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Types of Artificial Light Sources


An incandescent bulb consists of a filament that glows when electricity is passed through it.

Incandescent Bulb

A halogen lamp is a type of incandescent lamp where high-pressure halogen gas is inside the bulb allowing the filament to burn hotter and longer.

Halogen Lamp
halogen bulb halogen bulb


Gaseous Discharge

This technology passes electricity through a gas, which excites the gas and causes it to glow. Fluorescent, high-intensity discharge lights (HID) and low-pressure sodium lights use this technology. HID lamps use different gases to produce light:

Metal Halide Fluorescent Tube Compact Fluorescent Light
metal halide fluorescent tube compact fluorescent light

These types of lights require a ballast, which is a device that starts the lamp and regulates its operation.

A Ballast


LED’s are the newest type of artificial light and were born out of the electronics and computer industry. An LED is a tiny electronic device that emits light.

Red LED Green LED Blue LED
metal halide fluorescent tube compact fluorescent light
metal halide fluorescent tube

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