© Brooke Clarke 2007 - 2015
Types of Light Source
Indoor Air Pollution
Burning Liquid Fuel
Burning Gas Fuel
Burning Solid Fuel
The oldest light sources are the
stars, and in our case the Sun. On earth the oldest source
of light is burning something.
List of Light Sources
The key characteristics of a light
- how bright
- what color or colors of light it emits
- what is the spacial radiation pattern
Types of Light Source
Indoor Air Pollution
When any fuel in burned it consumes oxygen and gives off
combustion products. In The Art of Illumination by Louis
Bell, McGraw-Hill Book Co, 1912 (Google Book) there's a table on
gas, bat-wing burner
|5.5 cu ft
gas, Argand burner
Note 1: Lumens = 12.57 * Standard Candle Power, so 16 SCP is
about 200 Lumens. This was the size of Edison's light bulb
for many years.
The author has this comment:
"The replacement of candles and
lamps by gas worked a revolution, not only in the convenience of
artificial lighting, but in its hygienic relations. The
older illuminants in proportion to their luminous effect removed
prodigious amounts of oxygen from the air and gave off large
quantities of carbonic acid. In the days of candles a
brilliantly lighted room was almost of necessity one in which
the air was bad."
"It is somewhat startling to
realize, but very desirable to remember, that a common gas
burner will vitiate the air of a room as much as four or five
persons, in so far, at least, as vitiation can be defined by
change in the chemical composition of the air."
This is still a problem for women and children in third world
countries because they are mostly in the home which uses flame
based light and cooking.
Carbon Arc lights (Wiki: Carbon arc lamp
predate heated filament Edison type lamps. They were used
in radar controlled W.W. II search lights, lantern slide and
movie projectors, inside lights for large public meeting halls,
There are some modern arc lamps that use Tungsten instead of
carbon electrodes (Wiki: Arc Lamp
for automotive headlights (HID
and other applications where a very bright light is
needed. Different gases can be used in the lamp such as
(Wiki links follow:) Neon
metal halide, Mercury
vapor. Vietnam era
VSS-1/GSS-14 or VSS-3 Xenon arc lights were fitted on tanks and
gun trucks, some with near IR filters to they were not typically
visible to the enemy.
All (Wiki:fluorescent lamps)
really Mercury vapor arc lamps with a (Wiki:
) coating on the inside of the glass to convert
the UV to visible light. This includes the Compact
Fluorescent lamps that are green in the sense of using less
electricity but not green in the sense of having Mercury inside
Burning Liquid Fuel
Mantle type lamps produce much
more light than wick type lamps. But mantle lamps do not
have a hot body spectrum but instead have narrow peaks in the
spectrum due to the rare earth elements that are impregnated
into the mantle (Wiki
This is very similar to the "white" LEDs now on the market or to
This would include whale oil
lamps, kerosene lamps, gasoline, diesel, etc.
Lantern, Apr 13, 1897, 362/159 - wick type bicycle lantern
wick heats mantle
wick heats mantle
Lamp Burner Assembly, Nov 19, 1940, 431/102 ; 431/241;
Mantel Holder, March 18, 1941, 431/111 ; 431/102; 431/113
Mantle April 22, 1941, 431/100 ; 66/169R
electronic ignition, July 9, 1996, 431/264 ; 431/107; 431/255;
17, 1998, 431/264 ; 431/107; 431/123
(almost any liquid fuel) - pressurized liquid, vaporized then
burned without wick - Wiki
Lantern System (cooking top
), Aug 27, 2002, 126/258 ; 126/48; 362/179;
362/180; 362/93; 431/344
Lantern and fuel system and method (methanol, i.e. no carbon
monoxide) lantern, Feb 10, 2004, 431/104 ; 431/107; 431/218;
(O-ring seals), Mar 8, 2005, 431/100 ; 417/553; 431/103;
431/104; 431/107; 431/108
(combined heat & light), May 3, 2005, 431/104 ; 431/100;
I think the US GI M1950 gas single burner stove is from the
Petromax design and was also made by Coleman as their camping
The original air pump was made like a small version of a bicycle
tire pump using leather as the seal. The O-Ring
modification replaces the leather with an O-ring making for a
Safety - to prevent the flame from igniting an explosive
- still makes electric lamps for explosive atmospheres, some are
powered by compressed air
Burning Gas Fuel
These are mostly Gas mantle
types. This would include natural gas like was used for
public lamps or propane like in camping lamps.
" that combine water and calcium
make acetylene gas. Note that you can not
compress acetylene gas, but instead it needs to be absorbed in a
liquid, like in welding tanks. The carbide lamps typically
have a long skinny white flame that puts out soot. There
are small versions of this lamp made to apply the soot to gun
sights to make them black (to reduce the reflection of the sun).
is when Calcium Oxide is heated like with an oxygen-hydrogen
Acetylene Gas Lamp, Aug 28, 1900, 48/29 ; 48/4
Acetylene Lamp Feb 8, 1913 362/160 ; 48/4
Burning Solid Fuel
Candles are the most common but
there are also chemical pellets what will burn. A wood
fire makes light and heat.
This was one of Edison's
Electric Lamp, T.A. Edison, Jan 27, 1880, 313/315 ; 201/25;
252/502; 264/29.2; 264/DIG.19; 313/333; 313/344; 313/578
uses a heated filament. Does not include the
Note that a filament type lamp will last longer if the filament
is horizontal. If the filament is vertical then the top
gets hotter and fails sooner. Most bulbs are designed to
be either screwed into an overhead fixture or a table lamp but
if that same bulb is screwed into a makeup mirror it will fail
sooner. There's a trade off in how long a filament lamp
will operate and it's rated voltage and brightness. Also
there is a cost associated with bulb replacement. All of
these need to be taken into account when deciding which bulb is
a "better buy".
Household Edison Screw Base Lamps
The standard screw base for light bulbs in the U.S. is the so
called E26. This is really a 1" base (25.4 mm) rounded up
to 26 mm. In Europe, for an unknown reason, they use E27
for light bulbs. I suspect the E26 and E27 are interchangeable.
There are also arc type lamps. Gas filled lamps like neon
get their color from the gas used. Electroluminescent (Wiki:EL
lamps use a very small amount of power but degrade with use and
do not look nice after a year or more. Light Emitting
) and the newer Organic LEDs
are semiconductor junctions that emit light. The
fluorescent lamp is an electrical discharge type light source
and the compact
is very energy efficient, but contains
Incandescent Electrical Light, N. Tesla, Feb 6, 1894, 313/315 -
now called a plasma
is only on for a very short amount of time, but is
very bright. Although there are Xenon arc lamps that can
be on all the time, they are very specialized.
When a fluorescent lamp bulb is in an RF field it will glow even
though it's not connected to anything.
Livermore, Calif - Longest
-" The improved incandescent lamp, invented by
Adolphe A. Chaillet, was made by the Shelby
. It is a hand blown bulb with carbon
filament. Approximate wattage-4 watts. Left burning continuously
in firehouse as a nightlight over the fire trucks."
Museum of Historic
|See the Magnetic
Levitating Lamp which uses a low voltage
"Filament" COB (Chip On Board) lamp that has the look of
an antique lamp.
work based on a chemical reaction.
Chemical light device, December 20, 1977, 362/34 ; 222/94
- the mechanism used in light sticks.
Radioactive (Self Luminous)
By combining a radio active source and a phosphor and/or
scintillator you get a light that shines 24/7.
eBay Search: Tritium
2361319 Luminous marker, Paul
John E (United
States Radium Corp), Oct 24, 1944, 250/467.1,
Self-luminous light sources, Machutchin
John G, Prosser
David L, Wright
Charles H (United
States Radium Corp), Sep 20, 1960, -
310/301, 252/646, 362/84, 313/54, 313/485
In the 1930s and during W.W.II there were clocks, watches and
aircraft instruments made where the dial face numbers were
hand painted using a combination of radium (Wiki)
and phosphorescent (self glowing) paint. At the time
they didn't know about the health hazards of radium and the
women who applied the radium laced paint put the brush in
their mouth to form a fine point. See the PBS
documentary American Experience: The Poisoner's Handbook
or the book The Poisoner's Handbook.
In reading the reviews of the book on Amazon there are those who
know chemistry pointing out many technical errors and there are
reviews that give the book 5 stars because they were fascinated
by the factual history.
When they are activated they give
off light. Commonly used in Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) and
fluorescent lamps, white LEDs, light sticks.
Some laundry detergents have phosphors to make the whites look
whiter (they glow under UV light).
A phosphor can be activated by light (including UV or black
light), electrons, radioactivity or chemically.
A scintillator can be a crystal, plastic or liquid that emits a
photon of light when it absorbs electromagnetic or atomic
Generate light when struck by
electrons, neutrons, photons or other ionizing radiation
. Also used in some
LEDs to convert near UV to other colors like white.
When what you're measuring is the
brightness of "light" then the measurements are weighted so that
the answer has the same spectral response of the human eye.
This is different than measuring the power of the light source,
which has a flat spectral response.
There are a number of characteristics of a light source that can
be measured. These can be measured only in the visible range
(400 to 700 nm) which is done to determine how a human eye will
react to the light, or over a broader wavelength range to see how
photo sensors will react to the radiation. There is only a
small band of radiation with a wavelength shorter than 400 nm that
can propagate through the atmosphere, but there are many orders of
magnitude of longer wavelength electromagnetic radiation that
propagate called near infrared, far infrared (heat), then various
& Lead Salts
Amount of visible (Total) light it provides on some surface
The historical method of measuring the visible brightness of a
light was using the Weston
Model 594 Photronic Cell
and I believe is the basis of many
of the specifications relating to visible light.
The Amprobe (Meterman) LM631A Digital Light Meter is the most
popular meter used on the Candle Power Forum for testing flashlights
. It has
calibrated readings in foot-candles (Wiki: foot-candle
lux (Wiki: lux
lumen per square meter). One foot-candle is equal to
approximately 10.764 lux.
Total amount of visible (Total) light it generates (using in
An Optical Spectrum Analyzer is used to measure the brightens at
different wavelengths. A number of them are on my OSA
class 48 is Gas: Heating and
Illuminating (mostly Acetylene)
class 126 is Stoves and Furnaces
class 313 is Electric Lamp and Discharge Devices
class 362 is Illumination
class 431 is Combustion
/100 is Incandescent Mantle
& Lantern Patents
While looking for Lighter
class 431 Combustion for the year 1906 most of them were for
lighting either open flame or incandescent. Fuels were
natural gas, gasoline, alcohol, oil.The work carbureter showed up
in relation to mixing the fuel and air for lighting.
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