Sep 13, 13
The days of using candles or torches to light homes are long gone. Today, we simply flip the switch and light just… appears. But what happens between the time you flip the switch and the time your light bulb illuminates the room? This week, we’re headed back to the basics: how an incandescent light bulb actually works.
What’s Happening in There?
Think back to middle school science. Remember the terms “electron” and “nucleus”? Well, these two play a very important part in the science of lighting. Electrons, which are negatively charged particles moving around an atom, have different levels of energy, and are dependent on a few things, such as their speed and distance from the nucleus. Electrons have different levels of energy, and as a general rule of thumb, those with greater energy are farther away from the nucleus. The process of how atoms emit light is complex, but in simple terms, this is what happens: the atom collides with a moving particle, exciting the atom and causing an electron to jump to a higher energy level. When this occurs, the electron returns to its original energy level and releases this extra energy as a light photon.
Anatomy of a Bulb
So we’ve given you an overview of how light is emitted, but what makes up a bulb? Fortunately, incandescent light bulbs have a pretty simple make up. Look at the picture of this incandescent A19 bulb to the right. Most incandescent bulbs have a medium base, which is just a fancy way of saying the bulb screws into a fixture. Notice the coil at the top of the glass mount. This filament is typically made up of tungsten metal. While the coil itself is only about an inch long, if you were to stretch the coil out, it would be a little over six feet long. Supporting the 6-foot coil are generally about 3-5 support wires, while a gas fills the bulb. Sometimes, Krypton gas is used to extend the life of the bulb.
Electrons + Filament = Light
Now that we’ve covered how light is created and what makes up a bulb, it’s time to look at what actually happens when you flip the switch. Electricity flows from the contacts to the filament, and while the current is coursing through the wires to the filament, the electrons constantly collide into the atoms that make up the tungsten filament. Due to these constant collisions, the atoms that make up the filament vibrate (simply put, the electric current heats up the atoms), causing the bound electrons in the vibrating atoms to be temporarily boosted to higher energy levels. Once these electrons release their extra energy as photons, they return back to their original energy levels.
Keep in mind that incandescent bulbs are very energy inefficient. In fact, 80 percent of their energy is released as heat, while only the remaining 20 percent is given off as actual visible light. Want to know how something else works? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus!
Dec 31, 12
At 1000Bulbs.com, we strive to bring you the most innovative products at affordable prices. For this week’s volume of Enlightenment, we’re introducing some unique, modern lighting products that are efficient, energy-saving, and easy on your wallet, so sit back, relax, and be enlightened.
Archipelago LED Bulbs
Ranging from 3 to 4.5 watts, Archipelago LED bulbs come either as a decorative globe or torpedo. With a life expectancy of 50,000 hours, these dazzling bulbs are the perfect replacement for a 25-watt incandescent and are great for indoor and outdoor use. The decorative globes are exquisite in a bathroom vanity, as well as patio lighting, and the torpedo bulbs are dashing in wall lighting and chandeliers, along with any enclosed outdoor fixtures. These CSA listed lamps do not contain mercury or lead, and come with a five year warranty. Browse through the Archipelago LED bulbs and see what style suits your home decor.
Silicone Tip Lamp
Want a more flame-like look for your chandelier? This 6-watt silicone tip lamp is excellent for the task. It has a frosted finish that gives off a tranquil glow, bringing a warm atmosphere to any room. The incandescent lamp has a candelabra base and has a rated life of 1,500 hours. Enjoy the beauty of this distinguishing bulb in your chandelier; take some time to see if the silicone tip lamp is right for you!
12 Volt Tape Light
A few months ago, we introduced our 24-volt LED tape light, a cutting-edge technology that was a fun and flexible twist on rope light. For more variety, we have added the new, energy-saving Flextec 12-volt LED tape light. With an adhesive backing, it is easy to install and can be placed anywhere. The LED tape light comes in a variety of lengths and colors, as well as different versions including standard output, high output, and color changing. Using less than 2 watts per foot, the standard output tape light is best for accent lighting applications. The high output solid color version uses more power, allowing for extra brightness in indoor and outdoor locations needing brighter task lighting. The color changing tape light has red, green, and blue lights to mix and match colors, and patterns, using the RGB controller. Whether you are lighting a desk or a room, LED tape light is a fun, unique way to light up any area.
Grow Lights and Horticulture Supplies
Volume 2 of Enlightenment covered a variety of horticulture nutrients and supplements. If those were not enough, we now feature everything you need for your indoor garden. From lighting to grow media to starter kits, we have it all. Your indoor garden will be completely nourished, perfectly lit, and housed properly for beautiful, luscious plants. Don’t let inclement weather keep you from growing the plants you love; be sure to view our assortment of grow lights and horticulture supplies today!
Dec 17, 12
In volume 2 of Enlightenment, we will discuss a variety of new, and diverse, items added to our site, from contemporary antique light bulbs to hydroponic horticulture nutrients. With an assortment of products such as these, you won’t be disappointed with this article, so sit back, relax, and be enlightened.
Light your home Edison style! These unique, tubular antique light bulbs are the perfect way to give your home a vintage look. Beautiful for interior and exterior lighting, the spiral tungsten filament of the bulbs creates a warm amber glow that sets a welcoming and peaceful ambiance in any room. With a candelabra base, they are perfect for chandeliers, pendant lighting, and more. Give your home an antique feel; shop our selection of antique light bulbs!
Leviton Combination USB/Receptacle Charger
Leviton’s new combination USB and receptacle chargers can charge two electronic mobile devices synchronously via the USB ports, while leaving the receptacle free for any other power needs. The USB receptacle is perfect for use in residential spaces such as kitchens and home offices, as well as light commercial spaces such as airport cafes and office cubicles. Pair it with the USB receptacle with the Leviton Mobile Device Station for added convenience. Visit our site to see if the Leviton combination USB and receptacle charger is right for you!
LEDnovation GEN2 EnhanceLite A19
The LEDnovation GEN2 EnhanceLite A19 omnidirectional bulb is perfect for any multi-purpose lighting needs. Considered as one of the world’s most efficient LED light bulbs, this dimmable, warm white bulb uses only 13.7 watts and is the perfect replacement for a 75 watt incandescent. It has a color rendering index of 90 and does not contain mercury or lead. This LED bulb has a life expectancy of 50,000 hours and comes with a five-year warranty. Check out the EnhanceLite A19 and see if it suits your lighting needs!
RAB Slim Wall Packs
The new RAB LED slim wall packs are sleek and elegant, perfect for any indoor or outdoor lighting decor. Functional as a downlight or uplight, the wall packs come in a variety of wattages, with either a bronze or white finish; you choose the one best suited to your needs. They are UL listed for wet locations, IDA Dark Sky approved, and include a five-year warranty. Give any location that crisp, clean fixture it needs; browse our assortment of RAB LED slim wall packs!
Horticulture Nutrients & Supplements
In Enlightenment: Vol. 1, we mentioned that grow lights were new to our site. Now, we have added horticulture nutrients and supplements. The Bloom Blaster by Grotek is a hydroponic plant nutrient powder that helps plants mature properly. Effective in all growing media, it helps your plants to develop beautifully. Mighty Wash by NPK Industries aids to rid your plants of insects and spider mites and can be used in all stages of the flowering cycle. FloraBloom by General Hydroponics functions as a bloom development stimulator to improve the quality of plants during the flowering stage. See your plants grow to new heights with our new horticulture nutrients and supplements!