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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Electricity on Shabbat

Status of non-incandescent bulbs

Rabbi Chaim Tabasky15 Kislev 5768
Question
I’ve heard it said many times that the use of incandescent bulbs on Shabbat is prohibited from the Torah, because lighting the filament is like building a fire, where as the use of non-incandescent bulbs are prohibited by the Rabbis only because of the prohibition of using electricity on Shabbat. As an electrician, I can tell you that many other types of bulbs also have filaments that heat up. A fluorescent bulb, for instance, has a filament at each end that must heat up to light the gas. How would such a bulb be any different than a regular incandescent? Thank you
Answer
You are certainly correct. Lighting Any bulb with a filament that gets red hot is a Torah prohibition.
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