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What are High Pressure Sodium Lights
High-pressure sodium lamps contain an internal arc tube made of a translucent ceramic material (a form of aluminium oxide known as "polycrystalline alumina"). Glass and quartz cannot be used since they cannot maintain structural strength at the high temperatures (up to 1300 degrees C) encountered here, and hot sodium chemically attacks quartz and glass. Like other HID lamps, the arc tube is enclosed in an outer glass envelope. A small amount of metallic (solid) sodium in addition to mercury is sealed in a xenon gas fill inside the ceramic arc tube. Some versions of this lamp use a neon-argon mixture instead of xenon. Basic operation is otherwise similar to metal halide or mercury lamps. High-pressure sodium lamps produce an orange-white light and have a luminous efficiency much higher than mercury vapour or metal halide lamps.

What are Metal Halide Lights
Metal halide lamps are constructed along similar lines to mercury vapour lamps. However, in addition to the mercury and argon, various metal halides are included in the gas fill. The most popular combination is sodium iodide and scandium iodide. A few versions of this lamp have lithium iodide as well. A much less common version has sodium iodide, thallium iodide, and indium iodide. The use of these compounds increases the luminous efficiency and results in a more pleasing color balance than the raw arc of the mercury vapour lamp. Thus, no phosphor is needed to produce a color approaching similar to that of a cool white fluorescent lamp with more green and yellow than a mercury vapour lamp (without correction). Some metal halide lamps have a phosphor that adds some orange-ish red light, but not much, since the metal halide arc does not emit much UV.

What is color temperature of a bulb?
The color of a light source entails a complicated relationship of different factors, that are important in determining the right light source for your garden. The advantage of Metal Halide lamps is that they provide high-quality, crisp white light in a variety of different color temperatures that meet the needs of many different users.

Correlated Color Temperature(CCT)
The first factor in choosing a color of lamp is to determine whether you need a warm or cool light source. The CCT, expressed in Kelvin degrees, relates to actual thermal temperature. If you've ever seen a piece of metal being heated, you know that as the metal gets hotter, it's color changes. The CCT rating of HID and flourescent light sources indicate how warm or cool the light source is. For instance a lamp with a CCT of 2700 Kelvin is considered warm; with a CCT of 4200 Kelvin is considered neutral; and one of 6000 Kelvin is considered cool.

Spectral Energy Distribution
When you look at a light source, you perceive seeing a single color, but you are actually seeing thousands of hues. The combinations of different wavelengths of light make up the color we see. The relative intensity of the various wavelengths are used to determine a light source's Color Rendering Index(CRI).

Color Rendering Index(CRI)
The CRI is an indication of a lamps ability to show individual colors relative to a standard. This value is determined from a comparison of the lamp's spectral distribution compared to a black body at the same color temperature. Light sources, such as metal halide lamps, are rated with a CCT; however, CCT does not provide any information on the quality of the color. For this, a CRI is also necessary. In general, the higher the CRI rating of a lamp, the better the different colors will show.

5K - 7K Kelvin: Strong Blue Light
Promotes bushy growth. Ideal for rapid growth phase of plants.
Greatly enhances all-around plant growth when used with super
high output, high pressure sodium or 3K warm metal halide lamps.

4.2K - 4200 Kelvin: Cool white Flourescents
Can be used as supplimental blue lighting when used with a 3K

4K - 4000 Kelvin: Neutral Metal Halide
Best single source for plant growth, producing shorter, bushier
growth than 3700 Kelvin and color rendition. Used in general
plant lighting.

3.7K - 3700 Kelvin: Softer Metal Halide(coated)
This coated lamp is used in general plant lighting and for more
rapid growth than 4000 Kelvin produces.

3K - 3200 Kelvin: Warm Metal Halide
Highest photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) value of all HID
lighting for all phases of plant growth. PAR watts account for the
nutritional value of light and are a direct measure of the light
energy available for photosythesis.

2.7K - 2700 Kelvin: High Pressure Sodium Lamps
Redder color mix, used for propagation, blooming, supplemental
greenhouse lighting.
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