List of light sources

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A video of atmospheric Lightning, which can be a spectacular source of illumination.

This is a list of sources of light, including both natural and artificial sources, and processes and devices which emit light. The list is oriented towards visible light: most things emit photons through blackbody radiation. Light as in electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye. Its nominally limited to sources of light, as opposed to reflected light but again, most light sources undergo either refraction or reflection before observation. This is a highly generic list, combining light sources from standpoint of human observation, like a light fixture, with specialized physical definitions from the fields of chemistry and physics.


The Sun
Emission nebula and stars
Starry sky crossed with the Milky Way and a shooting star

Celestial and atmospheric light


A bioluminescent fungus

Nuclear/high-energy related

Direct chemical

Electric powered

Color temperature comparison of common electric lamps
Some common electric lamps, with their color temperatures
A 230-volt incandescent light bulb, with E27 (Edison 27 mm) screw base
Filament of an incandescent closeup


Incandescent lamps

Electroluminescent (EL) lamps

Gas discharge lamps

A General Electric NE-34 glow lamp, manufactured circa 1930.

High-intensity discharge lamps



A small fire in a backyard fire pit.
A fire whirl

Combustion-based lamps/sources

19th century American hanging lamp, probably originally intended to burn whale oil.



An operating "fusor"
From space, an entire city emitting light

See also


  1. ^ Goodbye, fluorescent light bulbs: New lighting technology won't flicker, shatter or burn out December 3, 2012

External links

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