Incandescent Lamp : Construction, Working, Types & Its Applications (2023)

The light bulb is an electric light source that is also technically known as a lamp that is used by consumers as a portable type of lighting like a desk lamp and a table lamp. These lamps are used everywhere around the world. But the most common type of bulb or lamp is Incandescent Lamp. These types of lamps are very old and available in a simple design.

The first inventor of an incandescent lamp is “Thomas Edison” but before his invention, there were many scientists who worked & designed a prototype. So, one of them was a British physicist namely “Joseph Wilson Swan”. From the verification, it is known that he got the first copyright for the incandescent bulb. After that, Swan & Edison combined to manufacture incandescent bulbs on a commercial scale. This article discusses an overview of an Incandescent Lamp.

What is an Incandescent Lamp?

The incandescent lamp or light or bulb is an electric light source that works through the incandescence phenomenon that means the light emission can be caused by filament heating. These lamps are available in different sizes with different voltages and wattages. Here, the voltage range of these bulbs ranges from 1.5V to 300V. The incandescent lamp symbol is shown below.

Incandescent Lamp : Construction, Working, Types & Its Applications (1)

Incandescent lamps are the most frequently used bulbs at a reasonable cost. These lamps will glow once electrical current flows throughout a filament then they generate high brightness that is matched through large energy utilization. These bulbs are especially for task lighting and they have a light expectancy of approximately 800 hours. So these bulbs are frequently used with a dimmer in many applications.

Incandescent Lamp Construction

The construction of an incandescent lamp can be done by using different parts like a Glass bulb, Inert gas, Tungsten filament, Contact wire to foot, Contact wire to base, Support wires, Glass mount or support, Base contact wire, Screw threads, Insulation, and Electrical foot contact.

Incandescent Lamp : Construction, Working, Types & Its Applications (2)

Glass Bulb

An incandescent lamp has a glass enclosure including a tungsten filament.

Incandescent Lamp : Construction, Working, Types & Its Applications (3)

Inert Gas

The inert gas used to fill the light bulb is argon/nitrogen to reduce the evaporation of the filament. So it increases the life of the lamp by preventing the filament from falling too quickly.

(Video) Incandescent lamp | filament bulb | incandescent bulb | incandescent lamp working | #filamentlamp

Tungsten Filament

The Filament in the lamp is the thread or wire that lights up once you turn it on. The material used to make this filament is Tungsten metal because the melting point of this is very high and also heat resistant.

Contact Wires

The base of the bulb with two connections is called contact wires which provide electrical connections toward the filament.

Support Wires

Support wires are small wires which are connected to the stem to give support to the filament of the lamp.

Glass Mount or Support

Incandescent light bulbs include a glass mount that is connected to the base of the lap which permits the electrical contacts to run throughout the envelope without air or gas leaks.

Screw Thread

Most of the lamps screw into a socket. In household bulbs, a medium screw base is used which is called an Edison screw. Its diameter is 1¹⁄16 inches including seven threads for every inch.


The base of the lamp is made of brass originally & protected with plaster of Paris & after that porcelain. Nowadays, aluminum is used at the outside of the lamp & glass is used to protect the inner base so that a stronger base can be formed.

Electrical Foot Contact

At the base of a lamp or light bulb is known as electrical foot contacts which are coated with a material to protect the electricity. These two contacts will help in connecting with an electricity source.

Incandescent Lamp Working

An incandescent lamp mainly works on the incandescence principle which means the light can be generated through heat. In this type of lamp, the current is supplied throughout a thin metal filament. Once the filament is heated then it glows to generate light.

(Video) Incandescent lamp | incandescent lamp construction and working | Filament bulb | incandescent bulb|

Generally, these lamps use a tungsten filament due to their high melting point. The filament in this bulb can reach 4,500 degrees F temperatures. A glass enclosure avoids oxygen within the air from reaching the filament otherwise the filament gets overheated & oxidized within seconds. This incandescent lamp works quite well in generating light. So it is suitable for a wide range of applications.

Types of Incandescent Lamp

Incandescent lamps are available in two types like gas-filled lamps and halogen lamps.

Gas-Filled Lamps

These lamps are used to generate light from an incandescent filament that operates in an inert gas ambiance. The addition of the inert gas will suppress the evaporation of the filament, which enhances the life span of the lamp.

Incandescent Lamp : Construction, Working, Types & Its Applications (4)

These lamps use more power to attain a similar filament temperature as compared to vacuum lamps. The gas around the filament cools while evaporation is suppressed & decreases the relocation of faded tungsten toward the wall of the bulb. The maximum operating temperature of these lamps will generate more output light for each watt of i/p power to use in dangerous applications.

Halogen Lamp

The latest incandescent lamps are halogen lamps which provide several benefits over the normal incandescent lamp. The life & efficiency of these lamps decreases because of the slow fading of the filament & black deposit within the bulb.

Incandescent Lamp : Construction, Working, Types & Its Applications (5)

By adding a small amount of halogen vapor to the filling gas restores the part of evaporated tungsten vapor reverse to the filament through a chemical reaction. The advantages of these lamps are long life, color rendition is better, decreased dimensions of miniature size of lamps.

These lamps are being manufactured in different sizes up to 5 kW. These are used at large gardens, car parks, outdoor illumination of buildings, playing fields, fountains, airport runways, etc. These lamps are used to provide lighting in factories, public halls, sport-halls, TV studios, photo films, etc.

Incandescent Lamp Circuit Diagram

The circuit diagram used to increase the life extension of incandescent light is shown below. The required components to build this circuit are: switch, VD1 1N4007, VD2 1N4007, Thyristor, Resistors R1 & R2, incandescent lamp, and capacitor.

(Video) Incandescent lamp

Incandescent Lamp : Construction, Working, Types & Its Applications (6)

The filament of incandescent light has a large thermal resistance and extremely small cold resistance. The impact of current supplying throughout the filament of the bulb is high so it causes the filament to burn. To overcome this problem, the switch life extension can be the best solution.

This circuit can extend the life span of the lamp very much. Once the switch ‘S’ is connected, then the voltage supply across the capacitor cannot vary suddenly, so the voltage across the capacitor is zero.
The VT thyristor limits without activating voltage, so the flow of current through the incandescent bulb used in the circuit is the half-wave current which is rectified through VD2. The bulb ‘E’ is pre-heated through darkness & the inrush current supply is extremely small.

Incandescent Lamp Vs Fluorescent Lamp

The difference between Incandescent Lamp Vs Fluorescent Lamp includes the following.

Incandescent Lamp

Fluorescent Lamp

Incandescent lamps are old.Fluorescent lamps are new.
The life span of an incandescent light bulb is about 1K hours.The life span of a fluorescent bulb is about 9K hours
The most commonly used incandescent bulb is a 60-watt bulb.To get the same brightness as an incandescent lamp, we need a 6 to 8 watt LED bulb or13 to 15-watt fluorescent bulbs.
These lamps emit mercury vapor that is dangerous to the environment.Toxic materials like mercury & phosphorus which are dangerous are used in Fluorescent lamp.
The cost of these lamps is high as compared to fluorescent lamps.The cost of these lamps is low.
These bulbs generate light by heating a filament until it begins to emit light.These lamps generate light by exciting a gas & causing it to blaze.
As compared to fluorescent lamps, their characteristics are not better.These lamps have better characteristics.
It consumes 4 to 8 times more powerful as compared to fluorescent lamps.It consumes less power.
These lamps are costly.These lamps are cheaper.
These bulbs generate warmer light.These bulbs don’t generate warmer light.
These lamps are used in table lamps, hallway lighting, accent lighting, etc.These lamps are used in classrooms, offices, cafeterias, etc.


The advantages of Incandescent lamps include the following.

  • These lamps are not costly.
  • It generates warmer colors.
  • Light output is high.
  • Manufacturing cost is less.
  • Easily dimmed with rheostats.
  • It turns on immediately.
  • In the winter seasons, these lights are very helpful in increasing the room temperature.


The disadvantages of Incandescent lamps include the following.

  • It is not energy efficient
  • The lamp lifetime is low as compared to other bulbs.
  • It is a warm light source, so needs to cool the room if required
  • It is very delicate, so we need to handle it very carefully.
  • Not suitable for large areas.
  • It generates less lumen for each watt about 5-20 lumens for every watt.


The incandescent lamp uses include the following.

  • These lamps are normally used in table lamps, desk lamps, hallway lighting, accent lighting, chandeliers, closets, etc.
  • These lamps are widely used in commercial & household lighting.

Which gas is used in the incandescent lamp?

Argon gas is used in an incandescent lamp.

(Video) IEB(22530): Unit-2: Lecture-1:Incandescent Lamp

What is another name of the incandescent lamp?

Incandescent lamps are also called electric light bulbs, tungsten lamps, candescent lamps, candent lamps, bulb, light-bulb, electric light, etc.

What is a tungsten light?

The tungsten light is the most common type of incandescent light bulb which is used to provide light for indoor areas like home or office.

What is an example of incandescent light?

The examples are; GLS Light Bulbs. Globe Light Bulb. Frosted Bulb. Par LED Light Bulb, Household Reflector Lamp, etc.

Thus, this is all about an overview of an Incandescent Lamp and its working with applications.
The color temperature of these bulbs ranges from white color to yellow. If it is very important to verify the color temperature of a lamp before purchase because when the color temperature of the bulb is high then the bulb is cooler, so it generates white light. Once the color temperature of the bulb is low, then the bulb generates yellow color or warm light output. Each type of bulb is very different; however, the average lifespan of an incandescent bulb has at least 1K hours. Here is a question for you, are Incandescent lamps energy efficient?


What is the construction of incandescent lamp? ›

Incandescent light bulbs consist of an air-tight glass enclosure (the envelope, or bulb) with a filament of tungsten wire inside the bulb, through which an electric current is passed. Contact wires and a base with two (or more) conductors provide electrical connections to the filament.

What are the types of incandescent lamps? ›

Incandescent lamps are available in two types like gas-filled lamps and halogen lamps.

What is application of incandescent lamp? ›

Incandescent lamps are commonly used in desk lamps, table lamps, hallway lighting, closets, accent lighting, and chandeliers. They provide good color rendering and, in fact, serve as the color standard by which all other lamps are measured.

What is the working principle of incandescent lamp? ›

The operating principle of the incandescent lamp is extremely simple. An electric current is passed through a thin wire of comparatively high resistance so as to heat this to incandescence. The wire is usually heated to a temperature of between 2700 K and 2800 K, at which temperature it emits warm-white light.

What are the materials used to make incandescent? ›

Tungsten can reach up to 3422 C before it melts. This is a higher temperature than any lamp will reach (except the carbon arc lamp which gets to 3500 C). Other materials have made good filaments or parts of filaments including tantalum, molybdenum, and carbon.

What are the 8 elements of manufacturing incandescent lamp? ›

The Incandescent Bulb
  • Outline of Glass bulb.
  • Low pressure inert gas (argon, nitrogen, krypton, xenon)
  • Tungsten filament.
  • Contact wire (goes out of stem)
  • Contact wire (goes into stem)
  • Support wires (one end embedded in stem; conduct no current)
  • Stem (glass mount)
  • Contact wire (goes out of stem)

What are the three types of lamps? ›

There are three basic kinds of light bulbs on the market: incandescent, halogen, and CFL (compact fluorescent light).

What is lamp and its types? ›

Types of Lamps and Lighting
Type (code)Common ratings (watts)Life (hours)
Compact fluorescent lamps (FS)5–555,000–10,000
High-pressure mercury lamps (QE)80–75020,000
High-pressure sodium lamps (S-)50–1,0006,000–24,000
Incandescent lamps (I)5–5001,000–3,000
6 more rows
16 Feb 2011

What are the three main applications of lighting? ›

Illumination – lighting for homes, offices, warehouses. Signs – illuminating signs in any shape or size. Backlighting applications – miniature fluorescent lighting is used in avionic display illumination and backlighting in computer and technological applications.

What is incandescent and examples? ›

An object that glowed at a high temperature (such as a piece of coal) was incandescent. By the mid-1800s, the incandescent lamp—aka the lightbulb—had been invented; it contains a filament which gives off light when heated by an electric current.

What are three examples of incandescent? ›

White hot iron in a forge, red hot lava flowing down a volcano, and the red burners on a stove are examples of incandescence.

What is the working temperature of incandescent lamp? ›

The tungsten filament lamp temperature is about 2800–3300 K and consists of a linear double-ended quartz tube containing a tungsten filament, which is resistively heated. The quartz tube heats up to 400°C or more and the upper permissible temperature limit is 900°C.

What are the 9 elements used in manufacturing incandescent lamp? ›

Elements used in the manufacturing incandescent lamp
  • Lead-in wire.
  • Glass.
  • Argon gas.
  • Inert gas.
  • Coiled tungsten.
  • Brass.
  • Mica.
  • Copper.

Which gas is used in incandescent lamp? ›

Argon is a commonly used gas used to fill incandescent light bulbs. It increases bulb life by preventing the tungsten filaments from deteriorating too quickly. Other gases such as helium, neon, nitrogen and krypton are also used in lighting.

What are the characteristics of incandescent lamp? ›


The light output for an incandescent light bulb is in the range of 10–30 lm/W, with a color temperature of between 2500 and 3500K and a Ra-index of 100. The life span is between 1000 and 4000 hours.

Who invented the incandescent lamp? ›

Incandescent light bulb

Which of the following metal is used in incandescent lamps? ›

Hence, Tungsten metal is selected for making filaments of electric bulbs as tungsten can sustain high temperature and has a high melting point.

What is the manufacturing process of lamp? ›

A glass tube is preheated and blown to form a glass bulb. A glass bead, a filament, and a lead wire are joined to form a core. Then, an aluminum sheet is drawn out to form a base. Finally, the glass bulb, the core, and the base are assembled to form a light bulb.

How many components are in a lamp? ›

The LAMP stack consists of four components, all of which are examples of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS).

Which element is used in lamp? ›

Tungsten is used as filament in an electric bulb.

What is a type of lamp application? ›

LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python) is an acronym denoting one of the most common software stacks for many of the web's most popular applications. However, LAMP now refers to a generic software stack model and its components are largely interchangeable.

How many lamp types are there? ›


There are four different types of light bulbs available for residential use: incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and LED. These varieties have different characteristics including the quality of light emitted, the amount of energy used, and more.

What are the 3 main components in a lamp circuit? ›

Every circuit is comprised of three major components:
  • a conductive "path," such as wire, or printed etches on a circuit board;
  • a "source" of electrical power, such as a battery or household wall outlet, and,
  • a "load" that needs electrical power to operate, such as a lamp.

What is the most common type of lamp? ›

Incandescent: These are the most commonly used type of bulb and are usually the least expensive. They emit a warm light, can be used with dimmers, and usually last up to a year – longer than halogen lightbulbs, but not as long as CFL or LED lightbulbs. They are also not as energy-efficient as other lightbulb types.

What is the best type of lamp? ›

Your Best Light Bulb Choice

LED bulbs fit standard light sockets and are the most energy-efficient option. LEDs have lower wattage than incandescent bulbs but emit the same light output. This allows them to produce the same amount of light but use less energy. LEDs can last more than 20 years and don't contain mercury.

Which are the two types of lamps which are in common use? ›

6 Types of Light Sources
  • Incandescent: Incandescent bulbs contain a filament, usually made from tungsten (which glows at a warm, orange-yellow color temperature) through which an electric current passes. ...
  • Halogen: Halogen bulbs are a more expensive, higher-quality, and very bright type of incandescent light bulb.
24 Sept 2021

What are applications of lighting? ›

Light is used to disinfect and clean surfaces on medical products, food, and packages, etc. This technology is finding its way into a vast array of applications since it is dry processing that is eco-friendly causing no dust or damage. This also gives a higher processing speed, quality, and production yield.

What are the 4 functions of lighting? ›

Providing More Than Light

Stage lighting provides four main functions at events: Visibility, Motivation, Composition, and Mood.

What are the 4 components of lighting system? ›

The Four Elements of Lighting
  • Direction. This is where you are shooting in relation to your light. ...
  • Intensity. This is referring to the brightness of your light and how the brightness relates to other lights in the shot. ...
  • Softness. ...
  • Color. ...
  • Learn more about the Muse Film School here.

Why is it called incandescent? ›

Incandescence is the emission of electromagnetic radiation (including visible light) from a hot body as a result of its high temperature. The term derives from the Latin verb incandescere, to glow white. A common use of incandescence is the incandescent light bulb, now being phased out.

What's a incandescent? ›

incandescent adjective (LIGHT)

producing a bright light from a heated filament or other part: an incandescent lamp. literary.

What is the best definition of incandescent? ›

incandescent in American English

1. glowing with intense heat; red-hot or, esp., white-hot. 2. very bright; shining brilliantly; gleaming.

What color is incandescent? ›

A glowing filament is white, and we describe its incandescent light as white. However, the actual wavelength components of different electric light sources vary, so that we perceive white with a bluish cast as "cool" and white with a pinkish cast as "warm".

What is incandescent type a bulb? ›

An incandescent light bulb is a glass and metal device that produces light when a thin wire filament glows with illumination as it is heated by an electrical current passing through it.

What is the efficiency level of incandescent lamp? ›

Efficiency of Incandescent Lights

Approximately 2% of the emitted energy from an incandescent source is useable visible light with the remaining 98% being wasted heat. Incandescent bulbs are likely to burn out frequently and require replacement each year.

When was the incandescent lamp invented? ›

Long before Thomas Edison patented -- first in 1879 and then a year later in 1880 -- and began commercializing his incandescent light bulb, British inventors were demonstrating that electric light was possible with the arc lamp.

Is incandescent warm or cool? ›

Incandescent lamps generally trend toward the warmer end of the spectrum at about 2700K. So, if you're looking for an LED that delivers that same kind of light, you'll want to look for lamp or fixture with that same color temperature rating.

Which metal is used to make lamp? ›

Tungsten metal is selected for making filaments of lamp bulbs because tungsten can sustain high temperatures and it has high melting point, combined with the fact that it also has high resistivity. They do not oxidize easily at high temperatures.

How many parts are there in an incandescent bulb? ›

The light bulb consists of three main parts which are the filament, the glass bulb, and the base of the light bulb.

Which wire is used in bulb? ›

It's usually tungsten, although carbon or carbonized fibers (bamboo or hair) was occasionally used in older bulbs.

Why is argon used in incandescent bulb? ›

Did you know that incandescent light bulbs are filled with inert gases like argon? The heat from the tungsten filament generates light and the argon helps prevent the filament from decaying. Simply having air in the bulb would not work as the filament would react with the oxygen in the air and burn out the tungsten.

Why tungsten is used in bulb? ›

Hence, Tungsten is used in bulbs due to high melting point and resistivity.

How is incandescent lamp invented and developed? ›

In 1802, Humphry Davy invented the first electric light. He experimented with electricity and invented an electric battery. When he connected wires to his battery and a piece of carbon, the carbon glowed, producing light.

How was the incandescent light bulb invented? ›

1850 - Edward Shepard invented an electrical incandescent arc lamp using a charcoal filament. Joseph Wilson Swan started working with carbonized paper filaments the same year. 1854 - Henricg Globel, a German watchmaker, invented the first true lightbulb. He used a carbonized bamboo filament placed inside a glass bulb.

What materials are used to make a lamp? ›

The lamp bases are generally nickel-plated brass. The coils in the lamps (called filaments or cathodes) are made of tungsten. An emission material covers the tungsten coil. The emission material consists of triple oxide (BaO, CaO, SrO) + ZrO2 in a quantity of 4-12 mg/lamp depending on type.

What is an example of incandescent light? ›

The bodies which emit light when heated to a very high temperature are called incandescent. Example: Electric bulb.

Who made the first incandescent lamp? ›

Incandescent light bulb

What is the principle of lamp? ›

In the LAMP reaction, samples are amplified at a fixed temperature through a repetition of two types of elongation reactions occurring at the loop regions: self-elongation of templates from the stem loop structure formed at the 3'-terminal and the binding and elongation of new primers to the loop region.

Why is it called incandescent bulb? ›

An incandescent bulb works on the principle of incandescence, a general term meaning light produced by heat. In an incandescent type of bulb, an electric current is passed through a thin metal filament, heating the filament until it glows and produces light.

What are the advantages of incandescent light bulbs? ›

Advantages of incandescent lights
  • Low initial cost. One of the reasons why incandescent light fixtures are popular is because they are cheap. ...
  • They generate relatively high light output. ...
  • They can be dimmed using rheostats. ...
  • Ideal for use during cold weather.

What type of metal is used in lamps? ›

Common Materials for Lighting Fixtures & Components

Aluminum: As an all-around well-performing metal, aluminum is one of the most commonly used materials for stamped lighting fixtures. Quite ductile and easy to machine, it's a reliable, easy-to-use option for any stamped product.

What metal is used in lamp? ›

The filament in a light bulb is made of a long, incredibly thin length of tungsten metal. In a typical 60-watt bulb, the tungsten filament is about 6.5 feet (2 meters) long but only one-hundredth of an inch thick.


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