Linear Fluorescent Lamps

How does it work?
A fluorescent lamp is a gaseous discharge light source. Light is produced by passing an electric arc between tungsten cathodes in a tube filled with a low pressure mercury vapor and other gases. The arc excites the mercury vapor which generates radiant energy, primarily in the ultraviolet range. This energy causes the phosphor coating on the inside of the tube to fluoresce, converting the ultraviolet into visible light.

Electrical Requirements
To start the lamp, a high voltage surge is needed to establish an arc in the mercury vapor. Once the lamp is started, the gas offers a decreasing amount of resistance, which means that the current must be regulated to match this drop. Without regulation, the lamp would draw power unceasingly and would rapidly burn out. By using a ballast the starting voltage is provided and the subsequent flow of current to the lamp is controlled. Using a balanced lamp/ballast system extends lamp life, increases energy efficiency, improves color characteristics, and enhances luminous efficacy.

Phosphor Coatings
Fluorescent lamps offer more color options than any other lamp type. This is due to the phosphor coating on the inside of the tube. Halophosphor is the basic coating. Along with rare earth and triphosphor coatings a control over the generation of red, green and blue is achieved. This has enabled the development of high Lumens per Watt (LPW) lamps in a variety of color temperatures that feature excellent color quality and provide spectacular renditions of virtually all colors.