What is a Bulb? - TEKLED UK

What is a Bulb?

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A bulb refers to the replaceable component of a lamp or light fixture that produces light. Traditionally, bulbs were primarily incandescent, meaning they produced light by heating a filament inside the bulb until it glows. The filament is usually made of tungsten, and the bulb is filled with an inert gas or a vacuum to prevent the filament from oxidizing and breaking.

However, the term "bulb" has evolved to include a variety of light sources beyond the traditional incandescent bulb.

How Does the Bulb Work?

A bulb is a simple electrical device that uses wire filament to glow when electricity is applied through it. It is a very important source of electricity which consists of three major components; the filament, the glass bulb, and the base of the bulb. The structure of a light bulb is very simple to understand. At the base of it, there are two metal contacts that are connected to the ends of an electrical circuit with two stiff wires. The wires are then attached to a thin filament that is fixed in the middle of the bulb encased by a glass mount. The bulb is filled with inert gas and when the fixture is hooked up to a power supply, electric current flows through the wires and the filament, causing the bulb to glow. The fundamental principle of the bulb is based on using heat to produce light. Therefore, its composition is crucial for its function. The inert gas protects the filament from burning and also helps in increasing its lifetime. The glass case helps prevent air from reaching the filament and prevents it from burning. With modern bulbs being available in different sizes and light outputs to accommodate all your needs, they are a household name when it comes to energy consumption.

What is a Filament?

We know that a filament is a very important part of the electric bulb but what is it exactly? Let’s explore it a little more. The word filament itself refers to the wire inside the bulb that is responsible for producing light. It is also known as the electron-emitting element inside the glass vacuum. The filament is usually made of coiled wires to ensure the production of electricity. When electricity is passed through this filament, it causes it to heat up and glow, thus producing light. In incandescent bulbs, this filament is made up of tungsten, a material with a very high melting point.

What are the Different Types of Bulbs?

The light bulb has been an indispensable part of our modern lives since the first incandescent bulbs were invented. Almost two centuries later, light bulbs have seen tremendous progress when it comes to their technology, design, and efficiency. While we may carry the same old, traditional image of a light bulb in our heads, today, they are available in different shapes, sizes, colours, and styles to choose from. The choices are abundant but can also be a source of confusion. So before you pick the light bulbs for your commercial or residential lighting, let us learn a little bit about the various types of bulbs available.

What is a bulb

1. Incandescent bulbs

These are the standard and traditional light bulbs with a very straightforward design. These bulbs have two contact points which power the bulb when connected to a light source. The illumination is a result of the tungsten being heated up till it starts glowing. These bulbs are available in different shapes such as globes, candles, or mushrooms. Their working is based on the principle of the filament being heated which is why more often than not, the sudden flow of current leads to the burnout of the filament. As a result of this, incandescent bulbs do not have a long lifespan. They last for an average of 700-1000 hours and are considered a huge waste of energy. Despite this, incandescent bulbs have been the most popular type of light bulb and only recently have been replaced with better and more efficient light bulbs.

2. Fluorescent bulbs

A little more complex than incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs also come with a longer lifespan. These types of bulbs are traditionally long glass tubes. Inside the fluorescent tube, the electric current passes between the cathodes which excite the gases filled inside, radiating energy. The phosphorus coating on the outside converts this energy into visible light. These bulbs use less amount of energy when compared to an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light. This makes them more energy efficient and a popular option. They are ideal for utility spaces such as the kitchen, laundry room, etc, and can last up to 20,000 hours. They offer optimal brightness and emit a crisp, white glow as well.

3. Gas-discharge bulbs

A group of man-made and artificial lighting devices called gas-discharge lamps produce light by passing an electric discharge through plasma, an ionised gas. Usually, a noble gas (such as argon, neon, krypton, or xenon) or a combination of noble gases is used to fill such lamps. In recent decades, technology has advanced significantly in some sectors. Discharge lamps are now available in a huge variety, with fundamental characteristics like output power and pulse lengths changing by orders of magnitude.

4. LED Light Bulbs & LED Filament Bulbs

An LED filament bulb is an LED bulb that is designed to look like a traditional incandescent bulb with the properties of an LED bulb. It has visible filaments for aesthetic and light distribution purposes but also possesses the high efficiency of LEDs. Light Emitting Diodes or LED bulbs are small solid bulbs that require less electricity to produce more light than a traditional incandescent bulb. The main difference between filament LEDs and regular LEDs is in the placement and number of individual LEDs in each bulb. While regular LEDs might use one or more LEDs packed tightly together, filament LEDs spread the diodes along different filaments. This results in the filament LEDs having a wider beam angle than that regular LED bulbs. This range is very similar to that of an incandescent bulb, meaning they can light up all the corners of a room better than a normal LED.

LED technology is relatively new and is already being considered as the future of lighting. These bulbs not only help conserve energy but also help you save big bucks on your energy bills. Most of LED bulbs are weather adaptable and are ideal for indoor as well as outdoor lighting. Unlike the incandescent bulbs, these also do not heat up when left on for a long period of time. Nowadays IOT technology has conquered lighting area too and now there are smart bulbs or smart lightings for both indoor or outdoor, using smart LED street lights can help to keep billions of dollars in the pocket and helps earth to renew itself sooner than ever. 

What is an Energy Saving Bulb?

Energy-saving bulbs are the sources of artificial light that use advanced technology to reduce the amount of energy used to generate light when compared to that an incandescent bulb. Some of the most common examples of energy-saving bulbs are fluorescent bulbs or LED bulbs. These last up to 12 times as long as traditional bulbs. They are not only energy efficient but also help you reduce the carbon footprint of your home. While the initial cost of buying energy-saving bulbs may be higher than that of traditional bulbs, it pays for itself in the long run. When combined with other methods of energy conservation such as smart metres and home insulation, you can reduce your energy consumption while also drastically cutting your utility bills by making the switch to energy-saving bulbs.

Where is The Bulb Used?

As a primary source of artificial lighting, the bulb is used in every household, factories and commercial buildings. It can be used in portable lightings such as table lamps, flashlights, or car lamps. It can be used as decorative or advertising lighting as well as ambient lighting. A bulb can be weather adaptive and thus can be easily installed outside to renovate your outdoors. There is truly no limit to how and where a modern electric bulb can be used. It has truly been the greatest invention of humankind since the fire and its versatile character makes it an indispensable tool for us.