The Use of Phosphorous in Light Bulbs

Phosphorous is sometimes used in the coating of fluorescent lights.
••• fluorescent lamp image by Valentin Mosichev from

Phosphorus, from the Greek meaning "light-bringer," is an element commonly used in light bulbs. However, it should not be confused with "phosphors," which is instead any substance that exhibits luminescence. Phosphorus, though, is a phosphor and does exhibit this luminescence.

Fluorescent Light

Sometimes, the phosphor coating on the inside of fluorescent lights includes phosphorus in the metallic salt lining the inside of the light bulb. These coatings produce light by having particles of radiation hit the coating from the inside of the tube, causing them to fluoresce.

LED Technology

Blue phosphorus is the most commonly used type of light-emitting diode (LED). To produce white light (as an alternative to fluorescent light), blue phosphorus LEDs are used with energized yellow phosphorus.


There is a lot of speculation that phosphorus is dangerous because it can cause adverse reactions such as kidney damage and osteoporosis if encountered too often. The phosphorus commonly used in these materials either reacts with oxygen quickly or is otherwise rendered inert, making them effectively harmless to humans.

Related Articles

The Effect of Excess Iron in Plants
What Light Bulbs Do Not Emit UV Radiation?
How to Make a Potato Lamp
What Is the Gas Used in Neon Signs that Produces a...
How Does a High Pressure Sodium Ballast Work?
Raw Materials Used in the Manufacture of Electronic...
Important Uses of Sphalerite
LED Vs. CF Light Bulbs
How Does a Potato Clock Work?
Signs of a Chemical Reaction With Steel Wool and Peroxide
Why is Quinine Fluorescent?
What Are the Colors of Neon?
How Do LED Lights Work?
What Elements Glow in the Dark?
Lights That Give Off UV Rays
What Are the Differences Between Bleach and Chlorine?
Difference Between a Halogen & a Halide
What Minerals Are in a Light Bulb?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!