We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Halide Fixture?

By James Franklin
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A halide fixture is a versatile, powerful type of light. Its common uses range from illuminating sports arenas and big retail stores to nurturing the growth of plants in greenhouses. Halide fixtures are commonly employed among homeowners as floodlights and as light sources for aquariums, particularly those housing creatures that require bright conditions in order to thrive.

This type of light uses a chemical compound known as a halide, which is a halogen atom combined with a more electropositive element. Halide lamps use gas or vapor arcs as conductors, a feature that greatly increases their longevity. Incandescent light bulbs, on the other hand, rely on metal filaments that wear out more quickly and greatly reduce their life spans.

Although it's generally more expensive to use, a halide fixture will typically last about 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Their life span is comparable to that of other High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps such as mercury and sodium vapor.

It's not uncommon for a halide fixture to give off an intense whitish glare. These lights are adaptable in terms of color temperature and can closely mimic daylight. This adaptability, sometimes referred to as "smart lighting," has led to their widespread use in live theater and film production. Their adaptability has also made them popular in home aquariums, especially those containing more light-sensitive creatures such as coral reef dwellers.

A halide fixture is often preferred because it can generate light much more efficiently than its incandescent, fluorescent and mercury vapor counterparts. For instance, a single 100-watt metal halide lamp can generate fives times as much light, measured in lumens per watt, as an ordinary 100-watt incandescent bulb. Halide lamps generate 65 to 115 lumens per watt which is much stronger than fluorescent lights (30 to 98 lumens per watt) and mercury vapor (35-58 lumens per watt). The halide fixture's power, however, comes with a requirement for special connections.

The powerful light generated by halide lamps also creates intense heat, meaning that the lamps can cause serious burns if handled improperly. Another concern is ultraviolet radiation, which can leak through broken seals and can, over time, cause sunburn-like irritation and damage eyesight. Many aquarium owners have complained of blurred vision after exposure to bright halide fixtures. Manufacturers recommend never looking directly into the bulbs, although only a broken bulb will allow UV rays to reach the eyes. They also advise giving the lights sufficient time to cool down before handling them.

The history of halide lighting dates back to 1912, when General Electric’s renowned engineer Charles Steinmetz patented an early form of the lamp. Lights using halide technology didn’t become available to the general public until the 1960s.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.