Editorial Feature

Xenon Flash Lamp - Properties and Applications

Xenon lamps are ionized gas lamps that emit light in various spectral lines, when an electric current is passed through the tube. Xenon lamps work in the same way as neon lamps work, but the emitted color of light is different.

The main component of a flash lamp is the flash tube, a flashtube is capable of producing and intense, incoherent white light that lasts for very short durations. Flashtubes are made of glass having two electrodes are both ends and are filled with a gas. Xenon gas present inside the flashtube ionizes due to the high voltage current and emits a flash of light. This article will look into the working principle, construction and application of xenon flash lamps.

Working and Spectral Output

Xenon flash lamps emit a flash of light in its ionized state. A very high voltage of current is passed through the glass tube that houses xenon gas, this results in the ionization of the gas and a bright, intense burst of light is emitted. The light impulse lasts usually for 1/1000 of a second.

The xenon lamp emits a violet colored light. Some of the other wavelengths of radiation emitted by xenon are UV, blue, green and IR. The emitted radiation is proportional to the current density.


The xenon flash lamp consists a glass tube for housing the gas. The glass tube is fitted with two electrodes at both ends. High voltage current is passed through the gas flash tube in order to generate short light pulses.


Some of the typical applications of xenon flash lamps are given below:

  • Flash for photography
  • Medical procedures
  • Scientific
  • Optical sources for selected lasers.

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