehicle mounted applications. Instead of needing a series of halogen spotlights connected in a series and drawing a heavy amp load just to produce adequate illumination, one HID can be installed and provide that same illumination with less energy consumption and a higher quality of illumination to boot.
HIDs derive further benefit from their lack of a filament in increased longevity. The best incandescent lamps have a lifespan measuring anywhere from 750, to 1,000 hours. This is because as they are operated, the tungsten filament is literally burning away, getting progressively weaker as the lamp ages. This often leads to early burnout if the lamp is subjected to harsh conditions as the weakened filament is then easily broken by vibration or impacts. HIDs however have a lifespan measure in thousands of hours with typical estimates ranging anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 hours depending upon the application. Additionally, HIDs do not become more prone to failure as they age, allowing them to provide a longer useful lifespan. High power, high quality light, longevity and durable efficiency add up to produce a light source that is unequaled in power and brilliance. While other light sources such as LEDs may be capable of higher efficiency or longer lifespan, they as yet cannot rival the HID for sheer power or light quality. For applications that demand only the best quality of light and most powerful illumination, HIDs are the lamp of choice. Whether it is safety, productivity, efficiency, or just raw power that is needed, HIDs are unrivaled and offer a solution to fit your needs.