What Does it Take to Replace a 1000w Metal Halide Fixture?

A common lighting technology in the commercial space is metal halide, at least in the past it was. At an ever increasing rate, businesses are actively searching for a more efficient lighting system that will allow them to cut energy consumption and in turn; reduce overhead expenses.

When companies or facility managers start their search, they often search for the wrong answer. Here are some common questions that we are asked:

“How many watts does it take to replace a 1000w metal halide light?”

“How can I replace my metal halide light?”

“Is it even possible to replace my metal halide fixture with another technology?”


This post specifically will be covering the first question, as for the other two: be sure to subscribe to our email list to know when new posts go live, we are always pushing out informational content to answer your questions just like these ones!


So.. How many watts does it take to replace a 1000 watt metal halide fixture?


It’s simple a simple concept, yet not at the same time. In short, it’s impossible to know just from that question alone. The reason for this is simple too: you can’t base your decisions off of watts alone. Instead, you need to be basing your decisions off of lumens.

What is a lumen?

In simple terms, it’s a unit or measurement of light that basically defines how much light a certain fixture gives off. Why does this matter? A lot more than you may think, because it’s all that matters when it comes to replacing old lighting systems with new and improved lighting technology.

When replacing an existing fixture (or entire system), you need to know your lumen output per fixture. Let’s say your metal halide fixtures, at least when they were freshly installed, output at 50,000 lumens per 1000w fixture. So instead of thinking, “I need 1000w LED fixture to replacement 1000w metal halide,” you need to be thinking, “I need an LED that can replace 50,000 lumens.” This way, you can forget about how many watts a fixture has and focus solely on the amount of lumens the replacement can output and ensure it matches your lumen output needs.

With this example of 50,000 lumens for a 1000w metal halide, that means it is outputting 50 lumens per watt. In the world of lighting in today’s technology world, this is extremely inefficient. By searching for a LED equivalent to a 1000w metal halide you can easily find fixtures that output at over 100+ lumens / watt. Especially when you go with quality products from reputable companies, you can reach higher than a 150 l/w output. This will allow you to cut your wattage usage per fixture by 2-3 and sometimes 4 times which will prove to save substantial amounts of energy when you start talking about replacing multiple fixtures.


So we’ve explained what it takes to replace your 1000w metal halide fixture, but what does “replacing” consist of?


Replacing can consist of two things: retrofitting or fully replacing. The difference is simple, a retrofit kit is just like replacing the light source in said fixture. While on the contrary, fully replacing includes replacing not only the existing light source but also the entire fixture and shell that it is in. To be able to decide which one is best for you will on depend on your facilities personal situation. If your existing fixture shell is good to use and not outdated or falling apart, a retrofit kit will work perfectly. While if they are old, outdated, and need replacing: a full replacement is probably the best option. Keep this in mind: retrofitting is always cheaper because it’s easier to do and it’s not as material intensive as a full replacement is (but that is obvious). So if you can retrofit, go with that over a full replacement!



In Summary

It is possible to replace a metal halide fixture, that of any wattage (30 on up to 1000+), with LED technology. It can be as simple as retrofitting your existing fixtures or a little more work intensive to fully replace, but both will work.

So although it may seem hard, confusing, or expensive: the benefits far surpass of these common scares that people have when making the consideration of upgrading to a new luminare technology. An investment in LED products will payback in many ways, from less energy usage to higher quality of light that they produce.

Have any questions on retrofitting your metal halide with LED? Comment down below or write in to one of our professionals with your questions.


Click Here to Explore Some Metal Halide Replacements


  1. With 35ft high poles and 1000 watt medal hilide how many watts are needed to have the same ft candles at ground level

  2. Hi, Ed!

    We often try to let people know that the amount of watts it will take to replace an existing 1000 watt metal halide light (or any wattage) is a very difficult number to give as it’s not the determining factor. Instead, you need to look at the lumens and actual light output your existing light gives off (or did at the beginning of their lifespan). If you’d like to achieve the same amount of light, matching lumen output will do the job. If you’d like more (or even less), talking with one of our professionals via phone or email is going to be the easiest way to discover what your needs are.

    Now, since LED is much more efficient, you will have a much higher lumen per watt output, which allows us to physically identify how efficient a given light fixture is. So, the more lumens per watt, the more efficient it is.

    We know this can be a challenging concept if it’s the first time hearing it, so if you have anymore questions or would like more help just give us a call: (888) 423-3191. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] and a qualified lighting professional will help answer your LED replacement needs.

    Thanks for the great question!

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