An electric light bulb, which is called a lamp in technical usage, produces visible light by using the flow of electric current. These bulbs have a simple structure and follow a straightforward method for creating light. Let’s have a brief discussion on what are the components of a light bulb and how does it work.
What are the Components of a Light Bulb?
A lamp does not have a complicated mechanism. So there are only a couple of elements that go into the making of it:
The exterior glass shell is known as the globe or bulb. It is a fine layer of glass that supports other lamp components along with ensuring maximum light efficiency. The globes are available in a couple of different shapes, each of which is carefully designed to make sure that the distribution of light from the filament is the maximum.
It’s a coil-shaped structure that resides within the globe. A particular amount of tungsten is required to produce the correct wavelength of light. Therefore keeping the filament in loops helps to fit that right length of tungsten into the small space.
The coiled tungsten naturally yields light when it is heated up.
Stem and Wires
There’s a glass stem at the center of the globe, supporting the coiled filament to stay at its place. Two wires are there connected to the two ends of the filament and go through the stem. One wire transports the electricity from the base, and the other one returns that used electricity to the base.
The globe is filled with inert gasses, typically argon and/or nitrogen. As the inside part does not have any air, these gasses prevent it from compression. However, their principal job is to prevent the tungsten from burning out.
It supports all the components of a light bulb so that they stay secure within the globe. It transmits the flow of electric current from the external source into the light bulb components. At the same time, it also protects the inner insulation so that electricity doesn’t backfire into the primary electrical source.
How Does a Light Bulb Work?
A light bulb operates in a pretty simple way. The base has two metal contacts that are connected to the ends of an electrical circuit on the outside and the two wires on the inside. When you connect the lamp to an external power supply, electricity flows through the contacts and one of the wires to reach the filament and heat it up. As we know heated up tungsten produces light, so the filament then lights up. Hence the gasses in the globe prevent the tungsten thread from evaporating.
So, you can see there are only a few components of a light bulb and its working principle is also pretty simple. However, lighting fixtures tend to have a broad range of hardware, shades, and electrical components.