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Interview-questions-of-Illumination
What is stroboscopic effect ?
What do you mean by stroboscopic effect? How is this effect eliminated in fluorescent
tube lighting?

All gas discharge lamps operated on a 50 Hz alternating current supply are really
flickering off and on 100 times per second. In normal conditions, the human eye does
not notice the fact. But when a moving object like rotating parts of machinery is
followed, at the certain speed it may appear to be stationary or moving in series of jerks
or rotating slowly than its actual speed. This effect of producing an illusion of reality is
known as the stroboscopic effect and this is obviously a possible source of danger in
factories, machine shops etc.

In fluorescent tube lighting the stroboscopic effect can be eliminated either by using a
three lamp unit in which each lamp is connected to a separate phase of a 3 phase, 4
wire supply or by using a two-lamp unit in single phase supply each having its own choke
but there is only one condenser connected in series with one of the lamps.

Why is the power factor of tube circuit low and what is the value of the power factor?

Due to the presence of inductive choke the power factor of the tube lamp is about 0.50.

What is the starting and running current of the fluorescent tube ?

0.55 A and 0.37 A for 20 W, 0.65 A and 0.43 A for 40W, 1.00 A and 0.67 A for 65 W & 1.3
A and 0.87 A for 80 W respectively.

What are the available sizes of fluorescent tubes ?

38 cm (15”) for 14 watts, 46 cm (18”) for 15 W, 61 cm (2”) for 20 W, 100 cm (3’- 37/8 “)
for 25 W, 122 cm (4’) for 40 W,125 cm (5’)for 65 W and 125 cm (5’) for 80 W.
What is a fluorescent tube ?

When the fluorescent tube is switched on almost full supply voltage is applied to the
starter. The potential across bimetallic electrodes of the starter causes a small glow
discharge at a small current not enough to heat up the tube filaments. This discharge is
enough to heat the bimetallic strips of the starter itself causing them to bend and make
contact. As a result, the large current flows through the electrodes their temperature
being raised to incandescence and the gas in the immediate neighborhood inside the
tube gets ionized. At the same time when the contacts of the starter are closed
potential difference across it is reduced to zero. After two or three seconds glow
discharge inside the starter stops and the bimetallic strips cool down which breaks the
contacts apart. This sudden break induces a very high voltage in the coke connected in
series due to its inertia effect and it is sufficient to initiate the discharge in the main
tube light. When the fluorescent tube is alight, current passes through the tube which
offers a very low resistance. The voltage across the tube is about 110 volts and rest of
the supply voltage of about 110 volts is dropped in the choke. Due to the low voltage,
the starter ceases to glow. Starters are so designed that this potential difference across
the lamp in running condition is insufficient to restart the glow discharge in the starter.
So the contacts remain open, thus the tube is put in operation.

Why is a condenser connected in parallel with the starter of a fluorescent tube ?


To suppress the radio interference a condenser of about 0.05 μF capacity is connected
in parallel with the starter.

Why is a resistance connected in series with the radio suppressor condenser?

A resistance of about 100 ohms is connected in series with the radio suppressor
condenser to check the condenser surges so as to prevent the starter contacts welding
together.

Why is a condenser connected across the supply line in fluorescent tube circuit?

To improve the power factor a condenser is connected across the supply line. The size of
the condenser should be 3.25μF for 40 watt and 7.5 μF for 80 watt lamps.

Is the choke necessary for tube light working in d.c. circuit ?

Yes, the choke is necessary to create the voltage impulse at the time of starting.

Why is an extra variable resistance connected in series with the chock on d.c. supply ?

As there is no effect of inductance on d.c. supply an extra variable resistance is


connected in series with the choke to increase the effective resistance to absorb the
difference between the mains voltage and the correct lamp voltage during running.

Why is a reversing switch used for fluorescent tube light in d.c. circuit ?

A reversing switch is used to reverse the current at intervals to prevent the blackening
of the tube at positive end due to migration of the mercury from the positive end to the
negative end of the tube.

Which lamp will give more of incandescent lamp and fluorescent tube light for the
same wattage?

Fluorescent tube light.

Why are fluorescent lamps most commonly used?

Fluorescent lamps are most commonly used due to its following advantages over other
light sources :-
(a)Increased efficiency, (b) Longer life of lamp, (c) Gives illumination in a variety of
colours, (d) Gives glare or glitter free light, (e) High lighting intensities are achieved
without excessive temperature rise, (f) Gives diffused and shadow light, (g) Gives more
comfortable illumination and (h) Through initial cost is more it is economical.

Why is light efficiency high in fluorescent tube lights ?

The light efficiency in fluorescent tube light is high because the invisible radiation is
converted into visible radiation with the action of phosphor coating inside the tube
which reduces the loss light energy.

What is a gas discharge lamp


?
What do you know about the working of a gas discharge lamp ?

A gas discharge lamp consists of a transparent gas discharge enclosure containing a


small quantity of gas or vapour at a low pressure and two electrodes provided for
connecting the lamp to the supply mains. When the electrodes establish a potential
difference, the gas gets ionized. Consequently, an electrical current flows and a
luminous discharge is obtained from the excited atom of gas.

What is the basic principle of gas discharge lamp ?

Ionisation of gas.

Why are gas discharge lamps preferred to incandescent lamps ?

Gas discharge lamps are preferred to incandescent lamps due to higher efficiency,
longer life, the better color of lighting and uniform intensity of light.

What are the demerits of a gas discharge lamp ?

(a) High initial cost, (b) Low power factor, (c) Complicated starting requires choke to give
voltage surge and to limit the current, (d) Condenser is required to improve power
factor, (e) Full brilliancy comes after a considerable time, (f) These can not be used in
any position,(g) Light output fluctuates producing stroboscopic effect & (h) Multiple
images are formed on the moving objects.

What do you mean by hot cathodes and cold cathodes ?

In discharge lamps cathodes emitting electrons by heat are termed as hot cathodes and
where no heating is employed they are called as cold cathodes.

What is Carbon arc lamp ?


How does an arc lamp work ?

In an arc lamp a current flows between two electrodes which are drawn apart resulting
an arc being struck in between them. The arc maintains the current and becomes very
efficient source of light.

What are the forms of arc lamps ?

Carbon arc, flame arc and magnetite arc the forms of arc lamps of which the carbon arc
lamp is most usual form.

What do you know about carbon arc lamp ?

Carbon arc lamps have electrodes of hard carbon placed and to end and connected to a
d.c. source. When the current flows through them the ends of carbon rods become
incandescent due to high resistance. If they are pulled slightly apart about 2-3 cm
distance an arc will be formed between two carbon rods producing white light. The arc
consists of carbon vapour surrounded by an orange red zero of burning carbon and pale
green flames. The arc is maintained by the transfer of carbon particles from positive
carbon rod to negative one. It is necessary to maintain the carbons at a constant
distance apart otherwise there will be decrease in illumination due to burning of
positive carbon. The luminous efficiency of carbon arc lamp is about 9 lumens per watt.

What are the main applications of carbon arc lamps ?

Cinema projectors and search lights.


What is the working voltage across d.c. arc lamp ?

About 45 Volts.

Can we use arc lamp on a.c supply and what is its working voltage ?

Arc lamp can be used on a.c. supply at its working voltage of about 55 volts.

What is carbon filament lamp


?
In this type of lamp the filament is made of carbon. The melting point of carbon is
3500℃ but its working temperature should not exceed 1800℃ because at high
temperature it starts disintegrating and blackens the inside of the bulb. Its temperature
Co-efficient is negative. So the resistance decreases at high temperature and taken
more current resulting high power consumption. The efficiency of this lamp is low of
about 4 lumens per watt. It gives yellowish light. It is generally used for heating
purposes and to create a voltage drop for example in battery charging but not for
lighting purpose.The approximate life of this lamp is about 800-900 hours.

What is a halogen lamp ?


Halogen lamp is the latest member in the family of incandescent lamp possessing
numerous advantages over the ordinary incandescent lamp. Halogens area group
consisting of the elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine. The life and efficiency
of an ordinary incandescent lamp are affected by the gradual evaporation of tungsten
and also its operating temperature. The addition of a small amount of any halogen
vapour to the argon gas filing of a lamp has the effect that under certain conditions the
metal evaporated from the tungsten filament on reaching the relatively low
temperature near the wall of the envelope forms a compound of tungsten halogen and
being very voltage tungsten halogen suffers from thermal diffusion in the direction of
filament and on reaching the filament at high temperature it decomposes into the
tungsten and halogen. In this way the evaporated tungsten is returned back and
restored to the filament by means of a chemical reaction. Halogen therefore works as a
transport gas. This regenerative cycle maintains the interior of the bulb in a clean
condition without depositing any metal vapor on the wall. The action requires a higher
bulb temperature of about 250℃ that can be withstood by the glass. Therefore a
relatively expensive material quality is chosen as the envelope material and its size is
kept very small in which high gas filling pressure in made possible. This gives long life of
about 2000 hours to the lamp with higher light output of about 22-23 lumens/watt.

Halogen lamps are made in the standard wattage of 300 W, 500 W, 600 W, 1000 W,
1500 W & 2000 W but sometimes these are made upto 5 kW. These lamps are suitable
for outdoor illumination of buildings, sports grounds, parks, air ports, fountains etc. and
also used in public halls, sports halls, factories, photo film, T.V. studios, overhead
projectors, car lighting, signaling etc.

What is an electric lamp and


incandescent lamp ?
What is an electric lamp?

An electric lamp is a gllas bulb, often filled with nitrogen or some other chemically
inactive gas containing a wire or filament usually made of tungsten in which the passage
of an electric current through the filament heats it to a white heat and then to the
visible radiation i.e. light.

What are the types of lamps ?

There are types of lamps for producing light by electricity. Incandescent lamp, b) Electric
arc lamp and c) Gas discharge lamp.

What do you mean by incandescent lamp ?

The incandescent or filament type consists of a file metallic wire of high resistance
known as filament enclosed in an evacuated glass globe. When the electric current
passes through the filament, heat is produced and the temperature of the filament
increases. At high temperature, it radiates heat as well as light energy thereby
producing electric lights by incandescence of a heated filament.

What are the types of incandescent lamps?

The two types of incandescent lamps are - (a) Metal filament lamps & (b) Carbon
filament lamps.

What should be the properties of metal as a filament in the incandescent lamp ?

It should have high melting point, low vapour pressure, high resistivity and low-
temperature coefficient. It should be ductile and mechanically very strong to withstand
vibrations during normal use.

Which materials are used for the filament of the incandescent lamps ?

Tungsten, Tantalum and Carbon.

Which material is mostly used for the filament of incandescent lamps and why ?

Tungsten is widely used for the filament of the incandescent lamp due to its high-
temperature co-efficient, high melting point, low vapour pressure, ductility and good
mechanical strength.

What are the melting point and working temperature of the tungsten filament?

Melting point is 3400°C and working temperature is about 2000°C.

What are the types of filaments normally used?

(a) Straight wire type, (b) Coiled type and (c) Coiled-coil type.

Why are the modern incandescent lamps made of coiled filament?

The causes are as follows :-

1. Coiled coil filament is mechanically stronger.


2. It can operate at high temperature.
3. It gives greater output.
4. It gives greater efficiency.
On which principle does the incandescent lamp work?

Incandescent lamp works by the heating effect of electricity.

What are specular reflection


and diffuse reflection and
glare ?
What is Specular reflection ?

Specular reflection means the reflection on some in the form of a beam of light but not
scattered. In this reflection unless the eye is placed in the path of the reflected beam
the viewer is unaware of the existence of light.

Diffuse reflection means the reflection of light energy in the scattered form in all
direction. In this reflection the viewer can see the illuminated surface but not the light
source.

What is glare ?

Glare means the brightness within the field of vision of such a character as to cause
annoyance, discomfort, interference with vision or eye fatigue.

What is polar curve of a lamp ?

A polar curve is a convenient way of showing how the candle power of a lamp varies in
different directions. Polar curves are used to determine the M.H.C.P.,M.S.C.P. and the
actual illumination of a surface by employing the candle power in the particular
direction.

Why does uniformly distributed light not come from any practical type of lamp ?

Due to its unsymmetrical shape.

How are hard and long shadows avoided ?


Hard and long shadows are avoided by(a) using large numbers of small luminaires
mounted over a minimum height of 2.5 metres, (2) using wide surface sources of light
by using diffusing globe over filament lamp or by using indirect lighting system.

What do you mean by brightness and its unit ?

The flux emitted per unit area of the source in a direction at right angles to the surface is
known as brightness. Its unit is candles / m2 or candles / 〖cm〗2 or candles / 〖ft〗2.

What is depreciation factor ?

It is the ratio of illumination under normal condition of old installation to the


illumination under ideal condition of new installation.

What are the laws of


illumination ?
What are the laws of illumination ?

i) Illumination is directly proportional to the luminous intensity of the source.


ii) Inverse square law – The illumination of a surface receiving its flux from a point
source is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the surface and
the source.
iii) Lambert’s cosine law – The illumination of a surface at any point is proportional to
the cosine of the angle between the normal at the point and the direction of the
luminous flux.

W hat are the characteristics of good illumination ?

1. The light should not strike directly the eyes.


2. The type and size of the lamp should be correct.
3. Proper location should be made.
4. Reflecting equipment should be suitable for purpose.
5. Hard and long shadows should be avoided.

What are the factors which affect the correct illumination ?


(a) Nature of the work, (b) Architectual design, (c) Surroundings, (d) nature of light and
(e) Maintenance.

What are the factors to be considered in the design of a lighting scheme ?

The factors are as follows:


i) Illumination level,
ii) Glare,
iii) Shadow,
iv) Space height ratio,
v) Mounting height of the lamp,
vi) Area to be illuminated,
vii) Colour of surrounding walls,
viii) Movement of the object,
ix) Utilization factor and
x) Depreciation factor.

What are the advantages of correct illumination ?

(a) Production factor increases, (b) Accident decreases, (c) Wastage of products
decreases.

What is direct lighting, semi


direct lighting, semi
indirect lighting ?
What do you mean by direct lighting?

In this lighting scheme the light does not reach the surface directly from the source,
maximum light is thrown upwards to the ceiling from which it is distributed all over the
room by diffused reflection. The glare being reduced the resulting illumination becomes
softer. It is used for decoration purposes in cinemas, theaters, and hotels etc. and in
workshops where large machines and other obstructions would cause troublesome
shadows if direct lighting is employed.

What do you mean by semi-direct lighting?

In this lighting scheme the total light flux is made to fall downwards directly with the
help of semi-direct reflector on the working surface and also to illuminate the ceilings
and walls. It is best suited to rooms with high ceilings where a high level of uniformly
distributed illumination is desirable.

What do you mean semi-indirect lighting?

In this lighting scheme the light comes partly from the ceiling by diffused reflection and
party direct from the source on the working surface. As it is glare free with soft shadows
it is mainly used for indoor light decoration purposes.

What do you mean by general lighting?

In this lighting scheme lamps made of diffusing glass are employed which give almost
equal distribution of light in all direction.

What do you mean by local lighting?

Local lighting means an intense illumination on some particular points by means of


adjustable fittings. In this lighting scheme lamps are mounted in deep reflectors to avoid
glare.

What do you mean by specular reflection and diffuse reflection?

Specular reflection means the reflection on some in the form of a beam of light but not
scattered. In this reflection, unless the eye is placed in the path of the reflected beam
the viewer is unaware of the existence of light.
Diffuse reflection means the reflection of light energy in the scattered form in all
direction. In this reflection, the viewer can see the illuminated surface but not the light
source.
What is light,luminous flux,
illumination ?
What is light?

Light is a form of energy, which is radiated by heated bodies. The light is the part of the
radiant energy which produces a sensation (of light) on the human eye.

What is luminous flux ?

Luminous flux is the light energy radiated per second from a luminous body in the form
of light waves. It is measured in lumen.

What is lumen ?

Lumen is the unit of luminous flux which is equal to the flux emitted per unit solid angle
from a uniform source of one candle power.
1 lumen = 0.0016 watt (approx).

What is luminous intensity ?

Luminous flux emitted by the sources per unit solid angle in any particular direction is
known as the luminous intensity.

What is illumination ?

The luminous flux falling per unit area on a surface is known as illumination and is
expressed in Lumen/m2.

What is a standard candle ?

A standard candle is that weighs 1/6 pound of pure spermaceti wax and burning at the
rate of 120 grains per hour i.e. 7.776 grams per hour.

What is a standard candle power ?


The light coming out from a standard candle used as the unit of illuminating power of a
lighting source is called standard candle power.

What are foot-candle and metre-candle ?

Foot candle or Lumen per square foot is defined as the illumination produced on the
inner surface of a hollow sphere of a hollow sphere of radius one foot by a point surface
at the center of intensity of one candela.
Metre-candle or Lux (Lumen/m^2) is defined as the illumination produced on the inner
surface of a hollow sphere of radius one meter by a point surface at the center of
uniform intensity of one candela.

What will be the total flux emitted by a source of 60 candle power ?

Total flux = (4 π × total candle power) Lumens = ( 4 × 3.1421 × 60) Lumens = 754.2
Lumens

What do you mean by M.H.C.P ?

Mean Horizontal Candle Power ( M.H.C.P) is the mean of the candle powers in all
directions in the horizontal plane passing through the source of light.