Lamps that produce light as a result of an electrical glow discharge, generated between two electrodes, in a low-pressure neon, argon, krypton, helium, xenon, or carbon dioxide vapor, which is contained in a transparent bulb or tube.
Note that also glow discharge lamps using no neon but one of the other vapors mentioned in the definition are referred to as neon lamps.
Neon lamps are usually not used for general lighting purposes, and therefore only the fundamentals of their working principle and of their properties are described in this encyclopedia.
Working Principle of Glow Discharge Lamps
In a glow discharge, the electrons taking part in the initial discharge are made free by external sources like thermal collisions between atoms, ultraviolet, or cosmic radiation. In a discharge bulb or tube with a gas at very low pressure and a voltage of several hundred volts applied across cold electrodes, the...