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What is fluorescent light and incandescent light ?

Fluorescent lights are far more compound in design and more efficient than incandescent light bulbs. An incandescent light bulb produces very little light relative to the amount of heat it produces, wasting a lot of energy. Fluorescent lights waste very small amount energy and normally last up to six times longer than incandescent light bulbs. Fluorescent lights have tubular design with capped ends that feature two outer pins on each side. The inside of the tube is phosphorous with powder coat as well as a small amount of mercury inside, which is filled with argon gas. An electrode at both ends connects to electrical circuits.

A fundamental understanding of how light is produced is helpful. Atoms have electrons with negative charges orbiting the nucleus at different distances. When an atom absorbs enough energy, it causes one of the electrons to jump to a higher orbit. As the electron loses energy, it falls back to its old orbit. When it does, it emits a photon of light. The key in generating light then, is in exciting atoms to knock electrons from their orbits.

When electricity flows throughout the electrodes in fluorescent lights, it creates a charge that causes free electrons to go through the gas-filled tube from one electrode to the other. This energy vaporizes a little portion of the mercury inside the tube. Electrons and ions (charged atoms) bump with gaseous mercury atoms that in turn let go of ultraviolet (UV) photons.

As we incapable of seeing UV light, there is one more step in the complex design of fluorescent lights. They key is in the phosphorous coating that outline the inner glass tube. When phosphor is exposed to UV light, it absorbs the energy and emits it back out as visible light. This is where fluorescent lights surpass over incandescent bulbs, as the UV energy wasted as misplaced heat in a light bulb is transformed into visible light in fluorescent lights.

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2 Responses to “What is fluorescent light and incandescent light ?”

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