Someone suggested a while ago that it would be interesting to be able to compare the spectral properties of various lamps on here side-by-side. I did line a few up back then, but thanks to the limitations of the spectroscope I was using at the time I just didn't have the resolution available to really show much. Recently however I've upgraded the 'scope with a better diffraction grating and have acquired a camera which handles this type of work better. As such, there are a selection of lamps from my collection shown here. More will be added now and then or if someone gets in touch asking for something specific.
Please note that this page is intended for interest only and really shouldn't be treated as a full scientific reference! The spectra below were captured using a home-made spectroscope made out of an old shipping box, a £2.50 diffraction grating, a couple of craft knife blades and truly unreasonable amounts of duct tape. Being honest though, that bit works very well, it's the camera that is the limiting factor I think.
It struggles particularly with over-loading by the strong mercury green line and the red-orange triphosphor emission band, and is particularly insensitive to the deep violet band so that in some cases seems to disappear somewhat at random unfortunately.
Lamps are arranged roughly alphabetically by manufacturer, grouped by technology type.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps.
General Electric BIAX Electronic Extra Mini FLE15TBX/XM/840.
Impact Colorspiral 15W Green. (Green glass filter).
Impact Colorspiral 15W Yellow. (Yellow glass filter).
Marathon Electronic 11W 827 (2700K).
Megaman Compact 2000 11W Warm White (2700K).
Morrison's Supermarket Own Brand 11W (Warm White) - 2003.
Osram Dulux EL Longlife 11W 41-827 (2700K).
Panasonic EFG15E50R (5000K).
Philips Genie 14W Warm White - 2008.
Philips New Softone 6 Year 12W - 2005. Warm White.
Philips Night Light Energy Saver - 2003. Warm White. Also has an LED output mode but it's too dim to catch with my current camera I'm afraid.
Philips PL E-T Pro 23W Warm White - 2003.
Philips SL*9 Prismatic (2700K).
Philips SL*18 Comfort - 1993. (Warm White).
Philips SL*25 Prismatic - 1984. (Warm White).
Philips Tornado ESaver CDL 865 - 2012 (6500K).
PowerPlus 9W XEU48-9U - 2005 (2700K).
Pro-Lite DayLite SCR-11W Blue Externally Filtered.
This lamp was modified for on-stage use by the original end-user. It started life as a 6400K lamp.
Pro-Lite GU10/7W/FLU/40 (4000K).
Pro-Lite Plus SCR-18 18W Green (unfiltered).
Sylvania Mini Lynx Pastel 11W Apricot.
Sylvania Mini Lynx Pastel 11W Rose.
Tesco FLE20TBXT3/827 10Y - 2011. (2700K).
Unique 9W 6400K.
(Claim's to be a triphosphor lamp...Mr. Spectroscope claims otherwise! See the MOOLIM F4T5D lamp in the linear fluorescent section below - That 4W lamp actually seems brighter as well!)
Linear Fluorescent Lamps.
Ascot Siliconed 40W T12 2' Red. Filtered red tube.
Atlas 15W T12 Warm White - 1975.
Atlas 30W T12 Green.
Cryselco 30W T8 White - 1979.
Duro-Test Power-Twist True-Lite 20W T12. (5000K Estimate).
General Electric Polylux XL F18W/830 - 2010 (3000K).
General Electric Standard F20W/T12 35-535. 2008 (3500K).
Industrial F40T12/DP Display Pink.
MOOLIM F4T5D - Halophosphate Daylight.
These seem to pop up all over the place in battery powered lanterns etc. I seem to have about twenty of them from various sources!
Narva LT 30W/016 Yellow Special. 2008.
Osram Liteguard 40W 2' T12 Daylight. 1981. Approx 4000K.
Philips 2ft 40W White 35 - 1971. 3500K.
Philips F8T5/05 - 2008. (Unfiltered blacklight).
Philips Fluotone F15T8/35 With External Purple Filter.
Philips MCFE 2 Foot 40W/535 White. 3500K. 1991.
Philips MCFE 20W/535 with external "gold" filter. 2009.
Philips TL 8W/35 (with pink external coating). 1988.
(Note that due to the lower output level of this lamp I had to turn up the camera's sensitivity to capture the full spectrum - this results in quite a bit of loss of definition I'm afraid).
Philips TL RS 20W T12/33-640. 2009 (4000K).
Pro-Lite F8T5 4000K.
Sylvania 20W 2' T12 Green. Unfiltered green phosphor.
Sylvania Standard F40W/29-530 Warm White (2900K).
Sylvania Standard F100W-535 - 2010. (3500K).
Thorn 40W Natural - Universal White 25 - 1992.
Thorn 20W T12 2' Pink Coloured Lamp - 1980/90s. Non-filtered pink phosphor.
Tungsram 20W T12 2' Blue Coloured Lamp - 1990s. Non-Filtered blue phosphor.
Unlabelled 1970s F8T5 Daylight (Assumed to be of Philips manufacture based on construction).
Unknown US Made 15W T8 "Cool White" - Estimated to be from 1970s.
Jacksta 40W Induction Lamp (5000K).
Philips QL 85W/830 - 2005 (3000K).
Mercury Vapour Lamps.
Iwasaki Eye R.F.F. 160W PAR38 Self-Ballasted Mercury Reflector Lamp.
Metal Halide Lamps.
Philips MasterColour CDM-R 35W/830 PAR30L 10 Deg
Sodium Vapour Lamps.
Philips SOX-E 18W - 2003.
Philips Master LEDbulb MV 12W 806Lm - 2010 (2700K).
Unknown Manufacturer - Blue LED MR16 Retrofit (Discrete 5mm LED based).
Crompton Fireglow 60W.
Kingston Green 60W.
Luxina MR16C 12V 50W Dichroic Purple.
Osram Active 60W - 2005. Slightly blue tinted lamp.
Pro-Lite True Colour EXT-P 12V 50W Dichroic Lilac.
Pro-Lite True Colour FTC-P 12V 20W Dichroic Blue.
(No...the cutoff in the blue is not a camera artefact nor is it a scaling error - the blue/purple band on this lamp is actually filtered strangely...)
Tesco Value 60W Pearl.
Here's our basic "reference" for the incandescent section. A bog standard 60W incandescent lamp.
This page last updated:
11th June 2023: Minor changes to background page code and formatting tweaks to improve readability on mobile devices.