Different Types of Electric Lamps and Their Features

An electric lamp is a device that can generate artificial light by consuming electric energy. There are different types of lamps available in the market, which include −

  • Incandescent Lamp

  • Fluorescent Lamp

  • Compact Fluorescent Lamp

  • Sodium Vapor Lamp

  • Mercury Vapor Lamp

  • Halogen Lamp

  • Metal Halide Lamp

  • Neon Lamp

  • LED Lamp

  • LASER Lamp

In this article, we will compare and contrast the various features of these lamps.

Incandescent Lamp vs. Fluorescent Lamp vs. CFL

The following table compares the features of incandescent lamp, fluorescent lamp, and CFL.

Basis of ComparisonIncandescent LampFluorescent LampCFL
Principle of operationHeating effect of electric currentGas discharge (or ionization of gas by electric current)Gas discharge
Color of light emittedYellowWhiteWhite
Production of heat during operationMoreLessModerate
Need of starting deviceNoYesNo
Starting timeStarts immediatelyRequires some time, around 5 secondsStarts immediately
Lifespan2000 hours12000 hours800 hours
Lamp Efficiency15 to 20 lumens/watt50 to 60 lumens/watt50 to 75 lumens/watt
Environmental friendlyYesNo, as it has mercury contentNo, again due to toxic metals
ApplicationsUsed for Residential and other indoor lightingUsed for residential and commercial lightingUsed for residential and commercial lighting

Sodium Vapor Lamp vs. Mercury Vapor Lamp

The following table compares the features of sodium vapor lamp and mercury vapor lamp.

Basis of ComparisonSodium Vapor LampMercury Vapor Lamp
Principle of operationGas dischargeGas discharge
Color of light emittedPale yellowDiffused white
Production of heat during operationModerateModerate
Need of starting deviceYesYes
Starting timeRequires some time, around 10 minutesRequires some time
Lifespan20000 to 30000 hoursAround 24000 hours
Lamp Efficiency80 to 150 lumens/watt28 to 50 lumens/watt
Environmental friendlyYesNo, due to presence of mercury
ApplicationsUsed for street lightingUsed for street and garden lightings

Halogen Lamp vs. Metal Halide Lamp vs. Neon Lamp

The following table compares the features of halogen lamp, metal halide lamp, and neon lamp.

Basis of ComparisonHalogen LampMetal Halide LampNeon Lamp
Principle of operationHeating effect of electric currentProduction of electric arc through gaseous mixtureEmission of electrons
Color of light emittedYellowYellowYellow
Production of heat during operationHighModerateModerate
Need of starting deviceNoNoYes
Starting timeStarts immediatelyRequires some time (around 3 to 5 seconds)Requires small time
Lifespan2000 hours10000 to 20000 hours25000 hours
Lamp Efficiency22 to 33 lumens/watt60 to 115 lumens/watt50 to 65 lumens/watt
Environmental friendlyYesNo (due to mercury)No
ApplicationsUsed for flood lighting and outdoor lightingUsed for flood lighting, Sports stadiums, High bay interiorUsed for display applications and indicators

LED lamp vs. LASER lamp

The following table compares the features of LED lamp and LASER lamp.

Basis of ComparisonLED LampLASER Lamp
Principle of operationElectro-luminescenceLight amplification by stimulated emission of radiation
Color of light emittedAvailable in many colorsAvailable in many colors
Production of heat during operationLeastMore
Need of starting deviceNoNo
Starting timeStarts immediatelyStarts immediately
Lifespan50000 hoursDepends upon type of LASER lamp and application
Lamp Efficiency50 to 100 lumens/wattDepends upon the types of LASER lamp
Environmental friendlyYesYes
ApplicationsUsed for residential, commercial, street and decorative lightingsUsed for medical instruments, metal process industries, media lighting, etc.

Updated on: 27-Apr-2022

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