What Are Five Common Types Of Lighting?

What Are Five Common Types Of Lighting?


Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) technology (also known as solid state lighting, SSL) is rapidly evolving as the newest and most energy-efficient alternative for a variety of residential lighting applications. An LED is a pea-sized device that uses alloys of semi-conductive metal to turn electricity into light. Such diodes can be arranged in matrices or clusters which offer great flexibility in the design. The advancement of first blue and now white LEDs over the last few decades has expanded their use from basic indicator lights to a wider range of display, task and general lighting applications.

LED bulbs are 30% more effective than CFLs, and 75% more efficient than best incandescent halogen lamps. A rapidly expanding selection of white LED items are on the market today for home use, including replacement bulbs for most types of fixtures as well as LED downlight fixtures (recessed cans), desk lamps, under-cabinet lights, outdoor track lights, and decorative string lights. Most of those products have only reached the market in the last five years or so.

Incandescent Lighting

Before recently most lighting was incandescent lighting found in homes. An electric current heats up a metal filament in the light bulb in an incandescent lamp, causing it to glow white-hot and give off light. The problem is that only 10 to 25 percent of that energy is actually used for light production— the rest ends up as heat. Incandescent lighting is an inefficient source of electric heat during the winter months; it makes the air-conditioner work harder than it needs during the summer months.

Halogen bulbs are really a kind of advanced incandescent lamp. A variety of types of halogen lamps are available. Halogen is often used where high-quality light or precise focusing of light is needed. Most halogen lamps feature an aluminized parabolic reflector (PAR) to improve the light intensity. Other small halogen MR-16 lamps are common to highlight artwork or architectural features in track illumination or accent lighting. While halogen lamps are slightly more energy-efficient than standard incandescent lamps, the energy efficiency of CFLs or LEDs can not be brought close. As discussed below, the selection of effective alternatives for reflector and other specialty lamps continues to expand.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps

For the simple reason that they use only one-quarter to one-third of power, CFLs get so much coverage and last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs, thus producing the same amount of illumination. This high performance means they waste considerably less heart-shaped energy.

CFLs can be found in designs to replace almost any incandescent you currently use: conventional glass-encased bulbs, globe-shaped vanity bulbs, and flame-shaped bulbs for your candelabras and sconces with smaller screw bases. Most of the CFLs sold today are spiral CFLs, which are the exact proportions of an incandescent bulb to fit in most of the current lamp attachments. You can also purchase three-way CFLs, dimmable CFLs, and amps suitable for use at low temperatures and humidity (but be sure to check the label).

Linear Fluorescent Lighting

If you think of regular fluorescent lighting in the tube, you may get a picture of the flashing, flickering bluish-white lights in supermarkets or older offices that make colors look washed out and cause headaches to some workers. That is hardly the kind of light in your house that you want. Well, the time has shifted. During the last 20 years, linear (tube) fluorescent lighting has dramatically improved. The best electronic ballast lamps are a far cry from what most of us think as fluorescent illumination. These are now found in high-quality fixtures intended to be used in areas other than your garage or workshop basement. They can actually provide very satisfactory (and energy-efficient) illumination in the kitchens and bathrooms. Dimming fluorescent fixtures allows you to precisely adjust the ambient light levels for excellent mood lighting. Today’s fixtures are equipped with electronic ballasts, which save energy and remove any visible noise or flicker, making them in your home environment much more friendly.

HID Lighting

High-intensity discharge (HID) lighting is usually what you see along the streets and in parking lots. In recent years HID lighting has advanced almost as much like fluorescent lighting. Commonly used are three types: mercury vapor, high-pressure sodium, and metal halide. They need ballasts to work like fluorescent lamps and most HID lamps take several minutes to heat up. The primary household use of HID lighting is outdoors: to light up the driveway, swimming pool, tennis court, etc. For these applications, more powerful LED lamps and fixtures are available now. By switching to LEDs, you’ll save energy and get better performance through longer life, better color quality, and more control.

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