Regular Lights Vs. Laser Lights

A standard incandescent light bulb
••• Image by, courtesy of Nicki Varkevisser

While regular lights and laser lights both share the characteristic of being a type of light, most of the similarity ends there. They are actually very different.


The typical incandescent light bulb produces a broad spectrum of light, meaning that it puts out the entire visible spectrum of light. This is why these bulbs appear to be white. Lasers put out a specific wavelength of visible light. This wavelength is what dictates a laser's color, as seen by the eye.


An incandescent bulb puts out light in every direction at the same time. This is why it lights entire rooms when on. Lasers emit light in a single, narrow beam, lighting only a small area.


A great percentage of the energy used by a standard light bulb is wasted as heat. Lasers are much more efficient because more of the energy used to create the light is focused in the beam. This is why some lasers can burn or even cut.


Incandescent light is produced by simply running alternating current through an electrically resistant filament. As the filament gets hotter, it begins to glow, emitting visible light. Laser light is produced by electrically exciting atoms until they release energy in the form of a photon, which is what we see.


While there are incandescent bulbs with brightness levels capable of being painful to look at, few except the very brightest can cause permanent eye damage. The intensity of the light produced by a laser beam can permanently blind a person in seconds.

Related Articles

What Are Lumens of Light?
Why Do Fluorescent Lights Flicker?
How Do CO2 Lasers Work?
What Light Bulbs Do Not Emit UV Radiation?
What Are the Different Types of Ballast?
LED Vs. CF Light Bulbs
What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Diode Lasers?
Equivalent Wattage of Fluorescent & Incandescent
The Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on Yeast
How Do LED Lights Work?
Halogen Lights vs. Incandescent
How to Test UV Bulbs
The Use of Phosphorous in Light Bulbs
Why is Quinine Fluorescent?
How is Light Transmitted?
3 Million Candle Power Spot Light Vs. 600 Lumens Spotlight
Lumens Vs. Wattage Vs. Candlepower
How to Convert Incandescent Watts to LED Watts
The Difference Between LED & Diode
What Are the Colors of Neon?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!