Types of Lighting

Types of Lightingthumbnail

How a room is lit can make a significant difference in the experienced mood, ambiance and atmosphere. Several types of lighting are available, from halogen to standard incandescent lighting, with each type giving off a different intensity and color spectrum. Lighting technology has advanced in recent years to produce exotic lights such as the light-emitting diode, which is very energy-efficient.

  1. Incandescent Light

    • An incandescent light produces its luminance by heating a tungsten filament inside a vacuum (bulb). The wavelength this light produces can vary, but generally gives off a warm light. Incandescent lights are not very efficient, as the amount of electricity used to power them is mostly wasted as heat. An incandescent light lasts for about 700 to 1,000 hours.

    Flourescent Light

    • Passing an electrical current through a tube filled with mercury and argon gas produces fluorescent light. Fluorescent lights have a very long life, about 10,000 to 20,000 hours, and produce very little heat which makes them energy efficient. Fluorescent lights require a ballast to function, either magnetic or electric, with electric preferred because of the noise and flickering associated with magnetic ballasts.


    • Halogen bulbs are similar in design to a standard incandescent bulb, except the bulbs are much smaller and the glass is much thicker. This is primarily due to the increased temperature to which the tungsten filament must be heated, to produce the chemical reaction with the halogen the bulb contains. Halogen lights give off a bright-white glow. Care must be taken, as halogen lights can be extremely hot and should not be placed in an area with flammable materials.

    Light-Emitting Diode

    • Light-emitting diodes or LEDs are bulbs that have no filament. An LED bulb is a type of semi-conductor that, when energy jumps a small gap, a photon is released thus producing light. LED lights are extremely energy-efficient and produce almost no heat. LEDs are used in displays, on aircraft, and have been used for years on remote controls to produce infrared light.


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