What is fluorescent lamp?
The terminology of lighting and lamps will bring our imagination to the incandescent light bulb developed by Thomas Edison and other inventors. Incandescent light bulbs work by using electricity and a filament. When the filament inside the light bulb is heated by electricity, it exhibits resistance that results in high temperatures that causes the filament to glow and emit light. To keep the filament from burning up immediately, it’s housed in a vacuum. The intense heat of the filament ensures a comparatively short and expensive life span.
Fluorescent lamp has no filament running through it. It is a gas-discharge lamp that uses electricity to excite mercury vapor. The excited mercury atoms produce short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor to fluoresce, producing visible light.
To start and to maintain a fluorescent lamp, more power is required. The starting circuit is controlled by a starter switch that opens after a short preheat period. Preheat fixtures get their name from a starting circuit that sends increased current through the cathodes to heat their coated filaments. The heated cathodes send a high-voltage pulse along the tube that creates an arc through the mercury vapor. As the atmosphere inside the tube heats up, electron activity increases to its most efficient, ballast-sustained level, and the mercury vapor carries the current on its own.
While larger fluorescent lamps have been mostly used in commercial or institutional buildings, the compact fluorescent lamp is now being used as an energy-saving alternative to incandescent lamps in homes. Compared with incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps last longer, but are bulkier, more complex, contain trace amounts of mercury, and have poorer color rendition. Fluorescent lamp is more costly than incandescent lamp because it requires a ballast to regulate the flow of current through the lamp.