Induction lighting is an energy-efficient solution that shares the same lighting principle as fluorescent — producing light using electrical ballast by exciting mercury and generating energy where it slowly reacts with inert gases like argon and krypton. Although induction and fluorescent lighting work somewhat the same, induction lamps are emitting high-quality light without the constant buzzing associated with their counterparts.
Induction lamps don’t have electrodes or filaments, the items that frequently cause other bulbs to burn out quickly. As a result, induction lighting systems can have an extremely long life of up to 100,000 hours. As such, this light source is widely used for industrial and commercial applications such as high-bay warehouse lighting, factory and roadway lighting.
Some of the Benefits of Induction Lighting
Although fluorescent lighting fixtures last relatively longer than other types of lighting, the bulbs burn out quickly as a result of the long term effect of constantly switching on and off the bulb. With induction lamps, they light up slowly thus lasting longer.
- Increased durability due to lack of electrodes and having sealed tube
- Highest lumen per watt makes it energy efficient
- Reduced heat unlike other bulbs
- No flickering
- Ideal for both indoor and outdoor application depending on the type of fixture you choose
However, like any other product out there, induction lighting has its drawbacks and they include.
- Expensive than other light sources
- Under commercialization of induction lighting technology
- Electromagnetic interference on induction lamps
- Some fixtures are large and bulky, requiring additional support during for safe installation and mounting
When it comes to choosing an induction lamp for your lighting project, it’s important to understand the different types available. There several commercial and residential induction lamps and knowing their differences can help you choose the right for your lighting needs.
1. External Magnetic Induction Lamp
This one features an electromagnet – induction coil, mounted around the bulb or tube, and a metal coil which is covered with a soft rubber-like material to prevent the ring from touching the glass tube.
The induction ballast produces high-frequency energy which is transferred to the electromagnet where a strong magnetic field is generated to excite solid amalgam mercury inside the exhaust tube.
On standard high-intensity discharge or fluorescent light, the mercury cools and collects on the ends of the tube. This affects the quality of the light produced since not all mercury vaporizes get to react with inert gas for luminance. For external induction lamps, this issue has been addressed by bringing the inductor close to the tube, causing the magnetic field from the ballast to excite the mercury more easily.
Depending on the size of the lamp, some induction light fixtures are designed with two inductors to ensure the magnetic field reaches the mercury.
2. Internal Induction Lamp
This one has the electromagnet fitted inside of the glass tube and it’s mostly suitable for household indoor lighting because of their relatively small size. However, small induction lamps are more likely to burn out because of the low-cost induction ballast.
3. High Efficiency Plasma (HEP)
The induction technology is constantly evolving and now there is a new version of induction lamps, known as the high-efficiency plasma and it has can reach an efficacy of up to 90 lumens per watt.
HEP induction lamps work on the same principles as other induction lamps, but instead of inducing electromagnetic current into a vaporizes mercury, HEPs generate atmospheric microwave plasma from a mixture of inert gases like argon and krypton and metal halides salts.
The microwaves work like magnetic fields to excite the electrons inside the gas, which splits to produces photons inside the lamp, producing high-intensity light. Due to its high efficiency, HEP is ideally suitable for commercial and industrial light applications.
4. Sulfur Plasma Induction Lamp
This is yet another new technology in induction lighting that uses microwave radiation to excite a mixture of vaporized sulfur and argon to produce a brightly glowing plasma capable of illuminating.
Most of sulfur plasma lamps require a cooling fan since they operate at a higher temperature than other induction lights.
The success of induction lightning is attributed to the increased need for more efficient light sources and as the technology advances, better products will be introduced into the market to cater to different lighting needs.