Linear Fluorescent

Light Bulb Types


Linear fluorescent lamps or light bulbs are part of the family of gas-discharge lamps. These bulbs come in a wide array of lengths, wattages, diameters and even color temperatures. Linear fluorescent bulbs are known for their low cost, long life and energy efficiency.

The linear fluorescent's history is similar to other lamps that are also in the gas-discharge family all of these lamps have been around since the 1700's. However, it wasn’t until 1934 when a group of scientists who worked for a company called General Electric developed a prototype with assistance from their engineer colleagues. The prototype was a success and it became the first linear fluorescent bulb we all know today. Linear fluorescent bulbs became a viable solution for lighting in the 1930's and were made available to the public sometime in 1938. Linear fluorescent lamps reached yet another milestone in 1951 where it produced more light compared to incandescent lamps.

Manner of Operation

The process in which Linear Fluorescent lamps generate light is completely identical to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Both are within the gas-discharge family and use electricity that is sent through the cathodes to excite the vapors of mercury inside the glass enclosure; this process is called as inelastic scattering. A noble gas, like argon, and phosphors are also contained within the enclosure. When excited, the mercury atoms then produce ultra violet light which causes the phosphors to glow within the lamp thus producing light. Like most, gas-discharge lamps, linear fluorescent lamps rely on a ballast for regulation and on an outside source of power.


These lamps are one of the more popular choices for lighting solutions in the whole world mainly because of their low cost and high efficiency. Linear fluorescent bulbs are usually the primary source of light for most commercial buildings due to the wide range of applications they can be used for. They can either be used in outdoor or indoor areas for households and, if you have the right equipment, they can also be used in conditions of extreme cold, such as in freezers. In a nutshell, these lamps can almost be used anywhere you want.

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