Corn Lights

Corn lights are a popular and inexpensive choice for conversions from metal halide to LED. Changeouts are usually a simple two-step process of bypassing the current ballast and screwing in the corn into the current socket. But there are a few things to consider before determining whether a corn light is the best fit for your application.

First, are you getting the full benefits of the 360 degrees worth of light that you are paying for? Advertisements and websites tout the use of corn lights in a wide variety of applications. But you may be getting short changed on the lumen output listed on the label.

Parking lot fixtures, for example, where standard metal halide bulbs are positioned on a horizontal plane, reflectors work with traditional light sources to help to bounce light back. In most conversions, however, you are removing reflectors to accommodate a corn light. Therefore, only half of the light is being directed out of the fixture and onto the target.

The scenario is really not any better if the reflectors stay put. There is a good chance it will be damaged – as it was originally created for the conventional technology. (Side Note: In the billboard world, some manufacturers utilizing reflectors with LEDs saw those reflectors melting over time.)

Second, consider the heat. Corn lights generate a lot of heat. Placing them in heavy die cast housings is like sticking them in an Easy-Bake Oven. They are likely to cook. At the very least, you are looking at less than optimal performance and a shorter lifespan.

So, where do corn lights make the most sense? If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative, corn lights are worth considering in high bay applications and large sign boxes where the benefit of the full 360 degrees worth of LED can be realized but there is enough air circulating to keep down the chances of overheating.

The bottom line: Just because there is a current socket in the fixture and a metal halide was previously used does not automatically make a corn light the best fit.

Irvin has an experienced team dedicated to finding the best solutions to fit your needs and save you money over the long term.  Contact Irvin today for your complimentary lighting assessment.