What are the Sources of Natural and Artificial Light?

Light is the electromagnetic radiation whose frequency is around 390 nm to 700 nm, and it is visible to the eyes of the human. Light is a form of energy which is produced from different source and these sources are termed as light sources.

Types of Light Sources

The sources of light can be broadly classified into following two categories, viz. −

  • Natural Light Sources

  • Artificial Light Sources

Natural Light Sources

The objects which are present in nature and have the ability to emit light of their own are known as natural light sources. In the universe, there are a lot of things that emit light of their own, some of them are as follows −

  • The Sun – The Sun is one major natural source of light in our universe. The sun produces massive energy by the nuclear fusion at its center. This energy comes out from the core of the sun in the form of heat and light. All the planets in our solar system receives light from the Sun.

  • Stars – Every star produces light and these are also natural sources of light on the Earth. But due to the large distance between the stars and the earth, only a small of light or sometimes no amount reaches to the Earth.

  • The Moon – The Moon is another natural source of light on the Earth. It also provides light, but it does not produce light of its own. Actually, the light which we receive from the moon is the light of the sun that is being reflected by the Moon.

  • Natural Phenomenon – There are various natural phenomenon such as lightning, volcano eruptions, etc. emit light.

  • Living Organisms – Some living organisms have the ability to produce light of their own. These organisms are called bioluminescence. Example of these organisms are jellyfish, fireflies, glow worms, etc.

Artificial Light Sources

The artificial objects (i.e. man-made objects) that have ability to emit light are termed as artificial light sources. This category of light sources mainly includes the following types of light sources −

  • Incandescent Sources

  • Luminescent Sources

  • Gas Discharge Sources

Incandescent Sources

The incandescent sources of light are those, in which when certain objects are being heated to a high temperature, they being to emit light. The incandescent sources produce both visible light and infrared radiations.

The common examples incandescent sources are candle, incandescent lamp, fire, etc.

Luminescent Sources

Those types of light sources in which light is being emitted by accelerating the charges in a luminescent material are known as luminescent sources. The most common way of accelerating the charges in a luminescent material is bypassing the electric current through the material.

Examples of luminescent sources are fluorescent lamp, bioluminescence like jellyfish, fireflies, etc.

Gas Discharge Sources

The sources of light in which the electric current is passes through a gas at very low pressure for producing light are known as gas-discharge sources.

Examples of gas discharge sources of light are neon lamps, sodium vapor lamps, mercury vapor lamps, etc.

Updated on: 05-Apr-2022

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