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Technology Close-Up

Photonics Spectra
Jul 2001
Xenon: A 'Bright' Choice for Machine Illumination

Dave Jacobsen and Patricia Katzman

What do inspection machines, camera strobes, airplanes, operating rooms, lasers, extraterrestrials and Broadway stages have in common? They need high-intensity lighting. Xenon lamps have found their way into all of these applications -- except maybe for extraterrestrials -- because of their brightness, wide spectral distribution, color balance and long-lived light.

ABCs of xenon lamps

Xenon lamps are either continuous-wave (CW) or strobe systems. The CW lamps are desirable for machine vision applications that require uninterrupted light and a good color balance. Xenon strobes, or flashlamps, produce short-duration pulses of high-intensity light...

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