No matter how defiant, unruly and chaotic humans are, we always have to give in to the laws of nature. Lighting stands as a pillar to this testimony. For years we’ve been trying to perfection the art of lighting; creating light sources which try to mimic the properties of the sun, and even through our diagnosis of its properties we are still unable to make that which feels oh so perfect. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t come a long way in this endeavour. There are many options for artificial lighting, but not all of them do justice to your eyes. These are the lighting sources you can use at home which won’t do much damage to them:
Okay, maybe this isn’t the most modern lighting system, but it’s always been a pretty good lighting source. Sconce is a type of lighting fixture which use only walls as a support. The light radiates upward but not always; it can be integrated with down-lighting as well. They’re mostly used in corridors or hallways but I don’t see a reason why they can’t be used in large spaces within apartments. Plus if the objective is purely for lighting and not implementation (an artist would like to draw in specific lighting conditions, which is his implementation), then it’s only a matter of choosing the right type of light source and inserting it in the sconce. If positioned the right way, a lot of energy and lighting space can be saved using a sconce.
Fluorescent lamps are basically mercury vapour discharge lamps. Fluorescent lamps create a wide range of luminosity and their light efficacy is several times more than that of incandescent lamps. They were more popular in the past though because several other lighting systems came along which were more efficient. While it has the advantages of luminous efficacy, long life (10000 hours of lighting), lower luminance and heat producing capability, it also suffers from major drawbacks like environmental changes, UV emissions and safety issues. Probably not the best way to go in terms of interior lighting but they’re still popular in the classic 1900’s architecture.
Halogen is a form of incandescent lighting (producing electricity through a wire filament) which uses a small amount of Halogen. Halogen lighting has a wide variety of uses such as cooking, specialized lighting, stage lighting, architectural, automotive and household lighting. Halogen lights respond directly to the input voltage to a factor of 3, which means that if a halogen bulb is operating at 7% more than its rated voltage, it will produce 21 % more light. They radiate a constant amount of light throughout their lifespans but the only major issue would be the heating aspect since it concentrates the voltage on a much smaller surface than with other lighting sources. Disposal isn’t an issue either as it doesn’t contain any mercury. Hence if you want to light your house with a constant source of light but don’t have too many fluctuations in voltage, this is the perfect light for you, but beware that it’s not a form of specialized lighting and modifications cannot be made to the light source.
CFLs were initially designed to replace incandescent bulbs, but have more recently been substituted as energy saving lamps. According to statistics, CFLs consume anywhere between one-third to one-fifth the energy of normal light sources. CFLs can be classified into integrated and non-integrated lamps. While the integrated ones combine the tube and ballast in a single unit, the non-integrated ones contain a separate unit for the same, the difference being integrated units can easily replace incandescent bulbs whereas non-integrated ones cannot. While they can last ten times as long as any other bulb, they also cost three times more. Plus, traces of mercury have prompted environmentalists to speak out against them. But the effects of these factors have yet to be documented in depth and as far as we know, they are not particularly harmful. If you’ve never tried a CFL (which according to me provides much better luminosity than incandescent bulbs), give it a go and see if it works for you.
Neon lamps are tiny gas discharge lamps which contains a mixture of gases (primarily neon) at low pressures and a couple of electrodes. Neon lights diffuse a mild amount of light, which makes them ideal for mood lighting. Adding a coat of phosphorous to the bulb provides access to a wide range of colours. Also, changing the Neon to Argon, Krypton or Xenon inherently provides a colour change. While Neon glows a sober orange, the other gases cause a bluish, reddish or greenish effect. Usually Neon lights are used where the wavelengths can be of some use, like in imaging arrays. But the most prolific use of Neon lights would have to be in the field of art, architecture and technology. Neon lights are especially powerful when it comes to colour modulation and helps designers and decorators colour their homes/offices and art-forms with a variety of colours. So if you consider yourself a designer or don’t mind tampering with colours to get the best possible results, Neon lights are your thing.
Probably the most widely used lighting source, LEDs provide a functionality beyond any other light forms. Made of two-lead semiconductors, LEDs can offer variation in a range of colours as well as intensity/luminosity. Nick Holonyak, while working at General Electricals in 1962, made a break through when he reported the first visible-spectrum (red) LED. Ever since, LEDs have been implemented in thousands of applications like Televisions, Alert Systems, Indicators, etc. They are highly effective, provide over 15,000 hours of working time, respond instantaneously, are resistant to shock and deliver significantly less carbon emissions. However, they are expensive to install at first, are dependent on temperature, voltage and current. But by far, LEDs show the most promise in both the lighting and eye-care department because of its customizability and elephant life. LEDs are the ideal light source for both home and outdoor applications.