This text was written for the early term electrical apprentice or anyone who is interested in the field of lighting and lighting design. It is not intended as a replacement for proper electrical training and only qualified individuals should make any changes to electrical circuits.
In modern electrical lighting systems, we have essentially three basic methods of creating light.
The oldest and most basic type of electric light is the incandescent lamp which consists of a resistive wire that glows with light when heated up by the passing of an electric current through it.
The second method, and arguably the most complex, is Gas Discharge Lighting, which consists of passing an electric current through some sort of gaseous medium to create light. This includes Fluorescent lighting, Low Pressure Sodium lighting, and all High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting. All gas discharge lighting requires a ballast to power the lamp.
The third and most recently developed method is LED’s or Light Emitting Diodes. More energy efficient than previous lighting technologies and improving every day, LED’s will be very popular in future lighting installations.
This textbook will focus on incandescent and LED light sources exclusively, as well as common switches and switching circuits used to control lighting outlets.