Download the optical (light) microscope

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Illumination System.
A variety of light sources for optical microscopy are available.
 The low-voltage tungsten filament lamp used primarily with bench
microscopes has adequate intensity for observation, but not for
photography. Altering the current to the bulb controls light intensity.
 Carbon-arc illumination systems, once common on metallographs,
have been replaced by arc or filament light sources.
 The xenon-arc light source is prevalent because of its high intensity
and daylight colour characteristics. Light intensity, however, can be
adjusted only by the use of neutral-density filters.
 Tungsten-halogen filament lamps are also widely used for their high
intensity and high colour temperature. Light intensity can be
controlled by varying the current or by use of neutral-density filters.
 Other light sources, such as the zirconium-arc, sodium-arc, quartziodine, or mercury-vapor lamps, are less common.