In ages past, there was kerosene lamp & candles that lit the darker moments, then came Edison’s discovery of a tungsten filament bulb (incandescent bulb). For centuries, mankind has employed incandescent lamps in more ways than ever imagined, but along with it; the demand for more energy sources to power these appliances.
Then came extravagant application of incandescent bulbs, that led to evolution of higher wattage consuming lamps. Slowly, but surely, the lamps grew in sizes. Then, it was discovered that these lamps emitted more temperature than the light that was necessary. Gases soon came into the equation to give the world tungsten halogen lamps, with the promise of emitting higher lumens than the incandescent.
Nonetheless, the temperatures emitted were relatively high & could actually double as heaters/ warmers & even cookers. Burns from these lamps were not uncommon.
It didn’t take long before the miracle, when mercury vapor was discovered to provide better energy efficacy for lamps. Few decades on, the 1st fluorescent lamp was born. However, in order for it to perform at its best, required a choke/ ballast to create frequency charges, that gives the lamp its radiance.
In the good name of innovation, there was indeed great leaps of improvements where lamps evolved & provided better lumens/wattage ratio. But little do we realize, that the development & manufacturing costs to fulfill this demand rose in tandem.
While the path of fluorescent lamps was being charted, the path for tungsten never stopped. Hence, giving us the luxury of low voltage dichroic halogen greatly used in boutiques & showcases, in many cases, outdoors & underwater applications too.
That not being satisfactory, came the birth of high discharge lamps where, significant lower wattage is required to produce lumens many folds brighter than fluorescent & halogen ever achieved. Hence, floodlights, industrial lights, stadium lights, search lights etc.
As much as these inventions & innovations stand to boast of energy efficacy in application, the world forgets how much more energy is required to manufacture & distribute these little “wonders”.
Last & definitely not the least, the end of life when the lamp seizes to perform, be it due to expiry of the ignition and/or depletion of the gas within. In case you didn’t know, its takes careful effort to dispose, so to prevent accidental breakage & leakage of these harmful gases, and even more energy is required to decontruct, extract & isolate the gases, as well as to recycle the materials, in order to develop & produce new replacements to fill the shelves.
To conclude, it is inevitable that mankind will continue enlisting the use of lamps, regardless what forms/shapes they take, but it is everyone’s duty to ensure that we are careful with the applications, so to minimize the damage our environment stands to suffer.
If you haven’t done so… Consult a Lighting Professional.