Industrial & Commercial

A selection of specialised industrial and commercial lamps is stocked by Lyco, which generally include: metal halide, ceramic metal halide, SON-E, SON-T, high-pressure mercury (MBF-U), dual SON and mercury, and SOX. These are collectively known as HID (High-intensity discharge) lamps, and are used in applications where a high level of illumination is required over large areas.


The various types of industrial and commercial bulb can be broken down as follows:

  • Metal halide bulbs: have a typical 10,000 hour lifespan (10 times longer than incandescent) and are used for indoor and outdoor lighting applications. Because metal halide lamps radiate light across the UV spectrum, they are commonly used for applications such as indoor gardening and aquariums. This UV output is sometimes blocked, depending on the intended application. Metal halide lamps are also used to light sports stadiums, car parks, and are featured in many car headlights.
  • Ceramic metal halide (CMH) bulbs: have a longer, 12,000 to 15,000 hour lifespan than metal halide bulbs. They’re often chosen for their excellent colour rendering, with CRI scores sometimes impressively reaching into the 90s. In their cooler-output versions (e.g. 4200K), ceramic metal halide bulbs produce a very natural light, which helps in promoting alertness and concentration. These lamps are often used for retail display lighting, in TV or film-making applications, as well as street and architectural lights.
  • SON-E and SON-T bulbs: are divided by their shape (elliptical and tubular). They are high-pressure sodium lamps often favoured over SOX lamps for better colour rendering. SON lamps require ignitors which can be integrated into the bulb itself (internal) or in the fitting (external). Bulbs are marked with an ‘I’ or ‘E’ inside a triangle. This symbol should always be checked, as internal and external ignitor SON bulbs are not interchangeable. SON bulbs emit an orange or gold light, and are used in modern street lighting, or for lighting forecourts or warehouses. Lifespans are long at around 30,000 hours.
  • SOX lights are one of the most energy-efficient bulbs in existence, and are the classic form of street lighting. However, the near-monochromatic light of a SOX lamp makes it poor for colour rendition. Under its yellow light it is extremely difficult to discern colour, which limits the use of any colour-coded road or safety markings and also has crime-prevention disadvantages (the colour of clothes and vehicles are more difficult to recognise by either humans or cameras). Their economical use is still widespread, however, in street lighting, airports, docks, quarries, and foundries. Average lifespan is 18,000 hours.
  • High-pressure mercury bulbs (MBF-U): produce high levels of white light. They generally come in two forms: clear and frosted, though the clear versions tend to have a bluish-green tint that makes them unflattering to human skin tones. For that reason the frosted MBFU lights are favoured for retail display use. Other applications include street, residential, stadium and car park lighting. SOX and SON sodium vapour lights are sometimes preferred for street lighting purposes, for their lower levels of light pollution. These mercury vapour lamps have a 4-7 minute warm-up time, and have a typical 20,000 hour lifespan.
  • Dual SON and mercury bulbs: can be installed in either SON or mercury fittings, in which they produce a crisper, whiter light than the native bulb. These bulbs are a good way of altering output whilst avoiding expensive replacement of the overall fitting. Dual SON and mercury bulbs require an external ignitor, and are Son and mercury control gear compatible. These bulbs are usually used in floodlighting applications, and have an average life expectancy of around 15,000 hours.


B22d Large Bayonet (BC); E27 Edison Screw (ES); E40 Giant Edison Screw (GES); G12; G8.5; GX10; PG12-1; RX7s; RX7s-24

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