Ceravision – Another Electrodeless Plasma Source


I just learned about a company called Ceravision – they’ve created a type of plasma lamp which uses microwaves to bring the metal halides in the lamp to the plasma phase.  Cool!  Another plasma lamp creator on the market!  I wonder what this is going to do to the automated lighting and architectural spectrum of fixtures?  Competition breeds innovation, and Luxim has been getting some unbelievable reviews lately.

Ceravision’s products seem to have a very wide range of operating wattages – from 50W to 5KW.  The microwave generator they have designed uses several different compounds for several different wattages.  I am intrigued by this, and I really want to get more information on this technology.  Check out power options:

Gallium Arsenide microwave power transistors between 50W and 400W
Gallium Nitride microwave power transistors between 50W and 400W
LD Mos Silicon microwave power transistors between 50W and 400W
Magnetron microwave power tubes between 100W and 5KW

There is a basic explanation on their site about the plasma technology.  The first paragraph gives you the direction their technology goes – they call their lamp a “burner” and claim a high CRI and CCT.  The burner is electrodeless.

Microwave energy at a frequency of 2.4 GHz is focused into a small transparent glass ampoule (called a Burner) containing a noble gas at low pressure and microgramme quantities of selected metal halide salts. The microwave energy focused into the waveguide containing the burner forms an electric field ionizing the noble gas molecules to rapidly form a gas plasma within the glass ampoule, the plasma begins to vaporize the metal halide salts present. The plasma and metal halide salts combine to emit light, this technique provides the ability to produce a broad spectral emission using simple chemical compounds. This molecular excitation is a unique feature of the technology and allows us to deliver the world’s first mercury-free High Intensity Discharge lamp that can deliver white light of exceptional purity (a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) measurement of 97 being achievable), and which also meets all current and projected regulations for control of radio frequency emission from any part of the system.


I’ve got an inquiry into Ceravision – hopefully I’ll hear something soon so I can post.  I also have the first of my podcasts coming up – an interview with Tony McGettican of Luxim and Gil Densham of Cast Lighting – the WYSIWYG folks.  These are fun interviews – the Chris Kuroda interviews just fired me off in the right direction, because I really enjoy conducting these things and getting to talk one-on-one with creators.

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  1. Hi Jim,

    The description you post above indicates that CeraVision is focusing on microwave energy at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. Any thoughts on how this compares to Luxim in terms of quality, cost, etc.?

    • Hi Jeff!

      I’m still looking through the photometric data between the two sources – the CRI factor is stunning on both sources, isn’t it? I’m analyzing data – I will report back as soon as I finish. Let me know if you come up with something first!

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