LED Lights vs Metal Halide Lights

As performance increases, the reasons to choose LED over traditional lighting technologies continue to multiply.

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 illustrates why LED will dominate as the primary lighting technology moving forward.

First, let’s examine the price of the two bollard lights. The LED bollard costs less than the metal halide bollard. Much LESS.

Production of LEDs is becoming increasingly efficient, leading to falling prices as performance improves.

Upfront Cost

In many instances, the price of LED may be lower than that of metal halide, but the benefits of LED extend beyond price.

Now, let’s compare the light output and 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.

Energy Cost

Let’s explore the energy costs. The 70w metal halide system utilizes 85 watts of energy when factoring in the energy consumed by the lamp and ballast.

In contrast, the 12w LED system consumes only 12 watts of energy.

In other words, the LED system consumes 73 watts less than the metal halide, resulting in an 86% reduction in energy usage.

Based on an estimated use of 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, the cost to operate a metal halide bollard would be $92.65 per year.

Conversely, the 12w LED bollard light costs only $13.08 per year to operate.


The metal halide bollard light necessitates maintenance.

A 70w metal halide lamp typically requires replacement every 10,000 hours, equating to about five times over ten years. How does this accumulation fare over a decade?

The total ten-year operating cost of the 70w metal halide bollard light amounts to $1,010.

In contrast, the ten-year total operating cost of the LED is $130.80, which is $879.20 less than the operating cost of the metal halide system.

The decision to purchase the LED bollard light over the metal halide bollard light, given its lower cost and higher light output, may have seemed obvious.

However, after learning of the significant operating cost difference over ten years, the choice becomes unequivocally clear.