Which street lights are best?

Author: yongtuo

Dec. 06, 2023

Lights & Lighting

At present, there are different types of street lights manufactured by various companies which are made to fulfill several applications. In order to illuminate numerous outdoor areas, there are street lights specially made for roads, gardens, highways, parking lots, and more. 

It can get confusing to choose the ideal type of light for market needs if one is not aware of the various types of street lights. People may wonder about what type of lights are street lights, what type of bulbs are used in street lights, and what are their pros, cons, and applications. This guide can help everyone to get a grip on the various street light types accessible in the present market. 

What Are Street Lights 

Roadways, parking lots, walkways, and other public spaces are illuminated by street lights, commonly referred to as street lamps. By enhancing lighting brightness in dark spaces, they increase security and driving safety. They are frequently utilized in conjunction with various traffic safety tools to improve the visibility of tools, barriers, or dimly lit public spaces.

The main purpose of street lights is to provide illumination to locations or objects that are dark and difficult to see at night. In order to get the right light, color, and temperature of light for particular applications, street lights use the technologies of light-emitting diode (LED), high-pressure sodium, low-pressure sodium, incandescent, metal halide, mercury vapor, and high-intensity discharge bulbs. 

The most recent technology in street lights is LEDs. They provide the best light for the least amount of energy used, require little maintenance, and have a longer lifespan. In order to resist corrosion and other external conditions, street lights are frequently composed of a durable plastic substance like high-density polyethylene or a corrosion-resistant metal like aluminum. Street lights are designed to be put on poles, specifically designated poles or pre-existing utility poles. 

Features And Specifications Of Street Lights

Here are the typical features and specifications of street lights. 


The street lights are accessible in various power ranges, such as 100W, 150W, 200W, 400W, and so on. The power consumption of the light is a vital factor to curtail total energy expenses. 

Operating Temperature 

Operating temperature is a specific temperature range the light is constructed to operate. The outdoor street lights have a good enough operating temperature to resist various weather elements. 


The brightness produced by a street light varies from one model to another. Though all of the decent street lights produce bright light, some high-end street lamps generate super bright lighting to illuminate a large area. 

Supply Voltage 

The supply voltage is the voltage provided to the light itself to deliver the power. It is crucial to select a voltage that shows compatibility with the already existing infrastructure. 

Photo Sensor Activated 

Almost all street lights come with a built-in photo sensor to ensure that the light is on only when the surroundings are dark. 

Integrated Solar Panel 

The solar street lights are equipped with a solar panel as the primary power source or backup to lessen operational expenses.  

History Of Street Lights

Ancient lamps were utilized by the Greek and Roman cultures. The lights were largely used for security: to prevent roamers from stumbling over obstacles and to deter burglars from committing crimes.

The first public street lighting was created in the 16th century. It quickly spread after the development of lanterns with glass panes, which significantly increased the amount of light.

The reverbere, which is an enhanced oil lantern, was presented in 1745 and refined in the following years. A few individuals complained about glare due to the stronger light coming from these reverberes.

The initial widely used street lighting system ran on piped coal gas. In 1726, Stephen Hales was the initial individual to obtain a combustible fluid from the substantial distillation of coal. 

In 1857, 1000 kerosene-fueled modern street lighting was first put into use in Bucharest, Romania.  

The first arc lamps used in electric street lighting were known as “Electric candles,” “Yablochkov candles,” or “Jablotchkoff candles.” Pavel Yablochkov created these lights in 1875.

In 1879, Chesterfield Street in Virginia became the first-ever road to have an incandescent light bulb installed on it. 

Following World War II, low-pressure sodium (LPS) lamps gained popularity due to their extended lifespan and low power consumption. High-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps were the dominant option in the late 20th century.

The latest street lights are LED street lights. The LED street lights can be used to replace existing street lights since they use less energy and produce fewer photopic lumens. In addition, they deliver a white light with a high scotopic lumen output.

Incandescent Street Lights 

Since Thomas Edison created incandescent light more than a century ago, it has largely had a similar design. It generates light by running electricity via a tungsten filament until it shines. They are relatively ineffective and extremely hot to touch as they discharge plenty of heat.

While it is not recommended to utilize them, a few villages continue to do so because they have a sentimental appeal to a bygone era. The common applications of incandescent lights include headlights, sports field lights, floodlights, and stadium lights. 

The tungsten-halogen filament is used in incandescent street lights. They outperform other types of lights in terms of brightness, efficiency, and color rendition. However, the primary drawback of these lights is that they have a shorter lifespan. 


  • Accessible at an affordable price 
  • Low cost of production 
  • The color rendition is excellent (a 2700K color temperature yields a CRI of 100). 
  • It can operate with both DC and AC power and is very adaptable to wide voltage and current ranges.


  • Only 10 lumens efficiency rate 
  • The light has a very short working duration 
  • The maintenance costs are very high 
  • The energy is wasted in generating the heat 

Fluorescent Street Lights 

The fluorescent lights emit light by passing electricity via a gas, which results in the phosphor coating within the tube to shine. Although they cost more to install, these lights are far more efficient than incandescent lights. Since they are less frequently utilized in residences, they can be found in factories, office buildings, warehouses, and retail establishments.

The latest fluorescent lights that have more recent designs are more effective. Fluorescent street lights first gained popularity in the 1940s. A vintage fluorescent light can be identified by its tubular shape. 

On both ends of this kind of street light, there is a metal electrode. It has mercury and argon gas within the tube, which assist light the lamp. Fluorescent street lights essentially provide intense UV photons but little visible light. These lights are used for street lighting in parking lots. Their life expectancy is between 7,500 and 20,000 hours. 


  • These lights produce less heat than incandescent lighting.
  • More effective than outdoor incandescent street lights.


  • Takes a long time for the heat to build up for the light to become totally bright
  • You cannot use a dimmer switch with it.
  • Risky due to the presence of mercury
  • These lights are sensitive to cold and windy settings

Mercury Vapor Street Lights 

Bright, durable lights like mercury vapor lights are frequently utilized to illuminate big spaces like streets, sports stadiums, gyms, buildings, malls, and so on. The mercury vapor discharge is included inside a quartz tube within the lights. A protective outer glass that blocks dangerous short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV) light surrounds it. 

People appear to disapprove of the old models of the mercury vapor light since they are immediately identifiable by their bluish-green glow. As phosphor was added to more recent models to enhance their designs and provide more white light, they were referred to as “color corrected” lights. 

Mercury vapor lamps offer effective, long-lasting sources of light when used normally. Intense UV radiation is released if the outer light breaks and the inner tube generates light without protection. This level of UV exposure can result in double or blurred vision, eye and skin burns, headaches, and dizziness.

Due to the fact that these signs may not become apparent for a few hours, it can be challenging to determine if you have been disclosed to dangerous levels of UV radiation.


  • These lights are highly efficient than incandescent lights and fluorescent lights.


  • It dims more promptly than other types of lights.
  • Dangerous emissions because it emits UV rays.

High-pressure Sodium(HPS) Street Lights 

The high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights come under the high-intensity light bulbs that produce a lot of light and are typically used for security and street lighting. An orange-white light, which is frequently seen in street lights, is produced by the interaction of metals and gases inside the glass tube.

When HPS lights are first turned on, they actually emit a pink twinkle that later turns into a bright pinkish-orange light. HPS lights are preferred by indoor gardening due to the broad color-temperature spectrum they provide and the relatively low operating costs.

When tested for photopic lighting circumstances, high-pressure sodium lights have an efficiency of roughly 100 lumens per watt. The most powerful 600 Watt versions even possess an efficiency of 150 lumens per watt. Since these lights are dimmer in color, the maximum of their high output is invisible to the human eye. 


  • Greater longevity (24,000 hours) 
  • Available at an affordable price range 
  • These lights are highly productive than incandescent lights and mercury vapor lights.
  • Maintains fast warm-up time compared to other lamp types.


  • It can take some time for the light to turn on.
  • When it reaches the end of its lifespan, it emits a crimson tint and burns. 
  • It requires a ballast or transformer for current restriction and to alter the voltage.

Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Street Lights 

These CFL street lights are nearly spiral fluorescent lights that have been scaled down to be more portable. They operate substantially cooler than conventional incandescent lights and are more productive than their equivalents. Although linear fluorescents were developed in the 1900s, it was not until the 1960s that CFL technology advanced. 

The actual fluorescent light might easily be shrunk. However, the true difficulty was in designing a small and more portable ballast, particularly when it came to fusing it with the light itself. There are two different types of CFLs: non-integrated ballast CFL and integrated or self-ballasted CFL. 

The type of CFL technology that we generally refer to as a “plug-in” is a non-integrated ballast. It implies that the ballast will be purchased separately from the light and set up in the accessory. Though it is identical to linear fluorescents, it is relatively small compared to a linear ballast. CFL street lights with integrated ballasts were developed to take the place of halogen and incandescent lighting. 


  • Works for a longer duration and is more productive than fluorescent lighting.
  • Compact design 
  • Compared to fluorescent light, it has a more regulated beam spread.


  • Ballast is necessary for CFL.
  • At the halfway point of its lifespan, illumination intensity may decrease. 

Solar Street Lights 

Photovoltaic technology is used in solar street lighting systems to renovate sunlight into DC power via solar cells. The electricity produced can be utilized right away during the day or it can be stocked in batteries to be used during the nighttime. 

The battery box, solar photovoltaic module, lamp post, and lamp with charge controller make up the solar street lighting system. For illuminating streets in isolated settlements, solar street lighting systems are suitable. These lights come with enough battery backup to produce light for ten to eleven hours every day.

The system is equipped with an overcharge or deep discharge protection cut-off with LED indicators and an automatic ON and OFF time switch. The SPV modules possess a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. The solar street lighting system includes tubular batteries, which need less maintenance, carry a longer lifespan, and operate better.


  • There is no need for electricity.
  • These lights are simple to install and easy to use
  • They are eco-friendly 
  • Requires little to no maintenance  


  • More expensive initial investment than traditional street lighting 
  • Can be stolen due to non-wiring 
  • Dust, snow, and moisture can build on horizontal PV panels. 
  • Over the course of the light’s lifetime, rechargeable batteries will need to be changed from time to time. 

LED Street Lights – The Best Street Lighting Solution 

The lighting elements that have LED light sources and use LED street light technology are utilized to brighten streets and roads. These lights are known as LED street lights and a few manufacturers describe them as LED road lighting fixtures. 

Compared to earlier lighting systems, LED street lights can save between 30% and 70% of energy. Even with no maintenance, LED street lights last for decades. The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the invention of LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which make use of a novel sort of technology. 

LED street lights are 90% more efficient at producing light. In general, LEDs do not “burn out” or stop working. It is because they suffer from “lumen depreciation,” in which the LED’s brightness gradually decreases over time.

How Does A LED Street Light Work 

Visible light is produced when an electrical current flows through a microchip and ignites the tiny light sources known as LEDs. The heat that LEDs generate is consumed into a heat sink in order to deter performance difficulties.

Several LED street lights include a lens on the LED panel that is made to cast its light in a rectangular structure. In this instance, a significant portion of the light’s brightness is lost, resulting in the light pollution of the surrounding area and the air. A permanent light source may be integrated into a few LED light fixtures.

Advantages Of LED Street Lights 

Here are some of the pros of installing LED street lights. 

Energy efficient 

Due to their low heat output, LEDs are far more energy-efficient than their conventional counterparts. In addition, they need very little electricity to provide the exact quantity of light. The energy efficiency of LED lighting is between 40 and 60 percent higher than that of conventional lighting. 

Fewer emissions 

LED street lights use less energy and produce fewer pollutants than their conventional counterparts. As per the reports, switching to LED outdoor lighting can lessen carbon emissions greatly. 

Longer lifespan 

The extended lifespan of LED lighting products, which outlives conventional illumination, is another advantage of LED street lights. For instance, LED lights can last 30 times more than incandescent lights and three to five times more than fluorescent lights. 

High color rendering 

LED street lighting’ outstanding color rendering mimics natural light and portrays colors in a more lifelike manner. It assists drivers and pedestrians to see the objects during the nighttime, which enhances safety and reduces traffic circumstances.

Street Lights For Roadways 

Here we have mentioned two of the best street lights for roadways which are undoubtedly sturdy, reliable, and provide enough light to illuminate streets and highways. 

Vorlane LED Street Light-YYBS-Solar 

The Vorlane Street Light features various brightness levels. It comes with an IP67 waterproof rating, making it ideal for outdoors in any weather condition. The other shell is prepared from reliable die-casting aluminum material that can last for several years. 

It has a 32650 3.2V 15000MAH battery and is available in 100W, 200W, and 300W light. This model comes with a three-year warranty period. Vorlane is the best LED street lighting manufacturer in China with products made using the highest quality material. 

V-Fime Street Light 

The V-Fime Street Light is another best street light for roads. It has a unique design and is easy to install. This light is made from decent-quality substances and promotes better heat dissipation. The 20W power street light features 1900LM.   

This street light comes with LED beads that have a lengthy lifespan. The LEDs deliver the brightest light possible and produce less blue light. In addition, it comes with an anti-UV transparent diffuser. 

Street Lights For Parking Lots 

Check out these two best street lights that are suitable to be used in parking lots. They produce super bright light to light up the parking space during the nighttime and even during the daytime for underground parking spaces. 

LED Street Light-FHS 

The LED Street Light-FHS is a good choice to be used in parking spaces. It comes with an IP65 waterproof rating so it can be installed outdoors, regardless of the weather conditions. Also, the street light generates super bright light that is enough to illuminate the parking space, making it easy for drivers to see the markings even when it is dark. 

The street light has a long lifetime and can last for several years. This street light is accessible in three different sizes: 380 × 160 × 75mm (VL007-FH-50W model), 505 × 205 × 75mm (VL007-FH-100W model), and 600 × 260 × 75mm (VL007-FH-150W model). 

LED Street Light-LXS 

The LED Street Light-LXS is another best street light for parking lots. The shell is composed of die-casting aluminum, making it more sturdy and reliable. The light has the capacity to work and illuminate the space for a long time. 

The LED Street Light-LXS is available in six different models that vary in dimensions, such as 278 × 130 × 63mm, 425 × 173 × 75mm, 506 × 212 × 72.5mm, 602 × 227 × 77.5mm, 656 × 242 × 72mm, and 816 × 301 × 81.5mm. 

Street Lights For Home 

There are street lights that can be used for residential purposes. It is best to acquire any of the below-listed street lights to lighten up the area in and around the housing property. 

The outer shell of the LED Street Light-FYS is prepared with the best quality aluminum substance which ensures good enough heat dissipation. The led beads in this street light are known for producing the brightest illumination. 

This street light can be acquired in different watts, such as 20W, 30W, 50W, 100W, 150W, and 200W. In addition, the led beads also have a long lifetime. With its IP65 rating, it can be used not only indoors but is ideal for outdoor spaces near your property. 

Street Lights For Garden 

The street lights for gardens and outdoor patios help in brightening the respective areas. They also enhance security during the nighttime with their bright light. Check out the best two street lights for the garden. 

LED Street Light-FYIS 

The material used to make LED Street Light-FYIS is die-casting aluminum. It is reliable and has super bright LEDs which give ≧70 CRI. There is a rotatable bracket at the back of the panel, which makes it easy to adjust the angle of the light. 

The dimensions of 50W street lights are 80 x 200 x 90mm. The dimensions of 100W street lights are 550 x 220 x 90mm, and the dimensions of 150W street lights are 675 x 295 x 90mm. 

LED Street Light-SXS 

One best feature of the LED Street Light-SXS is its sturdy back panel. Besides that, it has an IP66 weatherproof rating which enhances the durability of the light. The shell is made from decent-quality aluminum. 

The LEDs used in this light have the potential to produce high brightness for a relatively longer duration. It will illuminate the total garden area in every type of property. 


A street light is a luminescent lighting system that is primarily installed on streets, highways, and other public areas. However, there are different types of street lights based on several factors, such as the technology used, the light source, the lamp material used, height and size of the light. 
Considering the needs and requirements of the application, it is best to acquire the ideal type of street light. However, LED solar lights are the best among all the types because they produce more bright light, less heat, and last for years. Contact the best LED street light manufacturer to acquire high-quality lighting solutions.

Wondering about what is better between LED and HPS street lights? Here’s a fresh, detailed and updated evaluation you are looking for.


Left: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/dark-back-alley-under-sodium-street-1219175203

Right: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/night-street-quiet-residential-quarter-795193015

So you are not a lighting engineer or a horticulturist to have an instinctive ability to know the best requirements for outdoor lighting. But you need to know if buying the new LED lighting luminaire justifies its upfront cost. Is it really better than the old sodium street lights you’ve grown up with?

Today, solar LED street lights are mainstreaming worldwide. Everyone wants to shift to greener alternatives, zero electricity costs and less carbon footprint.

So whether you’re an expert lighting professional, a contractor, a building manager or a homeowner wanting to know more about LED lighting versus HPS lighting, this article is for you.

In this blog, we have laid out the differences in characteristics, performance, efficiencies, costs and warranties of LED and HPS street lights. Read on!

What is a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Street Light?

High Pressure Sodium (HPS) street lights are one of the most common street lights you can see today. They produce a distinctively yellow-orange, monochromatic glow.

You can still see many HPS lights for lighting large areas, manufacturing sites, roadways, parks, and parking lots. They are also commonly used as grow lights for plants. But today, HPS street lights are quickly being retrofitted with more efficient and eco-friendly LED lights.

What are the Advantages of an HPS Street Light?

If you’re wondering why a lot of HPS lights haven’t been taken down today, this is because they still present some benefits to the community. Here they are.

  • Among the other types of street lights, HPS is the most efficient (about 7 times more than incandescent lights, 2 times more than mercury vapor lights).
  • Quicker warm-up time than other lamp types (3 to 4 minutes) like mercury vapor and metal halide.
  • Longer lifespan (24,000 hours).
  • Cheaper price
  • Higher lumen efficiency than older street light types.
  • Wide variety of lighting brightness and power ranging from 35 to 1000 watts.
  • Great for growing plants.

What are the Disadvantages of an HPS Street Light?

But HPS street lights don’t come entirely clean. Here are the drawbacks.

  • Does not accurately reflect the true color of objects.
  • Needs a transformer/ballast for voltage and current regulation to assist start up and operation.
  • Requires a few minutes (5 to 10 minutes) before reaching full light brightness.
  • Needs one minute to cool down.
  • Produces reddish color at the end of its life
  • Burns at the end of its life.

Now let’s move on to the newest type of street lighting today.

Best Uses of HPS Street Lights

Since HPS street lights have high intensity lights, they are best for tall mounting applications like for industrial lighting and security lighting. They are the best options when you need to mount street lights with 15 feet and above heights.

They are not suitable for applications needing high color rendition accuracy, like in retail and commercialize lighting. HPS lights would do poorly on projecting the colors of objects with high precision. If street lights are to be switched on and off frequently, HPS lights are also not appropriate for the job. This is where LED street lights are best at.

What is a Light Emitting Diode (LED) Street Light?


An LED street light is a better street lighting option which is highly preferred in today’s struggle towards green living. This is because integrated LED street lights are more energy-saving than other outdoor lights, requiring less maintenance and operation costs.

In fact, they are 50% more efficient than traditional sodium street lights, and can last 20-25 years. This is why majority of the world are shifting towards LED outdoor lights.

LED lamps produce a distinct bluish white glow. Newer LED street lights can produce amber-colored hue or yellow-warm colors which are more animal-friendly with the least light pollution.

What are the Advantages of LED Street Lights?

  • Longest lifespan compared with other street light types (50,000 to 100,000 hours)
  • Least heat emission
  • Directional light (over 180 degrees, unlike other lights with 360 degrees light direction)
  • Easy warm up, and switching on and off
  • Doesn’t emit ultraviolet rays unlike HPS
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Low operation cost
  • Used for smart solar street lights, where brightness can be automatically adjusted

What are the Disadvantages of LED Street Lights?

  • A little expensive upfront

Best Uses of LED Street Lights

LED street lights are best outdoor lighting applications requiring high color rendering accuracy. They can be used for both retail, commercialized and industrial lighting.

Today, you can find solar street lights, smart integrated LED street lights, All-in-One solar street lights and adjustable LED street lights the best choices for smart, energy efficient and low cost solutions.

Smart LED street lights are equipped with automatic dimming and brightness and you can set different lighting modes depending on your area’s requirements. They are also highly recommended for parks, parking lots, roadway lighting, pathway lighting, pedestrians, gardens, and many more.

Difference Between LED and HPS Street Light

Here, we present the different characteristics of HPS street lights and LED street lights.

LED and HPS Showdown

Key Interest

Description Criteria for Street Lights LED Street Light HPS Street Light


Color Rendering Index (CRI)

CRI is how the light source reflects the color of an object, showing its aesthetics and form. 

75-100: Excellent

65-75: Good

55-65: Fair 

0-55: Poor 

65 to 95

20 to 30

LED has a pleasing CRI range, which means light can clearly illuminate/project the colors of objects

Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)

CCT measures how warm or how cold the lighting is. It is expressed in Kelvin (K). 

For Street Lights, AMA recommends a CCT value of around 3000K.

For Flood Lights, it may range from 5000K to 6000K.

Basis: 2000K -warm yellow; 3000K -warm white; 6000K -white; 6500K -cool white

2200K to 6000K


In term of CCT variety, you have more options with LED than HPS.


Cycling describes how fast the street light responds to being switched on and off. 

This is where we account the warm up and cool down of street lights.

Faster warm up time and cool down/restrike time is better.

No warm up or cool down

Short delay in turning off and on

LED street lights are better.

Warm Up Time

Instant turn on

1 to 15 minutes


Restrike Time

Instant switch off

4 to 5 minutes



The ability of a street light to adjust in brightness when not in use.

A larger dimming range is preferred as it’s a way of saving on energy consumption at certain times when the street light is not in use at night.

Can have automatic dimming functions from 100% to 30% to 0.5%

Dimming requires a ballast; can be dimmed up to 50%

LED street lights have a larger dimmability range and don’t require special ballasts.


The ability of light to focus in one direction.

Street light focusing in one direction is highly desirable. 

LEDs illuminate light at only 180 degrees.

Sodium lamps emit light in all directions (360 degrees). 

Hence, a reflector is needed to redirect the light downward, reducing the light’s illumination efficiency.

Outdoor LED street lights illuminate roads more efficiently than sodium street lights because they are highly directional.


It’s the ability of light to illuminate more brightness at less energy and is measured in lumens per watt.

Best to use higher efficiency light types to offset lesser maintenance and operation cost.

114 to 160 Lm/W

80 to 140 Lm/W

Integrated LED street lights are more energy efficient.

Efficiency Droop

It’s the tendency of lights to lose efficiency at high currents, raising heat emission.

Least efficiency droop is better. You can simply feel this when there is less heat emitted at longer periods of lighting.

Has low efficiency droop up to its end of life. The lowest efficiency of LED is only at 80%.

At half of its life (12,000 hrs), HPS emit 90% of its efficiency. At the near end of its life (24,000 hrs), HPS emits 80% of its efficiency.

LED and HPS perform well up until the end of their lifespans. 

But remember, LED lights have a longer lifespan than HPS lights.

Foot Candles

Foot candle

describes the  intensity of a uniform lighting or illuminance of source reaching a 1ft^2  area. 

It gives us an idea if the light is producing uniformity or if unwanted hot spots and dark spots are produced. 

Foot candle also determines if there is an adequate lighting level for outdoor spaces.



Freeways: 0.6 to 1.1

Local (commercial, residential): 0.4 to 0.8

Pedestrian/bicycle ways: 2

Alleys(commercial, residential): 0.3 to 0.6

Minor Arterials: 0.7 to 1.4

Parking: 5

LED can better attain the foot candle needed for a desired area at a lesser energy consumption than other traditional lights.

Since HPS street lights are omnidirectional, a large amount of energy needed and redirected just to attain the appropriate foot candle for a desired area. This also means there’s more energy consumed just to attain the proper illuminance of an outdoor area.


Visible Light Emissions

The ability of the light emit visible/optical light, safe and healthy for the human eye and animal vision.

The light emission must play along the spectrum of visible light (range of 400–700 nm) without reaching the wavelengths of UV or infrared values.

For  commercial LED, the visible light wavelength ranges from 360 to 950 nm.

Visible light wavelength for HPS is near 589 nm.

Both LED and HPS are within the spectrum visible to the human eye, but LED has a stronger light emission.




Ultraviolet Mercury Content

Mercury contributes to the lamps efficiency and lifespan, but is harmful when exposed to the environment. That’s why the RCRA and UWR regulates the proper disposal of lamps at the end of its life.

Ideally, lights should have minimal to no mercury content so waste disposal is more convenient and no harmful chemicals are emitted in the environment.

0 mg, no mercury content

6mg per 100 Watts

With LEDs, you can assure there’s no mercury leakage in the environment upon disposal.

Heat Emissions

Heat emission is an energy inefficiency of a lighting system.

Ideally speaking, a lighting system is better if it has minimal to zero heat emission. So the lower heat emission, the more energy efficient is the outdoor lighting system. 

LEDs do not emit heat as other street light types. This is because it is energy efficient. But it still needs a heat sink like any other electronics to prolong its life.

More heat emission. The ballast may either absorb it or be lost in the environment. 15% are likely to be lost by an HPS street light.


Cold Tolerance

The ability of the street light to withstand extremely low temperatures.

High heat tolerance is desirable for cold areas such as Canada, Germany, etc.

-40 Degrees Celsius

-40 Degrees Celsius

LED and HPS can still work at low temperatures, but LED can flick on more instantaneously.

Heat Tolerance

The ability of the street light to withstand extremely high temperatures.

High heat tolerance is desirable for deserts and areas with tropical climates.

75 to 100 Degrees Celsius

65 Degrees Celsius

LEDs have a higher heat tolerance. This makes it more ideal for desert roadway lighting.

Shock Resistance

Indicates how well street lights react to mechanical shocks or wind force.

Since street lights are outdoor lights, they are exposed to harsh conditions. Durable lighting options are therefore preferred.

LED lights are solid state lights (SSLs). Hence they are not easy to damage with any physical shocks.

Fragile as they use glass bulbs


Failure Characteristics

This describes the potential failure points of a street lights before the end of its life.

When LEDs dim gradually, it indicates that it’s nearing its end of life. An LED street light usually has a number of emitters in a single luminaire. So when one diode fails, that doesn’t mean the whole LED module should be replaced.

When HPS reaches its cycling phenomenon, the light flickers on and off before failing.


Life Span

Describes the number of hours the light can be rendered useful.

Longer street light lifespans are better to minimize maintenance and operation costs.

25,000 hours to 200,000 hours

10,000 hours to 24,000 hours

LED has a longer lifespan, but we cannot ignore the fact that HPS lights have a longer lifespan than other traditional lights as well.


LED street light manufacturers usually give a 3 to 5-year warranty.

1 to 4 years typical warranty

LED street lights have longer warranty.

Upfront Costs

This accounts the cost of installation, maintenance and operation of your street lights. To know more about cost analysis of street lights, you can see our blog “ How Much Does All-in-One Solar Street Light Costs

The lower total cost is of course the more desirable option.

Typical 100W costs $8 to $13

$5 to $10 for 100W

HPS costs less upfront.


No maintenance cost

Frequent equipment replacements accounts for labor cost, and tooling costs and repair costs 


Lifetime Costs

According to our calculation, it can cost you

$8990 in 10 years.

According to our calculation, it can cost you

$16,710 in 10 years.


Can You Replace High Pressure Sodium Bulb With LED Bulb?


Yes you can! You simply need to know the wattage of the existing HPS light bulb and know the amount of light brightness in lumens. Then find an LED bulb that can deliver the lumens required.

Here’s a sample High Pressure Sodium to LED Conversion Table:


Lumens Needed


Power Draw in Watts HPS























For example, you have a 400W HPS light bulb and you want to replace that with an LED light bulb. This means, you can use a 120 Watt LED bulb with 18,000 lumens to replace your 400W HPS light bulb.

To know more about LED retrofitting options for a specific outdoor lighting application, see our “Which Type of Street Lights is the Best for Your Retrofit Project” article.

To know more about other traditional street lights and their alternative outdoor LED light option, see our “12 Types of Street Light Bulb for Any Outdoor Lighting Illumination” blog.


From the above analysis, we can now conclude that LED street lights are far better than HPS street lights in a ton of ways.

Cost efficient. Check!
Higher and faster ROI. Check!
Energy efficient. Check!
No apparent pollution created. Check!
Smart, innovative and convenient. Check!

Did this definitive analysis enlightened you to switch to outdoor LED lights? Are you willing to replace your existing high pressure sodium street lights with LED street lights?

If yes, do not hesitate to contact us to give you the best street light options for your neighborhood, area or municipality. At HeiSolar, we design, manufacture and ship budget-wise and quality-wise solar LED street lights, solar LED garden lights, solar LED floodlights and many more.

Which street lights are best?

LED vs HPS Street Lights: What's Better in 2020?




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