How many Lumens for a 400watt Metal Halide and what’s the LED equivalent? 1000watt Metal Halide?

Posted by Rick R on 10/16/2016 to LED Parking Lot Lights
How many Lumens for a 400watt Metal Halide and what’s the LED equivalent?  1000watt Metal Halide?

How many Lumens for a 400watt Metal Halide and what’s the LED equivalent?  1000watt Metal Halide? 

Question we get all the time; What is the equivalent chart for replacing metal halides with LED Bulbs?  Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.  We explain.


Most large fixtures use metal halide bulbs.  Commonly a 250watt, 400 watt or 1000 watt.  The reality is that they come in a large variety of options.   What is hard to cross in is that metal halides actually start out at very high efficiencies.  A new metal halide bulb can get almost 100 lumens to watt.   The problem is that they quickly degrade, so that the light output is half in just a few years.   The ballast also begins to underperform and you lose a lot of light that way.  

Currently we are seeing the following;

2000 watt Metal Halide. 

These are big lights typically used as Basketball Court Lights.  You will need about 60,000 to 70,000 lumens.  That requires our 480 watt fixtures or 2 smaller fixtures.  There are no LED retrofit bulbs this big, replacing the fixtures

1000 watt metal halide

These halides require 30,000-35,000 Lumens to replace.   Very common shoebox light.  These are currently our 240watt or 300 watt models (getting about 130 lumens to watt).   Currently there are no corn bulbs this bright, so you have to replace the whole fixture.

400 watt metal halide

Probably the most common Metal halide bulb.   These are the high bay light bulb of choice.  They require about 13,000 Lumens.   These are typically our 100 watt fixtures or 120 watt corn bulbs or to go brighter our 150 watt corn bulbs. 


250 watt metal halide

250 watt halides require about 8,000 lumens.   This is typically about a 60watt fixture or 80 -100 watt corn bulb.  We carry a number of 50watt fixtures that also work well.  


Why the difference in fixtures to bulbs?

Fixtures are 180 degree, meaning all the light goes in 1 direction.  Corn bulbs require higher wattage because they are 360 degree.   Although many lights use reflectors, there is a ton of light lost in that space.   In all light, most light is lost in the first few feet, 360 bulbs are just much worse.   This is not to say 360 bulbs are bad, there are lots of applications where 360 is better and often required.   There are plenty of great places for 360, but often in high lighting such as LED Parking Lot Lights or LED High Bay Lighting with 180 degree improves useable lumens and allows you to use less watts.  

Light Classes and Beam Angle


The fixtures are also adjustable in light angle.   Fixtures with lower beam angle like 90 degree on Led UFO high bay lights can replace even higher wattages.  Today LEDs can be focused at a variety of beams.  From narrow flashlight like lighting all the way to very wide

Light classes are 1-5. Often noted by roman numerals.  I, II, III, IV and V.   This is narrow to wide.   So a 1 is very focused on 5 is a flood type.   Choosing the right light class is critical to getting the lumens you need.  If you put a flood type up very high yo0u will get very little useable light down low. 


As always is here to help.   We can always give you suggestions on the best light for your project.  Send us an email and  




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