An incandescent light bulb or lamp is a source of electric light that works by illuminating. The illumination is caused due to heating of the filament. Incandescent light bulbs are made in different ranges of sizes, voltages, and wattages. Incandescent Light Bulbs are considered one of the earliest forms of lighting globally.

Origin Of Incandescent Lights

The incandescent light bulbs are the original form of electric lighting that has been in use for over a hundred years. At the same time, Edison is widely regarded as the inventor of the incandescent bulb. Many people invented parts and prototypes of the incandescent bulb before Edison did.

One of such people was a British physicist named Joseph Wilson Swan. He received the first patent for a full incandescent light bulb with a carbon filament in 1879. The first house to be lit by a light bulb was the British physicist Joseph Swan.

Thomas Elva Edison and Swan merged their companies, and together they formulated a commercially viable bulb.

How Do These Light Bulbs Work?

An incandescent light bulb consists of a glass enclosure that contains a tungsten filament. A current is passed through the filament that heats it to a temperature capable of producing light. These light bulbs contain a stem or glass mount attached to the base of a bulb. The glass mount allows electrical contacts to run through the envelope without any leak.

The small wires embedded in the stem support the filament and the lead wires. This glass enclosure contains a vacuum or an inert gas that preserves and protects the filament from evaporating.

Where Are Incandescent Bulbs Used?

The incandescent bulbs do not need external regulating equipment. They do not have a high manufacturing cost and work well with other alternating and direct currents.

They are compatible with control devices like timers, photosensors, dimmers, and they can be used both indoors and outdoors. Due to this, incandescent lamps are used widely in both households and for commercial lighting. The lamps can also be used in portable lighting like table lamps, flashlights, car headlamps, and advertising/decorative lighting.

Types Of Incandescent Bulbs

The modern incandescent bulbs are not much different from the bulbs marketed by Thomas Edison. Edison is usually credited for inventing these bulbs, though he just improved the existing designs. Modern bulbs have tungsten filaments enclosed in a chamber of gases compared to Edison's bulb, a carbonized bamboo filament closed in a vacuum.

The U.S Department of Energy list three categories of incandescent light bulbs, namely:

• Standard A-19 bulbs: these standard-sized bulbs could be pear-shaped or round; they employ the E-26 screw base used by Edison. Additionally, incandescent bulbs come in various shapes, colors, and sizes in applications like specialty lamps, appliance lighting, and decorations.

• Halogen bulbs: the halogen bulbs are composed of halogen gas instead of inert gas. Halogen gas increases the filament's luminance and produces a large amount of heat.

• Reflector bulbs (Type R): This bulbs category includes parabolic aluminized reflector lamps(PAR), which are used primarily for outdoor lighting. The ellipsoidal reflector lamps (ER) are used for recessed lighting and indoor tracks.

Reasons Why People Continue To Use Incandescents

Despite the disadvantages of incandescent lights, people still opt for these lights ignoring energy-saving lights like LED and CFL. Some of the reasons for this are:

• Cost: the incandescents are not expensive for manufacturing and are cheap at the supermarket or the hardware store. This might not continue for long as the cost of LED bulbs continues to drop.

• Quality of light: the incandescents offer reliable lighting with no flickering issues. Contrary to other bulbs like CFLs and sodium vapor bulbs, incandescents do not have a warmup time. They display full brightness when the switch is turned on.

• No dangerous or toxic materials: there are no toxic materials in an incandescent light bulb that make it easy to dispose of. The same cannot be said for CFL bulbs containing mercury or sodium lamps with sodium. The sodium lamps could also explode if it is exposed to air.

• Dimmable: modern shoppers can find dimmable LED and CFL bulbs, but they must check the packaging. In comparison, all incandescent bulbs are dimmable and have good lighting. Incandescent bulbs work better on a dimmer switch than other bulbs due to the filament being highly responsive to the current.

• They are more likely to fit: despite the proliferation of incandescent bulb alternatives on the market, the manufacturers did not make them compatible with all items. Sometimes a LED or CFL bulb does not fit in small lamps or other special items. This makes an incandescent light bulb the only choice.

Ending Note

Despite being an old form of lighting, incandescent light bulbs are still available for purchase in the market. The incandescent lights have advantages like fitting in any item and having a low price. These are the reasons why these lighting types still survive in the market.

One could contact Tocor LED lighting to buy some of the best energy-saving incandescent light bulbs. There are various variants of incandescent form which one could choose from.

Author's Bio: 

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