Understanding Halogen, Fluorescent and LED Lights

There are three main types of lighting solutions the general public can utilize which include LED, fluorescent, and halogen incandescent lamps. Each of these solutions is unique and has its own pros and cons. Before making a decision on which type of lighting to use, the below discussion can be an eye opener and enable you to make a well informed and educated decision.

Incandescent Lamps

These lamps were the first to be created in the early 19th century. Incandescent lamps produce light by Screenshot 2016-07-24 at 3.34.45 PMheating a filament wire which is inside the lamp until it gives a glow. Electricity is the source of this heating. Due to its low production cost, simplicity of integration, and compatibility with both DC and AC, it is one of the most widely used forms of lighting in residential, commercial, and automotive applications.

These lamps are usually filled with an inert gas such as nitrogen or argon to help reduce the evaporation of the filament due to overheating. Halogen lamps use bromine or iodine which combines with the filament wire to create what is known as a halogen cycle. As a result of this cycle, the evaporated materials are re-deposited back into the filament wire and this enhances the lifespan of this lighting solution.

Fluorescent Lamps

Instead of a tungsten wire filament, fluorescent lamps make use of mercury vapor. The vapor inside the Screenshot 2016-07-24 at 3.36.19 PMlamp is stimulated by an electric current to produce ultraviolet light. The inside of the lamp or tube is normally coated with phosphor which absorbs the vapor and begins to glow. The method by which these lamps produce light is known as fluorescence.

Compared to incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps are much more efficient and last longer. The efficiency of lighting solutions is normally measured in terms of lumen output to watt power consumed. These lamps can exceed 100 lumens per watt of power consumed. In order to turn on the light, fluorescent lights require a starter. The mercury vapor atoms first must be ionized in order for the fluorescence process to begin.

Fluorescent lamps come in different colors because the combination and amount of phosphor material inside the lamp can be adjusted to the desired color temperature.

LED Lamps

LED is an abbreviation for light-emitting diode. This lighting solution produces light when an electric current passes through a semiconductor. For applications that require constant and reliable light, LED lights are recommended.

The efficiency of LED lamps in converting electricity into light is very high. An average quality LED bulb Screenshot 2016-07-24 at 3.38.09 PMcan have an efficacy rate of more than 90 lumens per watt of power consumed. LED diodes are small and compact and this allows them to be used in a number of locations and integrated into existing fixtures without the need for massive modifications.

By changing the color of the semiconductor, you can have different colors of light. It doesn’t matter how frequent you turn these lights on and off, their lifespan cannot be affected. They can last up to 50,000 hours. A number of LED lights made in 1970s and 80s are still working up to date.