What are the Major Differences between LEDs and High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lights?

The invention of the electric bulb had a revolutionary impact on the lives of people. Later, with the advancement of technology, the lighting industry witnessed continuous up gradation of its products. What started off with a wire filament has come a long way today and the new generation will most likely see a working wire filament bulb only in museums.

Today, when it comes to professional lighting, the market is inundated with either High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights or LEDs. Both have their advantages and disadvantages; however, it is LEDs that certainly have an edge over their HID counterpart.

This blog discusses the major differences between the two so that you can take an informed decision as to which one to choose for your programs and events.

Let us get down to the brass tacks:

1. Functionality

HIDs produce light when an electric arc is generated between the tungsten electrodes present in a transparent/translucent alumina or quartz tube. Also, the arc tube is filled with a noble gas along with a suitable metal, which, when heated, significantly increases the intensity of the light.

The presence of metals like mercury makes them vulnerable and an HID lampstands the risk of breaking up.

In contrast, the Light Emitting Diodes produce light when current passes through the PN junction diode. They are made of a semiconductor.

2. Cost & Efficiency

Cost wise, LEDs are relatively costlier than HIDs. However, when it comes to maintenance, LEDs virtually have zero maintenance cost compared to HIDs, which require frequent changing of lamps and ballast replacement. The associated labour charges further increase the cost.

In terms of efficiency, LEDs produce 100-120 Lumens/Watt, whereas a typical HID, despite being far better than its fluorescent and incandescent counterpart, proves to be less efficient, precisely because of it being omnidirectional. As for the operational cost of LEDs, it is considerably less.

Lastly, when it comes to comparing the quality of light, LEDs can easily touch a CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 90, whereas HIDsgenerally reaches around 60 and only in some cases do they also touch 90.

3. Heat Factor & Turn-On Time

As the functioning of LEDs has hardly anything to do with heat, they emit very less amount of heat compared to HIDs that produce high-intensity light when the metal and gas mixture heat up.

This difference in functioning is responsible for the time delay in the turning on of the HIDs. Generally, they take half a second to reach their highest intensity; however, when it comes to lights as big as the ones used in stadiums, they may take several minutes to get to their full potential.


In most of the cases, LEDs prove to be a better choice for musical events and programs. Despite the fact that their cost is higher, you can still save more later on as their operational cost is much cheaper compared to others.

Besides, their ability to turn on quickly and low heat emission make them ideal for events.

Rasha Led lights vs Hid lights

Rasha Professional, one of the leading manufacturers and designers of professional lighting and display screens, has a wide array of high-quality event lights. Right from LED flat par lights to moving heads and from par cans to pin spots, the list is impressive.

Slim Hex V12 and Slim Penta V12 are two LED flat par lights that have received amazing reviews from customers.

To see the complete list of products, log on to www.rashaprofessional.com

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