Carbon Arc

Carbon Arc lighting was the first ever form of Electric Light, first being demonstrated in 1802, developed by Sir Humphrey Davey, more famous for his miners safety lamp.

When Sir Humphrey first experimented with electrodes of carbon struck together then seperated, he noticed the light emitting discharge followed an arch shape as covection currents swept the plasma up, he called it the Arch Lamp, later shortened in common use to Arc Lamp.

Carbon Arc light sources can still be found in some cinema projection systems more than 200 years after their first demonstration.

Xenon arc lamps have largely replaced carbon arc in projectors, xenon shares carbons advantage of very small source size, allowing more of the light to be gathered by the reflector.

Xenon `searchlights` , brand names including Skytracker are popular outdoor advertising and event attraction devices.

For maximum effect original WWII Carbon Arc Searchlights are still available and give an effect unlike anything else.

Xenon `Skytracker` heads typically range from 2kW to 7kW with a 24" reflector, General Electric Carbon Arc Searchlights have a 60" reflector and consume 17kW.

Carbon arc is not gone yet.