Types of Lamps and Their Applications

The lamp is one kind of light source that includes an element for light-emitting in a tube or outer bulb which normally generates radiation in the visible spectrum. And also, the term ‘bulb’ is used to represent a lamp but it is an external glass part that includes the light source. This article discusses an overview of different types of lamps.

Different Types of Lamps

There are different types of lamps available in the market but their classification can be done based on materials used, operating principle & their efficiency of energy. The different types of lamps include the following.

Types of Lamps
Types of Lamps
  • Incandescent
  • Tungsten Halogen
  • Fluorescent
  • Compact Fluorescent
  • Mercury Vapour
  • Metal Halide
  • High-Pressure Sodium Vapour
  • Low-Pressure Sodium Vapour
  • LED

Incandescent Lamps

The incandescent light or lamp is an electric light source that functions through incandescence, which means the light emission can be caused through filament heating. These are available in an extensive range of wattages, voltages & sizes.

These lamps are the original electric lightings and the inventor of this lamp is Thomas Edison. Generally, these lamps are designed with glass including a tungsten filament. Once the current supplies through this filament then it will get heat and generates light.

Incandescent Bulb
Incandescent Bulb

These bulbs generally include a glass mount or stem that is connected to the base of the bulb that permits the electrical contacts to work throughout the cover without leaks of air or gas Small wires embedded in the stem support the filament and/or its lead wires.

In the stem, small wires are embedded to give support to the filament as well as its lead wires. The manufacturing cost of these lamps is very low and works well on either AC or DC. So these lamps are used extensively in both commercial and household lighting,


Tungsten Halogen Lamps

A tungsten halogen lamp is also called quartz iodine & quartz-halogen, is one kind of incandescent lamp that includes a tungsten filament enclosed within a solid transparent cover. This cover is packed with a combination of a halogen & an inert gas like bromine or iodine.

The blend of the filament & the halogen gas will generate a chemical reaction with halogen-cycle that redeposits dissolved tungsten over the filament so that the maintenance and life of the envelope will be increased.

So this lets the filament of the bulb function at a maximum temperature as compared to a typical incandescent lamp.

The halogen lamps size will allow utilization in solid optical systems for illumination & projectors. The small glass cover may be included in a high external glass bulb and this bulb contains less temperature to protect the inside bulb from contagion so that this bulb will be changed mechanically similar to a normal lamp. As compared to fluorescent and LED, halogen incandescent & standard bulbs are less efficient.

Fluorescent Lamps

A fluorescent lamp or bulb is a less pressure gas-discharge with mercury-vapor lamp and it generates visible light by using fluorescence. In this bulb, once the electric current supplies then the gas will excite the mercury vapor to generate short-wave UV light, and then it causes a phosphor coating within the lamp to blink.

The main function of a fluorescent lamp is to change the energy more efficiently from electrical to as compared to incandescent lamps.

Fluorescent Bulb
Fluorescent Bulb

The fluorescent lamps’ usual luminous efficiency ranges from 50 to 100 lumens/watt. In contrast, the luminous efficiency of an incandescent is simply 16 lumens/watt.

As compared to incandescent, the fixtures of fluorescent are expensive as they need a weight to control the current throughout the lamp; however, the cost of lower energy typically balances the higher initial price. At present, compact fluorescent lamps are available in similar sizes because incandescent bulbs are used as an alternative to energy-conserving in homes.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps

The compact fluorescent lamp is one kind of fluorescent lamp that is normally designed to replace halogen or incandescent lamps. These lamps are available in two types like screw-in & plug-in.
Screw-in type lamps can be arranged in a screw socket without using extra equipment whereas plug-in type lamps need weight & a socket that communicates with their exact base arrangement.

Sometimes, these are called integrated & non-integrated. These two types of lamps are available in different sizes, wattages, base types, color temperatures & these are recognized mainly for their low cost, efficiency, long life, etc.

Functionally, compact fluorescent lamps are equal to linear fluorescent bulbs because these two lamps are gas discharge-based lamps. These lamps use electricity to stimulate mercury vapor included in the glass cover through a technique called inelastic scattering. Additionally, noble gas and phosphors are also included in this envelope.

These lamps are continuously being enhanced & are perfect alternates within an ever-enhancing both residential & commercial applications. In particular, the ideal replacements are screw-in CFLs because of the simple upgrading. Everyone can remove simply the old lamp & rotate it in the CFL and Plug-in CFLs need both ballast & a specific socket & thus are harder to retrofit.

Mercury-Vapor Lamps

A gas discharge lamp like a mercury-vapor lamp utilizes an electric arc throughout vaporized mercury for generating light. Generally, the arc discharge is restricted to a tiny fused quartz arc pipe that is placed in a bigger borosilicate glass bulb.

These types of lamps are energy efficient as compared to incandescent. The main benefits of these bulbs are, lifespan is 24k hours, high intensity, and output is clear white light. So these are the main reasons to use these lights in large overhead lighting within warehouses, sports arenas, streetlights, factories, etc. Please refer to this link to know more about Mercury-Vapor Lamp

Metal Halide Lamps

A metal halide lamp is also called an MH lamp & it is a high-intensity discharge lamp that means it generates its light using an electric arc in a small discharge tube.

So these lamps are becoming very famous because of their light quality as well as their efficiency. These lamps are mostly used in sports fields, stadiums, parking lots & street lights in urban places.

Metal Halide Lamps
Metal Halide Lamps

The competitors of these lamps are the HPS, mercury vapor, LPS, halogen & LEDs. These lamps have more benefits so used in various applications. The disadvantages of metal halide lamps include expensive, light pollution, etc.

High-Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamps

A high-pressure sodium-vapor lamp is an electric discharge lamp including ionized sodium. These lamps are mainly used in street lighting &other lightings.

Once current supplies in between the two electrodes, then it ionizes the argon & neon to provide a red glow till the hot gas evaporates the sodium. After that, this sodium ionizes & shines almost monochrome yellow.

HPS lamps include a discharge tube and that is made with translucent alumina. This tube can resist the acidic effects of a combination of mercury & sodium in high temperature & pressure.
These lamps provide a whiter light where extra-bright lighting is required in public places like tunnels, road intersections, sports stadiums, and where it is popular to notice a complete range of reflected colors.

Low-Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamps

A low-pressure sodium-vapor lamp or LPS lamp includes an internal discharge tube that is made with borosilicate glass. This glass is arranged through metal electrodes & filled with argon & neon gas with small metallic sodium. LPS lamps are extensively used in street lights due to their efficiency & the capability of their yellow color light to go through fog.

An LPS lamp is also called a miscellaneous discharge lamp because it possesses some HID lamps characteristics & in other areas, it looks like fluorescent lamps. These types are inexpensive to utilize on the road & security lightings wherever the object color is not significant. These are mostly used in foggy weather conditions.

LED Lamps

LED lamps are electric lights that generate light through LEDs & these are extensively more energy-efficient as compared to incandescent lamps & fluorescent lamps. The commercially available & most efficient LED lamps have 200 lumens for each watt.

LED Lamps
LED Lamps

As compared to incandescent lamps, the lifespan of LED lamps is more. These lamps work through a LED driver circuit to function from power lines. This LED driver circuit needs some special characteristics to be compatible with lamp dimmers used on incandescent lamps.

Some LED lamps are alternatives to fluorescent/ incandescent lamps. These lamps may utilize several LED packages to enhance light diffusion, overall cost & heat dissipation. The transcript on the packaging of the retail LED lamps may illustrate the output of light in lumens, the utilization of power in watts, the temperature of color in Kelvin otherwise a color depiction like daylight, cool white, or warm white.

The range of operating temperature & occasionally an incandescent lamp’s equivalent wattage delivers a similar output within lumens.

Some More Types of Lamps

Some more types of lamps are discussed below.

Desk Lamps/Table Lamps

A desk lamp is a moveable task light arranged on a table or desk to give targeted light for achieving different tasks like reading, computer work, writing, crafting, drafting, bookkeeping, sewing, painting & knitting. These lamps offer adaptable illumination to ensure visibility of task & ergonomic comfort.
There are different types of desk lamps like swing arm, adjustable, battery-operated, outlets, organizer lamp, magnifying, clip-on desk, etc

Wall Lamps

Wall lamps are placed on a wall, but their categorization can be done based on the requirement. At present, manufacturers and designers generally club wall lamps & sconces together. The materials used for making wall lamps mainly include metal, glass, ceramic, plastic & crystal.

The different types of wall lamps mainly include up light, downlight, candle, swing arm, picture lights, sign, wall washers & lantern wall lamps.

The applications of wall lights mainly include rooms, indoors and using beside ceiling lights can give supplemental illumination. When wall lamps are used instead of overhead lighting, then it creates an extra atmospheric effect.

Street Lamps

Street lamps are standard light sources that are used on the edge of a path or road or railway platform. Different types of lamps include photocells with light-sensitive that make active the lamp mechanically once required. Different street light systems are normally connected underground in place of wiring from one utility position to another. These lights are a significant source of community safety lighting for reducing crime.

The different types of street lights include metal halide, HPS or high-pressure sodium, LPS or low-pressure sodium, LED or light-emitting diode, PCA or phosphor-converted amber & NBA, or narrow-band amber street lights.

Thus, this is all about an overview of different types of lamps and their applications. Here is a question for you, what are the basic types of lighting?