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Lamps Information

optical lamps informationLamps 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 Engineering360 SpecSearch database are fluorescent, halogen, incandescent, LED, and HID lamps. Note that some of these types may overlap based on their intended application or technology type.

  • 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.

Other common lamp types include:

  • Projection lamps concentrate light in one direction by means of a built-in reflector. They are useful in overhead projectors, for providing light in semiconductor assembly applications, and on airport runways.
  • Spectral lamps radiate line spectra of various gases and metal vapors with high brightness and spectral purity. Spectral lamps are used in conjunction with narrow bandpass filters for applications where monochromatic light is necessary to conduct experiments, such as in spectroscopy and chemistry.
  • Stage lamps are used to light stages and television studios. They are often made of quartz, which enables high pressure ratings and melting temperatures.
  • UV lamps emit electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 10 nanometers (nm) and 400 nm, which is below the visible light spectrum. UV lamps have industrial uses in sterilization, geology, polymer and adhesive curing, and laboratory research and analysis, including biological analysis. UV lamps often use fluorescent sources, short-wave, and gas-discharge lamps.


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.


lamp power distribution

Chart demonstrates the power and respective part count for each of the most common lamp types that are found in the Engineering360 SpecSearch database.

lamp lumen distribution

Chart of lumens versus number of parts for each lamp type from the Engineering360 SpecSearch database.

From the charts above, prospective buyers can determine that incandescent lamps are the most commons lamp type found in the Engineering360 database. For higher-power, higher-lumen applications, however, other lamp types (such as halogen lamps) may be more suitable.


Engineering360 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 Industries x x - - - -
Allied Electronics, Inc x x - x x x
Appleton Electric - - - x - -
Digi-Key Corporation x - - - - -
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, Inc x x x x x x
Heraeus Noblelight, Inc. - - x - - -
Leister Technologies, LLC - - - - - -
Newark x x - x x x
Newark/Element14 x x - - x x
Omega Engineering, Inc. - - - - - -
Optical Building Blocks Corporation - - - x - -
Shin Chin Industrial Co., Ltd. x - - - - x
Solar Light Company, Inc. - - - x - -
Sunnex, Inc. - x - - - -


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 manufacturers.

Engineering360 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.

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