How to Select Lamps

Images Courtesy of Newark / element 14
Halogen Lamp Incandescent Lamp LED Lamp

Lamps are replaceable light source components that emit incoherent light from electricity. When selecting products, buyers should understand the different types of lamps, product specifications, and lamp performance.

Types of Lamps

The five most common types of lamps found in the GlobalSpec SpecSearch database are fluorescent, halogen, incandescent, LED, and HID lamps.

  • Fluorescent lamps are high-efficiency devices that use the electrical discharge of low-pressure mercury vapor to produce ultraviolet (UV) energy. The UV light is transformed into visible light.
  • Halogen lamps are high-pressure incandescent lamps that contain halogen gases such as iodine or bromine. These gases allow the filaments in halogen lamps to be operated at higher temperatures and efficacies.
  • Incandescent lamps generate light by passing electric currents through a thin filament wire until the wire is extremely hot.
  • Light emitting diode (LED) lamps are arrays that contain traditional lamp ballasts. They combine energy efficiency with long operational life.
  • High intensity discharge (HID) lamps, sometimes called arc lamps, produce light by means of an electric arc between electrodes.

Lamp Performance

Performance specifications for lamps include lamp power (wattage), bulb-burning lifespan, overall length of the lamp, color temperature of emitted light, and the average lamp output (lumens). Buyers should consider application requirements and contact suppliers for more information.

The chart below demonstrates the power and respective part count for each of the most common lamp types that are found in the GlobalSpec SpecSearch database.

Power Distribution

Here is a chart of lumens versus number of parts for each lamp type from the GS Database.
Lumen Distribution

From the charts above, prospective buyers can determine that incandescent lamps are the most commons lamp type found in the GlobalSpec database. For higher-power, higher-lumen applications, however, other lamp types (such as halogen lamps) may be more suitable.

Lamp Suppliers

GlobalSpec provides information about a number of suppliers who offer the most common types of lamps, as well as devices that are less common. The chart below shows the relative coverage of the suppliers in our database with respect to lamp type.

Customer Table
Company Fluorescent Lamps Halogen Lamps Heat Lamps High Intensity Discharge Lamps Incandescent Lamps LED Lamps
All-Spec Industriesxx----
Allied Electronics, Incxx-xxx
Appleton Electric---x--
Digi-Key Corporationx-----
Ecopower, Inc.-----x
Edmund Optics Inc.x-----
Energy Management Products-----x
Eraser Company, Inc.--x---
General Manufacturing, Inc.x----x
Glas-Col, LLC--x---
Hamamatsu Corporation USA---x--
Heatron, Incxxxxxx
Heraeus Noblelight, Inc.--x---
Leister Technologies, LLC------
Newarkxx-xxx
Newark / element14xx--xx
Omega Engineering, Inc.------
Optical Building Blocks Corporation---x--
Shin Chin Industrial Co., Ltd.x----x
Solar Light Company, Inc.---x--
Sunnex, Inc.-x----

Specialty Lamps and Lamp Features

Other types of lamps include projection lamps, spectral lamps, and stage lamps. Projection lamps use a built-in reflector to concentrate light in a particular direction. These types of lamps are used in a variety of applications. Examples include slide projection, microfilm, overhead projectors, movies, medical and scientific instruments, and airport runways. Spectral lamps are lamps that radiate line spectra of various gases and metal vapors with high brightness and spectral purity. Stage lamps are typically used for stage, studio, or television lighting applications.

Some lamps are available with additional features such as compact design, reflectors, shatterproof coating, twin tube filaments, and water-cooling. Additional features may be available through certain manufactures.

GlobalSpec also has Heat lamps which are also known as infrared emitters, infrared bulbs, infrared tubes, or infrared lamps. These lamps differ from illuminating lamps because of their low filament temperature, which results in less light and increased infrared (IR) radiation.

Read user Insights about Lamps

Related Products & Services

  • Fluorescent Lamps

    Fluorescent lamps are high-efficiency lamps that use electrical discharge through low-pressure mercury vapor to produce ultraviolet (UV) energy, which is then transformed into visible light.

  • Halogen Lamps

    Halogen lamps are high pressure incandescent lamps containing halogen gases such as iodine or bromine, which allow the filaments to be operated at higher temperatures and higher efficacies.

  • Heat Lamps

    Heat lamps are also known as infrared emitters, infrared bulbs, infrared tubes, or infrared lamps. Heat lamps differ from illuminating lamps in their low filament temperature, resulting in much less light and more infrared radiation.

  • High Intensity Discharge Lamps

    High intensity discharge lamps (HID) contain compact arc tubes, which enclose various gases and metal salts, operating at relatively high pressures and temperatures. HID lamps are often used as UV light sources.

  • Incandescent Lamps

    Incandescent lamps generate light by passing an electric current through a thin filament wire (usually of tungsten) until the wire is extremely hot.

  • Projection Lamps

    Projection lamps use a built-in reflector to concentrate light in a particular direction. They are used in applications such as slide projection, microfilm, overhead projection, movies, medical / scientific instruments, airport runways, and others.

  • Stage Lamps

    Stage lamps are used for stage, studio, or television lighting. They are often made of quartz instead of glass to provide higher pressure ratings, higher melting temperatures, and more energy-efficient designs.