A high intensity discharge lamp without mercury is disclosed radiating a selected spectrum of which can be almost entirely in the visible range from an envelope that contains a sulfur containing substance. The lamp utilizes a signal source that generates an excitation signal that is externally coupled to the exterior surface of the envelope to excite the enclosed sulfur containing substance. Various embodiments of the lamp use electrodes adjacent the envelope to couple the excitation signal thereto with the face of the electrodes shaped to complement the shape of the exterior surface of the envelope. Two shapes discussed are spherical and cylindrical. To minimize filamentary discharges each envelope may include an elongated stem affixed to the exterior thereof whereby a rotational subsystem spins the envelope. In yet another embodiment the envelope has a Dewar configuration with two electrodes, one positioned near the external curved side surface of the body, and a second to the inner surface of the hole through the envelope. Further, the envelope may contain a backfill of a selected inert gas to assist in the excitation of lamp with that backfill at a pressure of less than 1 atmosphere, wherein the backfill pressure is directly related to the increase or decrease of peak output and inversely related to the increase and decrease of the emitted spectrum from the envelope. The emitting fill can be less than 6 mg/cc, or at least 2 mg/cc of the envelope of a sulfur containing substance.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the U. S. Department of Energy and the Regents of the University of California, for the operation of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.