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Thread: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

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    Default What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Not sure about these terms.

    Please explain lol

    Thanks!!

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    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    well i might not be the best at answering this (not because of lack of knowledge but lack of ability to explain properly) but for 'incandescent light' think a regular household lightbulb, for 'non-incandescent light' think everything else such as LED etc... I know somebody else will put a proper link shortly after this to a terminology thread on here.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light




    From Dictionary.com


    in⋅can⋅des⋅cence

     /ˌɪnkənˈdɛsəns/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [in-kuhn-des-uhns] Show IPA Use incandescence in a Sentence

    See web results for incandescence

    See images of incandescence

    –noun 1. the emission of visible light by a body, caused by its high temperature. Compare luminescence. 2. the light produced by such an emission. 3. the quality of being incandescent.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    List of lights removed to allow the search engine to work

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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    An incandescent light is anything that produces light by heat/burning. Your household light bulb has a thin metal filament which electricity flows through causing it to burn, but since it's in a vacuum, there's no flame or smoke, it just glows very brightly.

    Any other type of light uses some other method. An LED uses a diode which moves electrons in and between atoms creating photon, or light, emission. Nothing in the LED burns to produce the light.

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    Flashaholic* carbine15's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    ...Nothing in the LED burns to produce the light.
    Like all solid state electronics, LEDs work because they contain magic smoke. If you let the smoke out, they stop working.


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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Quote Originally Posted by carbine15 View Post
    Like all solid state electronics, LEDs work because they contain magic smoke. If you let the smoke out, they stop working.
    Very true; if you do produce light with an LED by burning it, you get Magic Smoke.

    Which may or may not be related to Chip Weevils.

    But it all comes down to burning = incandescent, not burning = something else.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    An incandescent light is anything that produces light by heat/burning. Your household light bulb has a thin metal filament which electricity flows through causing it to burn, but since it's in a vacuum, there's no flame or smoke, it just glows very brightly.

    Any other type of light uses some other method. An LED uses a diode which moves electrons in and between atoms creating photon, or light, emission. Nothing in the LED burns to produce the light.
    Actually I have been thinking about the difference between an incan and a LED. What you are saying is corresponding to my thoughts: An incan shines because it's hot. A LED can be hot if it shines with enough high power, but doesn't need heat at all to shine.
    This it's an easy example to understand the efficiency of a LED. When the current to the incan bulb isn't enough to make it shining, a LED can still shine quite brightly.

    Also I understand that this is the reason multimodes incans using the same bulb are not to prefer (do they exist?), because the lower modes would be very bad efficiency: to a certain power you have no light at all because the bulb isn't hot enough to provide any light. This will result in a halvening of the power consumption can provide 1/100 of the brightness, or no light at all, to take an example.
    One example from the reality: I tried to put three 1,2V D-cells in the MagCharger and the light was very dim, If I recall correct I measured 1/6 of the light output than with the 6V battery.

    Regards, Patric
    Last edited by Swedpat; 09-18-2009 at 09:15 AM.

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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Quote Originally Posted by Swedpat View Post
    An incan shines because it's hot. A LED can be hot if it shines with enough high power, but doesn't need heat at all to shine.
    Which is why I threw in burning; an incan is technically producing its light because something is burning, whereas the heat from the LED is a byproduct of the light-making process and isn't directly linked/proportionate to the light being made.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Just a bit curiousity:

    I am very interested in physics, and found that it's to a certain extent a likeness between a rocket and a light: if an incan corresponds to a rocket standing upright, a LED corresponds to a rocket placed laid down on a wagon with wheel, for example, on a railway.

    Like the incan will not glow at all as long the current is too low for the given incan, the upright standing rocket will not lift as long the thrust is lower than the weight. The rocket engine may produce miljons of horsepowers but these will be totally spoiled in the same way all the watts of the incan are spoiled.

    The LED then corresponds to the rocket placed laid down on the railway. This will require only some few percents thrust of the rockets weight to make it moving.
    The LED-light output/laid down rocket acceleration will in this case be more related to the power than with the incan-light output/standing rocket acceleration.

    Surely the simile isn't complete, but there are some likenesses...

    Edit: I see that when Kelvin is mentioned it's called degrees Kelvin. When I studied physics at school I learned that Kelvin, contrary to Celsius, are not degrees but just Kelvin.

    Regards, Patric
    Last edited by Swedpat; 09-19-2009 at 08:48 AM.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    an incan is technically producing its light because something is burning...
    I think that statement needs a little qualification. An incan filament is producing light because it is hot, not because it is burning. Not the same thing!

    Burning implies the filament would be consumed in a chemical reaction with oxygen when sufficient heat is applied; but the glass envelope is purposely filled with an inert gas with which the metal filament does not react. It just gets hot. Eventually (after the bulb's rated or re-rated life) the filament will fail, but this will be through metallurgical failure, not burning.
    Resistance is futile...

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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Incans are a thin piece of tungsten wire in a glass or quartz enclosure that glows when really hot.

    LED's are Magic smoke. The new rise in efficiency in LEDs are caused by better anti chip weevil defense systems.

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    Flashaholic* lctorana's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    I think that statement needs a little qualification. An incan filament is producing light because it is hot, not because it is burning. Not the same thing!
    Thank you, fifty-one deutschmarks, this is something that has bugged me on this forum for a long time, but I can now sneak from behind your coat-tails and say this:

    Incandescence and combustion are two entirely different things. As different as electric light is from gaslight, literally. A candle is not incandescent, it is a flame. A filament light bulb is incandescent. A horseshoe glowing red is incandescent.

    The red coals under a fire, on the other hand are emitting BOTH incandescent and combustion light. And lots of IR, but that's another story.

    And light from combustion is still very much useful and with us of course, as with Fusion M8's gaslight.

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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    Burning implies the filament would be consumed in a chemical reaction with oxygen when sufficient heat is applied;
    This is more about how vague the word "burning" is, but yes; it's not actually burning (unless it's no longer in a vacuum), merely glowing.

    And now that we have a series of semantic disputes, it's now officially a nerdy technical thread.


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    Default Re: What is the difference between an incandescent light and a non-incandescent light

    A candle is incandescent in that the light is coming from the hot gas around the wick -- but those are consumed or go off in the air and have to constantly be replenished, unlike a filament in a bulb. A gasoline or gas mantle lamp (like the classic Coleman camping lantern) is incandescent but the mantle is heated by the burning of the fuel instead of electricity.

    Non-incandescent doesn't rely on heat to produce the light, though, although some types require heat to work, such as a supfur lamp which is heated to high temperatures using microwaves, or a limelight which uses a flame to heat a block of lime to incandescent temperature.

    Anything which is heated at all 'incandesces' -- that is it puts out EM radiation -- but it's only called incandescent if it puts out enough visible light to be seen. Your body, trees, and the objects in your house put out infrared, but you can't see that without special equipment, or a camera using infrared film.

    LEDs, neon bulbs, fluorescent lamps, and such produce light from effects other than thermal radiation.
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbody_radiation
    Last edited by bluepilgrim; 09-19-2009 at 10:47 AM. Reason: typo: missing word

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