What's the Difference Between HPS and LED Street Lights?

hps and led street lights

Today’s cities are seeing a boom in green infrastructure. From eco-friendly developments to public parks, the number of locations adding green features is growing rapidly. This surge in development isn’t limited to residential areas either. Cities across the country are investing in new infrastructure to provide residents and visitors with efficient lighting, cleaner air, and better access to open spaces.

When it comes to street lighting, urban designers have two primary options: high-pressure sodium (HPS) and light emitting diode (LED). These different types of lights each have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to maintenance, energy usage, and environmental impact. Understanding these differences can help you choose the best type of street lighting for your city’s needs.

Read on to learn more about these street lamp alternatives and which one may be right for you.

What is street lighting?

Street lighting is the use of artificial light to illuminate public roads and highways to improve visibility. Some areas rely on street lighting for 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, while others rely on intermittent lighting. 

Many jurisdictions have adopted daylight saving time to extend the length of this artificial light.

What is HPS?

High-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, also known as sodium vapor lamps (SVLs), are a type of lighting found in most roadways and public areas. The name comes from the fact that the light source is a combination of sodium and oxygen.

When a current passes through this mixture, it produces light. Sodium vapor lamps come in a variety of colour temperatures, measured in Kelvins (K), which indicates how yellow the light will appear. White light has a colour temperature of 3,000–3,500 K, while typical household lamps have a colour temperature of 2,700–3,000 K. The lower the temperature, the whiter the light.

High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) Street Lighting

Sodium vapor lamps are a common form of street lighting, but they have some limitations. These lamps produce a yellowish light with a colour temperature of 2,700–3,000 K. This is similar to what you might find in most household lamps. HPS street lights have been in use since the 1930s. These lamps produce a more blue tone than standard lamps, which makes them ideal for roadways. They’re also more energy-efficient than standard lamps, producing very little light pollution.

However, they have drawbacks too. One of the biggest issues with HPS street lights is their age. Since they’re no longer manufactured, local governments and utility companies have trouble maintaining them. This means that HPS street lights often break down, which is inconvenient for residents and visitors alike.

LED Street Lighting

The next wave of street lighting is LED. These bulbs produce bright, white light that’s suitable for outdoor areas, including streets. They’re also ideal for indoor lighting, such as parking lots and outdoor events.

LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular for both residential and commercial purposes. Compared to HPS lamps, LEDs produce very little heat. This is great for outdoor use, as it reduces energy costs.

However, LEDs are also more expensive, so they may not be cost-effective for indoor applications. LEDs offer a variety of colours, including red, green, blue, and white. This means that municipalities can replace standard street lights with brighter, more versatile LED lights. For example, LED traffic signs can make driving more easily.

HPS vs. LED: Which type of street lighting is better?

Now that you know a bit more about HPS and LED street lighting, let’s take a closer look at these two lamp types and see which one may be right for your city. HPS lamps are ideal for outdoor applications, such as streets, parks, and sports fields. They’re also good for indoor locations like parking lots and outdoor events. LEDs, on the other hand, are more suitable for outdoor lighting. They’re also great for indoor applications, such as street lights, parks, and parking lots. LED lights can also be used for outdoor sports fields as well as indoor sports venues and shopping malls.

While it’s true that LEDs are more expensive than HPS lamps, they also last much longer. LEDs are also more efficient, which means that they use less electricity to produce the same amount of light. For this reason, they use less electricity while producing the same amount of light. With LED street lighting, the savings are even greater. LEDs can last up to 50,000 hours while HPS lamps typically only last up to 10,000 hours. That’s a lot longer! In fact, a single LED street lamp can save enough energy to power a home for almost two years!

LEDs offer three types of light: red, blue and white. This means that LEDs can be used for many different applications in addition to street lighting. For example, LED traffic signs can help drivers drive safely at night time or when it’s raining outside. They’re also excellent in parking lots where the lights will never need to turn off or on again because the sign is always illuminated by an LED bulb that will never burn out!

LED street lights are better at saving energy than HPS lamps because they produce very little heat (less than 5 degrees Celsius). Some city officials have even taken advantage of this feature by placing them underground where heat is not an issue and where there is no risk of fire from burning bulbs or overheating elements inside the lamp housing.

LED street lights can be used in many different types of applications including:

There are also many unique and innovative ways that LED street lighting has been used. For example, there are LED-based traffic lights for intersections, parking lots and roadways. Other applications include: public safety, traffic control, border security, outdoor advertising, remote monitoring of assets and industrial applications.

Advantages of LED Street Lighting

– Energy Efficient

– LEDs are much more energy efficient than HPS lamps. They also have lower maintenance costs, since you don’t have to change them. This means that you’ll save both money and energy.

– Environmentally Friendly

– LEDs don’t produce as much heat as HPS lights, so they’re much greener. They’re also more energy-efficient, so they won’t cost as much to operate.

– Highly Customizable

– LEDs have a variety of colours, including white, blue, and yellow. This means that municipalities can build custom lighting to match the style of their neighbourhoods.

– Durable

– LEDs are more durable than HPS lights. This means that they won’t break down as often. In addition, LED bulbs can be used in harsh weather conditions.

Street Light Maintenance

There are a few things that you’ll want to keep an eye on with your street lights. For example, make sure that the bulbs aren’t broken. You should also inspect the wiring at least once a year. You can easily do this with a volt meter or breaker box. You’ll also need to check the transformers.

– Inspect the Bulbs

– Check the Wiring

– Check for Power Transformers

– Check for Power Outages

Power outages are a big problem for municipalities. They can be caused by a variety of factors, such as rain, snow, or wind. In addition, there may be other problems with your street lights. For example, they may not have enough voltage to power them. You should also check your transformers and wires regularly to make sure that they’re not damaged and have enough voltage to power your lights.

– Inspect the Bulbs

– Check the Wiring

– Install New Transformers & Wires

If you notice that there are no power transformers on your street lights, then you should replace them immediately. If you can’t find any transformer in your area, then you should install new wires and transformers in order to keep them working properly and produce light on demand. This is important because it will save energy because light will only come on when it’s needed instead of being turned on all day long like old street lights did in the past. If you can’t find any new transformers or wires in your area then try contacting local businesses such as electrical contractors or hardware stores that could sell these items to you at a reasonable price plus shipping charges (depending on where you live). Alternatively, try finding vendors online from websites such as eBay or Amazon.com. You can also find transformers and wires on eBay for about $20-30 on average.

Energy Efficiency

An important factor when choosing the best type of street lighting is energy efficiency. LEDs are more energy-efficient than HPS lamps, so they’re a better option for cities looking to save money.

In addition, LEDs offer high luminous efficacy, which means that they produce a lot of light for their size. This means that you can use fewer bulbs and save even more money on energy costs.

Environmental Impact

Street lamps can have a big environmental impact, especially if they’re using HPS lights. These lamps create a lot of light pollution, which inhibits the growth of plants and animals. LEDs can help mitigate this impact. They produce less light pollution than traditional bulbs, so they’re a good choice for eco-friendly cities.

Which Street Lamp Should You Choose?

When it comes to choosing the best type of street lighting, you may want to start by asking yourself one question: What do I want my city to look like? This will help you decide which type of street lighting will best serve your needs.

Once you’ve identified your vision, you can compare the advantages of HPS vs. LED and decide which one is best for your city. As you can see, choosing the right type of street lighting can make a big difference for your city’s residents.

When you’re looking for the best option, take advantage of your city’s resources and speak to professionals who can help you make the best decision.


The best street lighting for your city depends on a number of factors, including the light output you need, the color temperature you want, and your budget. Whatever type of street light you choose, make sure to consider its environmental impact.

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