High Intensity Discharge Lamps
Acronym: HID lamps
Definition: gas discharge lamps operating with high power density
More general term: gas discharge lamps
Category: non-laser light sources
Author: Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta
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High intensity discharge lamps (HID lamps) are gas discharge lamps which are operated with a high power density. They are generally made as short-arc lamps, i.e., with a small distance between anode and cathode. Further, they are typically arc lamps, i.e., continuously operating lamps rather than flash lamps. The relatively small light-emitting volume allows for collimation or focusing of the generated light, which is essential for some applications such as searchlamps or projection displays.
Different technologies can be used for such high intensity discharge lamps, for example metal halide lamps, xenon lamps, sodium vapor lamps and mercury vapor lamps. They mainly differ in terms of the used materials in the discharge, but also in other details like electrode materials and shapes, operation voltage and current, shape and material of the envelope (e.g. fused silica or transparent ceramics), etc.
See also: gas discharge lamps, arc lamps, flash lamps, sodium vapor lamps, mercury vapor lamps, metal halide lamps
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