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Lighting Reference Guide – Other Light Sources

12 Other Light Sources

a. Inductively Coupled Electrodeless System.

An induction coil is powered by a high frequency generator. The induced current causes acceleration of charged particles inside the lamp bulb. The metal vapour atoms are excited and ionized causing the release of ultra–violet energy. The UV energy causes the phosphor coating on the lamp wall to glow, creating white light.

  • These products are seeing gradual implementation, especially in roadway lighting where long lamp life is beneficial.
  • Two major lamp manufacturers have products available.
  • These products are proprietary and are therefore not interchangeable.
  • They require special sockets and electronic control gear.
  • Extremely long lamp life, typically 100,000 hours.
  • At present still has high cost.
  • Icetron from OSRAM/Sylvania.
    System Watts System Lumens Average Rated Life
    107 –6280 100,000  
  • QL Induction Lighting from Philips
    System Watts System Lumens Average Rated Life
    85 6000 100,000  

b. Fiber Optic Lighting

In a fiber optic lighting system there are a number of components. The illuminator is the active component, containing either a halogen incandescent or a metal halide light source, a power supply, and some way of collecting the light into a focused beam. The illuminator may also contain a cooling fan to extend lamp life and a colour wheel or other beam modifying system, so that the light intensity, pattern and colour can be changed. The fiber itself is of either glass or plastic construction, and uses the principal of internal reflection to transmit the light down the length of the fiber. The fiber may be end–emitting or side–emitting. End–emitting fiber is used by itself or in conjunction with various lenses to give control of the beam. Side–emitting fiber gives a continuous line of light down the length of the fiber and is used for decorative lighting around buildings and swimming pools.

  • Fiber optic lighting is not truly a light source, but a method of transmitting light over a short distance.
  • Manufacturers have developed more efficient illuminators using Metal Halide lamps and advanced optical reflector designs.


  • Specialty areas where lamp access is a problem, notably pools and display cases.
  • Applications where heat from light sources may be detrimental, such as produce displays in a grocery store.

c. LED Lighting

General Description

An LED (light emitting diode) is an electro–chemical light source. When the diode is forward–biased, light is generated. The light is monochromatic; the colour is dependent on the materials used. White light can be produced by using phosphors similar to those used in fluorescent and coated HID lamps.


The efficacy of LED sources is improving continuously; currently about
30 lm/W is typical.


Lamp lumen depreciation in a light source is the gradual reduction in light output over time, caused by normal deterioration of phosphors, cathodes, filaments and the other components of the system. LED systems last up to 100,000 hours, based on the fact that when the light output has depreciated to less than 50% of initial output, then the light source has effectively expired. Life of LED systems is dependent on a number of factors including the colour; red and green LEDs last significantly longer than blue and white LEDs.


  • Low power consumption and low heat generation.
  • Extremely long life.
  • egligible early failures.
  • High colour efficiency, because they are monochromatic.
  • Very small.
  • Resistant to damage from shock and vibration.
  • No infra–red or ultra–violet energy is emitted.


  • Typically used in exposed source applications such as signage, decorative festive lighting, marketing displays, and automotive applications
  • Traffic signal lamps
  • Exit signs
  • Seasonal light strings

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