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How Fluorescent Lamps Work

Many offices have fluorescent lamps as a primary source of light. See more green science pictures.
Noel Hendrickson/Photographers Choice RF/Getty Images

You see fluorescent lighting everywhere these days -- in offices, stores, warehouses, street corners... You'll even find fluorescent lamps in peoples' homes. But even though they're all around us, these devices are a total mystery to most people. Just what is going on inside those white tubes?

In this article, we'll find out how fluorescent lamps emit such a bright glow without getting scalding hot like an ordinary light bulb. We'll also find out why fluorescent lamps are more efficient than incandescent lighting, and see how this technology is used in other sorts of lamps.

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