Incandescent lamps: types, specifications, how to choose

Despite a whole list of shortcomings identified when compared with other sources of artificial light, incandescent lamps remain in demand in the domestic sphere, and in industrial sectors.

Cheap and easy-to-use devices do not want to give up their positions, although a huge amount of more economical and “long-playing” substitutes have appeared on the market - for example, LED lamps.

The device lamp with filament

Until recently, incandescent (LN) lamps were used everywhere, so many are familiar with their design features. And sometimes it was necessary to “get acquainted” because of the light source failure: a tungsten filament burnt, glass burst or a flask flew out of the cap.

Some manufacturers used more reliable and proven materials and treated the production of incandescent bulbs so responsibly that their products have been operating for several decades.But this is the exception rather than the rule - today there are no guarantees for a long service life.

Incandescent bulbs
Schematic illustration of the lamp showing the main details. The design of the source of artificial illumination has almost not changed since the invention; only the materials and composition of the gas filling the flask have been improved.

The main acting element is the so-called filament body, attached to the holders and attached to the electrodes. At the time of connecting electricity, voltage passes through it, causing heating and luminescence simultaneously. In order for the radiation to become visible, the heating temperature must reach 570 ° C.

Tungsten is recognized as the metal most resistant to high temperatures. It begins to melt when heated to 3422 ° C. In order to maximize the radiation area, but to reduce the volume of the incandescent body inside the glass bulb, it is twisted into a spiral.

Cozy yellow lighting
The familiar comfortable light of the yellow shade, which creates comfort in the house and is “warm” by visual assessment, occurs when the yarn is heated to 2830-2850 ° С

To protect tungsten from the oxidation process characteristic of metals, air is pumped out of the flask and replaced with vacuum or gas (krypton, argon, etc.).Vacuum filling technology is outdated, a mixture of nitrogen and argon or krypton is most often used for household lamps.

As a result of testing, the minimum duration of lamp burning was revealed - 1 thousand hours. But, given the random reasons that bring devices out of operation ahead of time, it is assumed that the standards apply only to 50% of the products from each batch. The operating time of the second half may be more or less - depending on the conditions of use.

Types and application of LN

The quality characteristics and marking of tungsten bulbs are regulated by GOST R 52712-2007. By type of filling flasks, LN devices are divided into vacuum and gas-filled varieties.

The former serve less because of the inevitable evaporation of the tungsten filament. In addition, tungsten vapor deposited on the glass shell of the vacuum source, which significantly reduces the transparency and the ability of the glass to transmit light. They are produced with mono-helix, in the nomenclature designation they are assigned the letter B.

In gas-filled devices, the disadvantages of vacuum tubes are minimized. The gas reduces the evaporation process and prevents the settling of tungsten on the walls of the flask.Gas-filled monospiral types are denoted by the letter G, and light bulbs with a double-wound spiral, i.e. bipedral, marked with the letter B. If the bipiral variety has the nomenclature of BC, then krypton was used in its filling.

In the GLN halogen bulbs, bromine or iodine is added to the glass bulb filler, due to which the evaporating atoms of tungsten return to the filament after evaporation. Halogens are available in two formats: in the form of quartz tubes with a long helix or in the capsule version with a compact work item.

In state standards, division into groups occurs by scope, but other characteristics are also affected. Suppose that at the same level “LN electric miniature” (LN pl) and “LN infrared mirror” are considered (HF - devices with a concentrated light distribution, ZD - with an average) - as you see, different criteria are chosen to designate categories.

There are groups that can be attributed to the most popular:

  • general purpose;
  • for vehicles;
  • searchlight;
  • miniature, etc.

Consider the scope and features of various categories, which in some cases may intersect with each other.

Image Gallery
Photos of
LON - general purpose lamps
LON - general purpose lamps
Incandescent light bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs
Electric lamps for vehicles
Electric lamps for vehicles
High power floodlight type lamps
High power floodlight type lamps
Subminiature and miniature sources of artificial light
Subminiature and miniature sources of artificial light
Lamps lamps directional heating
Lamps lamps directional heating
Halogens - advanced incandescent bulbs
Halogens - advanced incandescent bulbs
Special purpose lamp category
Special purpose lamp category

The description of technical requirements for each of the listed categories can be found in the relevant sections of GOST. Due to the nature of the design and scope, the labeling of devices from different groups is different.

Features of labeling for use

The lamp is easier to pick up if you are guided in the legend. They reflect important technical characteristics, possible area of ​​use, design features and manufacturing technology.

Sample marking on the base
Marking of foreign manufacturers resembles domestic, but has its own characteristics. Usually it is worn by stamping on the base and serves as one of the ways to distinguish the original product from a fake.

First, the letters in the number from 1 to 4, which reflect the characteristic design features.For easier decoding, the first letter of the fundamental criterion is taken as a basis, for example, G is a gas-filled monospiral lamp, B is a vacuum monospiral lamp, K is a krypton lamp, etc.

Then follows the indication of the destination:

  • W - railway;
  • A - car;
  • SM - aircraft;
  • RV - for searchlights, etc.

For the letters are numbers that denote the technical characteristics - voltage (V) and power (W). The marking of lamps of a special type differs: the power is not indicated, but it is possible to determine the current, the luminous flux or the intensity of the light. If the device has two spirals, then the power for each of them is indicated separately. The last digit may indicate the development number, if the design has been modified.

Main technical specifications

The most important parameter of light sources with a filament body is power, defined in watts. The purpose of the lamps is varied, so the range is wide - from 0.1 W of indicator “fireflies” to 23 thousand W of searchlights for beacons. Companies General Electric and Osram produce powerful lamps for theatrical and cinematic productions.

Powerful spotlights on site
Searchlight products differ not only in power (up to 24000 W), but also in luminous flux.The LED projector is capable of producing 400,000 lumens, while a special incandescent lamp - 800,000 lumens

In everyday life, low-power appliances are used, generally from 15 W to 150 W, and in the industrial field, lamps up to 1500 W are used.

The quality of the light flux and the degree of dispersion are governed by the material used to make the bulb. Maximum light transmission is typical for lamps with transparent glass, while the other two types absorb some of the light. For example, a frosted glass bulb steals 3% of the luminous flux, and white - 20%.

Often the power of household incandescent bulbs is limited by the material of luminaires (lamp shades, lampshades). Manufacturers of chandeliers and sconces usually indicate the recommended parameters - usually 40 watts, rarely 60 watts.

Stretch ceilings with LED lamps
Conventional light bulbs strongly heat surrounding objects, unlike, for example, from LED or low-power halogen ones, so they cannot be used for installation in suspended ceilings.

In 2011, incandescent bulbs were officially recognized as low-energy and fire-hazardous, so a law was passed to stop the release of light sources of 100 watts. Next in line is the law banning devices more powerful than 50 watts.However, the user does not lose anything, since in the current market a huge number of more productive and economical LED and other analogues.

Comparative table of different types of lamps
Table showing the performance of various types of household lamps. According to the specified specifications, it is clearly seen how incandescent lamps lose to alternative options in all positions.

Today, many are abandoning the outdated type of lamps due to high power consumption and short service life. However, there are categories of people who prefer to buy cheap and inefficient sources - thanks to them the production of incandescent bulbs continues.

The second important indicator that must be taken into account when buying is the type of base of the incandescent lamp, determined by size. In imported and domestic LED lamps, many varieties of bases, while simple lamps are limited to three.

Types of sockets for incandescent bulbs
If you need to replace the light bulb in the chandelier or table lamp, then be sure to pay attention to the diameter of the base - E14 or E27. Appliances with an E40 base are not used in everyday life

Now manufacturers are obliged to pack each product in a separate box, so that technical specifications can be found on it.Usually indicate the power, energy efficiency class (low - E), the type of cap, the transparency of the bulb, the service life in hours.

Advantages and disadvantages of incandescent bulbs

The consumer continues to purchase inefficient light bulbs due to a number of advantages, although some of them are very conditional. According to reviews, they are chosen because of the following qualities:

  • low cost;
  • lack of control gear;
  • instant ignition after power on;
  • habitual "home" light;
  • the absence of harmful substances;
  • no response to low temperature and electromagnetic impulses.

However, few people assess the quality of the light flux or pulsation, yet for the majority the first factor is decisive.

But the disadvantages are much more weighty, since among them there is a relatively low luminous efficacy, a limited service life, a small range of color temperature (only yellow light), dependence on the voltage drops in the network, fire hazard.

Fire hazard incandescent bulbs
If you turn on an incandescent lamp with a power of 40 W, after half an hour it heats up to + 145-148 ° С and begins to heat the surrounding objects, which is fraught with accidental fire

Now it is possible to compare in practice the work of incandescent lamps, gas-discharge and LED analogues. Anyone who has noticed a difference in power consumption has long since switched to energy-saving devices.

How to choose a light bulb

When buying light bulbs are guided primarily by the magnitude of the cap and power. These two parameters are easily determined by the old, burnt light source.

If you choose a device of lower power, the luminous flux will be weaker, if more, then you risk the integrity of the lampshades - they can be deformed due to the high heating temperature.

Filament lamp in the interior
Especially for fans of traditional light bulbs, filament devices with LEDs are produced, which are similar in shape but favorably differ in their characteristics.

In addition to the technical characteristics you should pay attention to the quality of the lamp. Preference is given to products with a wide contact of the base, soldered conductors, stably fixed filament.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Even more informative and interesting information about the production, use and disadvantages of incandescent lamps - in videos made by experts and amateurs.

Interesting facts about incandescent bulbs:

How is the production of LN:

Comparative overview of lamps of different types:

Popular about choosing lamps for home:

The consumer himself has the right to choose a light bulb for use in everyday life. However, do not chase the cheap and deceptive benefits. Considering that we use lighting constantly, and there are usually more than a dozen bulbs in a house, habits should be revised. Many users have long switched to more reliable, economical, safe LED lamps.

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