CNET Smart Home
Let's smash some light bulbs and look insideEver wonder how different kinds of light bulbs work? Enjoy gratuitous, slow-mo footage of things getting obliterated with a hammer? You've come to the right video.
Hey, I'm CNET light bulb guy and today we're gonna be taking an inside look at how different kinds of light bulbs actually operate. What do I mean by inside look. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] up first is this incandescent light bulb that I just obliterated. Its the classic light bulb by Thomas Edison and it works by way of a tungsten filament inside the bulb. Tungsten is a very dense robust chemical element and when electricity passes through it, it gets really hot. Are really bright, putting out the light that you get from a light bulb. The problem there is that a lot of electrical energy get's release as heat, not light. The tungsten filament call handle it because it so robust. But it doesn't make for a terribly efficient process. That brings right to our next bulb, that halogen. Halogens are basically the same thing as incandescent's but they have a Trick inside to help bump the efficiency up. Let's take a look closer look. [NOISE] Now, see the filament? It's enclosed in this little chamber. At least it was before I smashed it. There we go. Enclosed in this little chamber that's filled with gas usually bromine or iodine. That gas helps to recycle the [UNKNOWN] back onto the philiment and then extend the lifespan and help it put out more light using less energy. Now if you want something even more efficient you might consider a compact fluorescent light bulb. Like this one here. Now compact fluorescents are filled with a mix of kind of harmful fluorescent gasses. You don't want to inhale. So forgive me for taking a little bit of extra precautions here. Now they work because the electricity coming in excites mercury vapor inside of the bulb, and that in turn emits light. That process called fluorescence is what makes ESL's more efficient than incandescent's or halogens. But enough talk, lets smash this damn thing. [SOUND] Now, CFL bulbs are never see-through because they come with a special phosphorescent coating on the inside of the bulb. That white powder you see is basically the same stuff. It's a mix of rare earth Metals. It adds in the fluorescent process and helps the bulb emit the right amount of light. When you clean it up, you're gonna wanna sweep everything you can into a sealable container, like this one. And then ideally drop that off at your local recycling or waste management center. And don't use a vacuum. You want to sweep as much up as you can by hand first and then vacuum. If you have to, that way you avoid kicking things up into the air unnecessarily. Now if all this scenes are way too much of a hassle for you, then consider an LED bulb like this one. It's a much more efficient options than that DFL, and it doesn't contain any mercury either. Now LED is usually made of plastic, and that's a little more durable than other kinds of bulbs, but fortunately for us we've got one here that's made out of glass. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. And the diodes in question are these little yellow guys inside the bulb right here. They're actually little junctions of two nodes. When electricity passes through it jumps from one node to the other and that releases light in a process called For [INAUDIBLE]. It's dramatically more efficient than the bulbs of Thomas Edison. And though it costs a lot more up front, it'll save you a lot more over the long run. Thanks for watching us smash some light bulbs. Hope you learned something. For more about light bulbs, including our LED reviews, and even a handy buying guide, check us out at cnet.com/smart-home. [MUSIC]