Fluorescent bulbs

  • Thread starter Naty1
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Wikipedia seems to do a good general job of explaining fluorescent light bulb technology at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lamp

Lots of technology hidden in a fluorescent bulb! But I did not see any explanation of how, say, a 13 watt compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) differs from an 18 watt...or for a full sized fluorescent,either...

It looks like the two basic components affecting light output are the gas and a fluorescent coating inside the bulb...but what is done to get more or less light from a given physical sized bulb?? Are both components varied or one or the other??
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
dlgoff
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From the Wikipedia article,
Fluorescent lamps are negative differential resistance devices, so as more current flows through them, the electrical resistance of the fluorescent lamp drops, allowing even more current to flow. Connected directly to a constant-voltage mains power supply, a fluorescent lamp would rapidly self-destruct due to the uncontrolled current flow. To prevent this, fluorescent lamps must use an auxiliary device, a ballast, to regulate the current flow through the tube.
So, more current means more light.
 
  • #3
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So, more current means more light.[/QUOTE]

You may be right, but I don't see the logic in the quote nor in that section of the wikipedia article....I can see that in a negative resistance environment, i2 will likely rise more quickly than r will fall if the resistance decrease is linear...and perhaps that is the reason power and light increases.
 
  • #4
dlgoff
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Think about it. The electrons are being moved by the electrical potential and interact with the noble gas. The interaction by the electrons cause the gas atoms to make transitions causing emissions of UV. So the more electrons (current), the more interactions; hence more light.
 
  • #5
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ok, that's the logic I wanted to confirm.....thanks...
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Note that different wattages of CF bulbs are not the same physical size.
 

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