As performance increases, the reasons to use LED instead of traditional lighting technologies keep multiplying. Energy savings, minimal maintenance, superior color rendering–the list goes on. The following comparison between a 70w metal halide bollard light and a 12w LED bollard light demonstrates why LED will be the dominant lighting technology going forward.

First, let’s look at the price of the two bollard lights. The LED bollard actually costs less than the metal halide bollard. LESS. Production of LEDs is getting more and more efficient. Prices are falling as performance increases. Now in many instances the price of LED may be lower than that of metal halide, but the benefits of LED do not stop at price. Let’s compare the light output and the operating costs of the 70w metal halide compared to the 12w LED.

Both systems emit similar light levels. At 4,000 hours, which is the mean lumen output for metal halide lamps, the 70w metal halide bollard light emits 816 lumens while the 12w LED bollard light emits 847 lumens. YES. The 12w LED bollard light emits more mean lumens than the 70w metal halide.

Let’s investigate the energy costs. The 70w metal halide system actually uses 85 watts of energy when considering the energy used by the lamp and ballast. The 12w LED system uses only 12 watts. In other words, the LED system uses 73 watts less than the metal halide. That’s 86% less energy. Based on an estimated use of 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, the cost to run a metal halide bollard would be $92.65 a year. The 12w LED bollard light only costs $13.08 per year to operate.

The metal halide bollard light requires maintenance. A 70w metal halide lamp would has to be changed, on average, every 10,000 hours. That is about five times over a span of ten years. How does that add up over 10 years? The total ten-year operating cost of the 70w metal halide bollard light is $1,010. The ten-year total operating cost of the LED is $130.80, or $879.20 less than the operating cost of the metal halide system.

Maybe it was obvious that you should purchase the LED bollard light as opposed to the metal halide bollard light since the cost is lower and it emits more light. Now after learning the operating cost difference over ten years is $879.20, the choice is eminently obvious.