Fluorescent Lamps

Fluorescent Lamp

How does it Work?

A fluorescent lamp or a fluorescent tube is a low-pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge lamp that uses fluorescence to produce visible light. An electric current in the gas excites mercury vapor which produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb to glow. A fluorescent lamp converts electrical energy into useful light much more efficiently than incandescent lamps. The luminous efficacy of a fluorescent light bulb can exceed 100 lumens per watt, several times the efficacy of an incandescent bulb with comparable light output.

Fluorescent are more costly than incandescent lamps because they require a ballast to regulate the current through the lamp. However, the lower energy costs generally offsets the initial higher cost.