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Lighting is responsible for the consumption of more than 2650 TWh of energy per year, corresponding to about 20 of the global electricity consumption. All the strategies and international policies pushing for the adoption of more efficient light sources are assuming a real important role for energy saving and for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This paper will illustrate technological approaches that can contribute at improving the performance of low-pressure mercury lamps and high-intensity-discharge lamps. Advancements and optimization of materials, such as getters, active amalgams, and starting amalgams, can allow to produce light sources with superior characteristics. Concerning the aspect related to innovative materials, it is worth underlining that many of the fluorescent lamps today available on the market are using advanced technological solutions based on stable mercury compounds for accurate and reliable Hg dosing, down to very low levels.
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2012