An incandescent light source generates light utilizing a thin filament wire (usually of tungsten) heated to white heat by an electric current passing through it.

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A halogen lamp is an incandescent lamp with a filament that is surrounded by halogen gases, such as iodine or bromine. Halogen gases allow the filaments to be operated at higher temperatures and higher efficacies. The halogen participates in a tungsten transport cycle, returning tungsten to the filament and prolonging lamp life.

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A fluorescent lamp is a high efficiency lamp utilizing an electric discharge through inert gas and low pressure mercury vapor to produce ultraviolet (UV) energy. The UV excites phosphor materials applied as a thin layer on the inside of a glass tube which makes up the structure of the lamp. The phosphors transform the UV to visible light.

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CFL is the term applied to fluorescent lamps that are single-ended and that have smaller diameter tubes that are bent to form a compact shape. Some CFLs have integral ballasts and medium or candelabra screw bases for easy replacement of incandescent lamps.
High Intensity Discharge is a general term for mercury, metal halide and high-pressure sodium lamps. HID lamps contain compact arc tubes which enclose mercury and various gases with other chemicals and operate at relatively high pressures and temperatures.
A light-emitting diode (LED) lamp uses less energy than most other types of lamps, lasts longer (which means less frequent replacement and therefore reduced waste), is mercury-free, and can be housed in most luminaires, including those designed for easier disassembly and recycling.

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A ballast is a device intended to limit the amount of current in an electric circuit. They can be as simple as a series resistor as commonly used with small neon lamps or as complex as the computerized, remote-controlled electronic ballasts used with fluorescent lamps.
A ballast is a device intended to limit the amount of current in an electric circuit. They can be as simple as a series resistor as commonly used with small neon lamps or as complex as the computerized, remote-controlled electronic ballasts used with fluorescent lamps.