Editorial Feature

What is a Fluorescent Lamp?

Fluorescent lamps are essentially cylindrical glass tubes that are coated with phosphorus and filled with a noble gas. They also contain a small amount of mercury inside. Conventionally, these lamps are shaped as hollow cylinders, but they can be made of other shapes such as U-shape, circline or long twin tubes.

These lamps work on the phenomenon of fluorescence. These lamps are much more efficient when compared to incandescent lamps and also produce much brighter light. The light produced by these lamps falls in the visible region of the spectrum.


When an electric current is passed through a tube it causes electrons and charged noble gas molecules to move between the two electrodes. Some amount of mercury is vaporized and the electrons and noble gas molecules collide with this vapor.

This collision causes excitation, upon returning to their original states the electrons and molecules release energy in the form of ultraviolet radiation is produced. The phosphor coating absorbs the ultraviolet radiation and converts it into visible radiation.

The spectrum emitted by the lamp is a combination of the light emitted by mercury and the phosphorescent coating. The emitted wavelengths are distributed evenly over the visible range of the spectrum. Different colors of light can be obtained by varying the type of phosphorus.


The fluorescent lamp consists of a glass tube (typically cylindrical) having two electrodes at the ends. The tube is filled with a noble gas and a drop of mercury. The tube is coated with phosphorus on the inside. There is ballast connected to the lamp to control the electric current flow within the tube.


Some of the major areas of application of the fluorescent lamps are listed below:-

  • Household lighting
  • Stage lighting
  • Studio lighting



Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Azthena logo

AZoM.com powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Azthena logo with the word Azthena

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from AZoNetwork.com.

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.