The question keeps coming up, even today, What is Induction Lighting? Very simply, Induction Lighting is in fact a modified fluorescent light bulb. It is very different from a standard fluorescent tube in many ways. Firstly the induction lamp has no electrodes and is started by the use of induction coils located on the outside of the lamp. The induction coil produces a very strong magnetic field which travels through the glass and excites the mercury atoms causing them to emit UV light. This is then converted to visible light by the phosphor coating on the inside of the tube.
Secondly, there are no electrodes in an induction lamp. This is one of the main reasons for early failure in standard fluorescent lamps, as electrodes carbonize and burn out over the lifetime of the lamp. There are no issues with induction in this respect as the inducting coils are on the external of the glass membrane and induce a magnetic field to create a plasma, not an electric arc, as in fluorescent tube technology. We can expect lifetimes in excess of 100,000 hours using this method, hence the maintenance free aspect of the technology.
Induction lamps are used in commercial lighting applications more and more because of their similarities to fluorescent lighting. The lumen output for example is the same watt for watt as standard fluorescent tubes and PL lamps in other energy saving fixtures. Besides the obvious lifetime and maintenance savings induction lamps have to offer there is a significant other advantage. The lamps themselves have a large surface area of light producing surface, yet are compact in construction, this is advantageous
because we have a high lumen output from a rather small fixed light source. This enables higher efficiencies because of better reflector design and light dispersion properties of the lamp. In short we can achieve the same and better light distribution using reflectors which are designed for the task, than conventional linear fluorescent tubes.
Induction lamps have many applications and are becoming more commonplace than ever before. Although the technology has been around for over a century we are only, now able to mass produce this product at a cost that is acceptable to most end users.
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