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.

How Light Looks When Viewed from Outside and Inside

Whether you are doing interior décor or landscaping, having the knowledge of how light looks indoors and outdoors can give you an advantage in picking lighting solutions. It is in the public domain that if you mix red, blue and green colors, you get a brownish color. However, when you mix red, blue, and green light, you come up with white. The difference may be strange but it is due to the fact that white light is a mixture of various amounts of red, blue, and green light.

When you wear a white t-shirt outside, your eyes see white and if you wear it inside, there is no change. This is because irrespective of where you wear it, your eyes see the same white.

The Kelvin Scale

The color of light is measured through the Kelvin Scale. This is a scientific temperature scale used to measure the temperature of objects. Compared to the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale, Kelvin scale doesn’t have negative numbers. It begins at absolute zero. For instance, if you heat a carbon rod, it will start glowing orange at about 3,200 Kelvin. Greenish and blue glows are emitted at 4,800 and 5,600 degrees Kelvin respectively.

Your living room could be having incandescent lights which emit low color temperatures of about 2800 to 3400 degrees Kelvin. This light will have a yellow to orange cast. If you walk into an office that is lit with fluorescent tubes, you will see green light. Fluorescent light has a color temperature that ranges between 3400 and 4800 degrees Kelvin. This depends on the type of bulbs used in the fixtures.

Outdoor light, on the other hand, has a blue tint. The temperature of its color averages 5600 degrees Kelvin and can range anything from 5200 to well over 12000 degrees Kelvin. The color temperature of outdoor light is dependent on a number of factors including the angle of the sun, the time of day, and the cloud cover.

Mixed Light

At times, you may find yourself dealing with light that is shining through windows which is then mixed up with light from fluorescent tubes and desk lamps. The easiest way when dealing with this light is to remember the basic color temperatures. Using a color-correction jells, you can easily convert indoor lights to outdoor color temperature lights. For instance, placing a color-temperature-blue jell right in front of the lighting instrument will make the light coming through the blue jell to match the color temperature of the light outdoors.

If you want to use outdoor light and you want the warmer tones of indoor light, you can cover the window with color-temperature-orange jell. This jell will reduce the intensity of light without interfering with its color temperature.

Understanding how light varies from the indoors to the outdoors will help you in striking a balance that would bring out the desired qualities of your interior décor and landscaping. It will also give you the freedom to work with different types of light so as to produce exceptional results.