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Types Of Light Bulbs

Updated on December 26, 2011

The invention of bulb by Thomas Edison changed the faced of science altogether. It gave rise to the usage of electricity and it literally lightened every home in the world.

A bulb in general is defined as an object made of glass in which there may or may not be a filament and which on being provided with electricity, illuminates.

Bulbs are not only used in homes and offices but there are many other uses of bulbs.

Also today there are not one but many different varieties of bulbs which are differentiated on the basis of their usage, their working principle and their composition.

Below mentioned are some common types of bulbs:

An incandescent bulb
An incandescent bulb | Source

Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent bulb is what we call a 'typical bulb' or an 'ordinary bulb'. This was the bulb which was invented first by Thomas Edison himself. The incandescent bulb is the also the most frequently used bulb and is commonly used in homes, offices etc.

Incandescent bulbs are simple, they are made of glass in which there is a tungsten filament which is small and coiled and which glows when provided with electricity. The bulb is also filled with an inert gas such as argon which reduces the evaporation of the tungsten filament and gives the bulb a longer lightening life.

There are many other varieties of incandescent bulbs differing in the type of glass used, strength and coiling of the tungsten filament and its capacity. Incandescent bulbs mostly produce white and yellow light but their glass can be colored to give a colored beam of light.

Different type of fluorescent lamps
Different type of fluorescent lamps | Source

Fluorescent Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs do not have a filament but they too like the incandescent bulbs glow when provided with electricity. Fluorescent bulbs instead of having a filament possess vapor inside. The fluorescence of these vapors on being charged actually gives the bulb its light.

The light of fluorescence bulbs is a bit dim as compared to incandescent bulbs, also they draw less energy than the ordinary incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs are now being preferred over ordinary bulbs due to the fact that they save energy therefore they are quite popularly used for domestic purposes.

Fluorescent bulbs also are of different varieties depending upon their shape and capacity. Most fluorescent bulbs are coiled and they produce blue light.

Neon gas discharge bulb, used in sign boards.
Neon gas discharge bulb, used in sign boards. | Source
Halogen bulbs are the typically used light bulbs in car headlights.
Halogen bulbs are the typically used light bulbs in car headlights.

Discharge Bulbs

Discharge bulbs are different from the above mentioned bulbs and they are not as simple. They consist of two electrodes, when an electric current is passed, an arc is formed between these two electrodes. The resulting arc is then responsible for producing light.

Either the arc is luminous itself or it may be illuminated due to a phosphor coating on the surface of the lamp. The arc is actually formed between the electrodes due to a gas present within the sealed bulb this gas when ionized produces the arc.

Common discharge bulbs are mercury and sodium discharge bulbs. These bulbs are luminous and have a long life only if the current between the bulbs is carefully controlled.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are improved versions of normal incandescent bulbs.

These bulbs are packed with a halogen gas. These bulbs are more long lasting and produce a brighter light

An LED bulb, they will be fast replacing the conventional type of bulbs in the market.
An LED bulb, they will be fast replacing the conventional type of bulbs in the market. | Source
HID bulbs are the darlings of car enthusiasts as they give a unique glaring light.
HID bulbs are the darlings of car enthusiasts as they give a unique glaring light. | Source

Light Emitting Diode Light Bulbs, LED

These bulbs too do not have a filament but they are different from the fluorescence bulbs as they are not packed with vapors. These are in fact semiconductors which glow when provided with electric potential.

LEDs are considered as the best option for various uses as their energy consumption is very low and they give a good, bright light. Also they have a longer life. These bulbs are also taking place of ordinary bulbs at various applications.

High Intensity Discharge Bulbs HID

High intensity discharge bulbs are type of discharge bulbs which a more luminous and strong.

These too produce light due to an arc formed between two electrodes and are packed with gas and metals.

Typical low pressure sodium lamp.
Typical low pressure sodium lamp. | Source

Low Pressure Sodium Lamps

As compared to all the above mentioned types of bulbs these bulbs are the strongest and most efficient and also the most long lasting.

These bulbs have a working similar to fluorescence bulbs but they produce a yellow light which is far bright and strong.

These bulbs are found on roadsides and parking lots

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