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The talk provides a brief overview of the history of gas discharge lamps together with important properties of light sources. The talk concentrates on two gas discharge lighting, namely, fluorescent lamps and HID lamps. Fluorescent lamps are low pressure discharges with small amounts of mercury vapor. High pressure mercury lamps are the first HID lamps. Addition of metal halide salts results in lamps of high efficacy and excellent color rendition. The talk concludes with a summary of efforts to find alternatives for mercury in both fluorescent and HID lamps.