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5 Advantages and disadvantages of Incandescent bulb or light

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Incandescent bulb or light. It mentions Incandescent bulb advantages and Incandescent bulb disadvantages.

Incandescent bulb or lamp is a light with wire filament which is heated to such high temperature so that it glows by producing visible light i.e. incandescence. When electric current is passed through the filament, it gets heated. The glass bulb is filled with inert gas in order to protect filament from oxidation. The figure-1 below depicts AC volt incandescent bulb.

Incandescent Bulb

The basic working principle behind incandescent bulbs is the incandescense which means "glowing with heat". Let us understand how it works.
• Filament : The central component of an incandescent bulb is a thin wire filament, typically made of tungsten. Tungsten is preferred as it has higher melting point, which allows it to become extremely hot without melting.
• Glass Bulb : The filament is housed inside a glass bulb filled with an inert gas such as argon or krypton. This gas helps prevent the filament from oxidizing at high temperature it reaches when the bulb is lit.
• Electrical current : When you turn ON the light switch, an electrical current flows through the filament, encountering resistance, which generates heat.
• Incandescence : As the filament heats up to several thousand degrees celsius, it begins to glow, emitting visible light. The color of the light produced depends on the temperature of the filament, with higher temperatures resulting in whiter or bluer light.

Advantages of Incandescent Bulb

Following are the 5 advantages of Incandescent Bulb :
1. It is less expensive due to lower initial cost.
2. It is easier to dim with rheostats.
3. It produces warmer color compare to fluorescent and thungsten-halogen lamps.
4. It generates relatively high light output.
5. It can be dimmed or controlled.
6. It is easy to install.
7. It is available in various shapes, sizes and applications.
8. It can be switched ON immediately.

Disadvantages of Incandescent Bulb

Following are the 5 disadvantages of Incandescent Bulb :
1. It is energy inefficient.
2. It has very short lamp life time i.e. about 1000 hours typically.
3. It is warm source of light and hence requires air conditioning to cool the room.
4. It has higher operating cost.
5. It is very fragile and hence needs to be handled very carefully.
6. It generates low lumen per watt. Ordinary incandescent bulbs produces about 5 to 20 lumens per watt. This means it has lower efficacy.

Conclusion : In summary, the advantages of Incandescent bulbs are having warm and pleasing light quality. Moreover they are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and purchase and provide instant light when switched on and can be dimmed easily to create different levels of illumination.

Some of the disadvantages are higher energy inefficiency, wastage of significant electricity as heat rather than producing light etc. Moreover they have shorter lifespan compared to more modern lighting technologies like LEDs and CFLs, which can result in frequent replacements and higher long-term costs. Additionally, incandescent bulbs contribute to higher energy bills and increased carbon emissions due to their inefficiency, making them less environmentally friendly compared to alternative lighting options.

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