Have you ever wondered about the materials that weave beautiful, pure light itself? Here we explore the spectrum of extreme elements that give off light across the many beautiful types of lighting.
Bright lights are the traditional light bulbs most often used throughout the home and general purposes. Most incandescent lights today use tungsten as the element of the filament – the filament being the part at the heart of the bulb that gives releases light as a result of heating up as it resists the electricity. Tungsten is affordable as well as long-lasting with excellent flexibility and a very high melting point, making it a smart and economical choice for general light bulbs. In the past, however, before tungsten was discovered as widely available for use, however, precious platinum was used instead, which could sustain a brilliant white light.
The inside surfaces of fluorescent light tubes are often phosphor-lined, and they contain exotic elements such as neon, argon, xenon, and krypton, as well as low-pressure mercury vapour. Neon and argon are extracted from liquid air, and the latter, amazingly, is entirely unreactive to electrical charges of any strength. The purpose of the mercury vapour is to enable the sparking of UV energy, and we can see the light given off by the other elements after this UV energy bounces off the phosphor coating. Neon lights contain not only neon but other elements like hydrogen, helium, and mercury, to produce different colours.
Halogen lights offer a very real brilliance, and so are the lights often used in spotlights and downlights. As well as containing tungsten filaments as do incandescent lights, halogen bulbs contain other elements including fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine which fall under the halogen group of elements.
Metal Halide Lights
Metal halide lights are used for durable, heavy duty, and often outdoor and roadway light purposes. Street lights owe their light to the presence of sodium. Other outdoor lights contain the halogen elements such as discussed above but mixed with other, metallic elements, forms metal halides. The resulting light is very powerful.
Arc lights, those used for studio lighting or as projector lights, owes their stage-worthy brilliance to the rare earth elements lanthanum and cerium, cerium increasing light intensity by ten times when mixed with oxides and fluorides. Lanthanum is invaluable to the treatment of people with chronic kidney problems, and cerium’s particular use is that it helps precious metals like platinum to remove pollutants.