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Xenon in the Entertainment Market

Amanda Moon


April 22, 2019

A xenon lamp is a high-output, high-wattage arc lamp that uses an inert gas (xenon, in this case) to help create intense light. The reason that many people love xenon technology is because it’s one of the very few light sources out there that imitates sunlight with its high color rendering, high output, UV levels, and color temperature. Xenon lamps were in first stages of development in the 1940s, and first produced in the 1950s as part of film projector lamps.



Xenon replaced the carbon arc lamps in several applications. Carbon arcs were two exposed carbon rods, similar to stick welding. There were occasionally fires caused from their open sparks, so moving to the xenon lamps was a lot safer. Xenon was way safer, brighter, came in higher wattages, and you no longer had to change a part during a show, as with carbon arcs. You always had to change a rod during intermission with the carbon arcs.


Carbon Arc Lamp


Xenon Lamp


Xenon technology today is used in followspots, car headlights, projectors, solar simulators, and searchlights. Nothing so far has been able to beat the brightness of xenon, and it’s become an industry staple for years.




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