Photo-ionization Detection (PID)

The Pioneers of PID™

Combining extensive glass fabrication capabilities with proprietary processes, we are pioneers in the development of lamps for photoionization detection (PID). Andrews Glass has gained international recognition for developing the first stable, long-lived glow discharge lamp functioning in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV). This lamp proved to be a more sensitive alternative to flame ionization, as the energy source for ionizing the effluent from a gas chromatograph (GC). We offer a complete selection of superior quality lamps from which to choose including our most popular 108-10.0/10.6 model. Our BTEX lamp is a high output lamp with the stability of our original 108-10.0/10.6 lamps.

We manufacture the world’s most efficient Photoionization Detection (PID) lamp products. Our quality is backed by the most comprehensive warranty offered by any lamp manufacturer and we stand ready to help you or your customers. We have a complete selection of superior quality lamps from which to choose including our most popular 108-10.0/10.6 model. Not long ago, we introduced the BTEX lamp, a high output lamp with the stability of our original 108-10.0/10.6 lamps. We invite you to review our entire Photoionization lamp suite…from the Pioneers of PID…

Manufacturer Model PID Serires
Thermo Electron 580 Series 510 108
Thermo Electron TVA 1000B 510 108
Ol Analytical 4552 510 108
Ol Analytical 4430 510 108
Agilent (See Ol Anal 4430) 510 108
Varian (See Ol Anal 4430) 510 108
SRI 8610C 510 108
Baseline-MOCON 8800PID & 8900 510 108
Photovac PetroPRO 510 108
Photovac 2020 Series 510 108
DPS Instruments 600 Series 510 108
Perkin Elmer AutoSystem XL 510 108
HNU All Models 510 108
SRI Older Models 510 108
Perkin Elmer AutoSystem XL 510 108

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a PID lamp?

A: Photoionization Detector (PID) lamp is a low pressure gas discharge lamp that operates in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) range, detecting the presence of various volatile organics (VOCs) in the environment or in test samples. The VUV sources for the PID are ultra-pure gases sealed into the lamp. A glow discharge excites the natural resonance frequency of the gas filling. This produces spectral emission lines down to the short-wave cutoff of the window material. By proper selection of the gas filling and the window material, the emitted photon energy may be matched to the ionization potential of the VOCs being monitored. These lamps have a very stable output of a predetermined, precise, photon energy. Detection occurs when the VOCs react to a gas that has a higher ionization potential.

Q: What photon energies are available in Scientific Services’ product line from Andrews Glass Co.?

A: The gases selected for the standard product line make available photon energies at the following points: 10.0/10.6eV;. The 10.0/10.6eV lamps are also available in a high output, BTEX version.

Q: How is photon energy emitted by the PID lamp?

A: This energy is emitted primarily from within the capillary tube on the lamp axis in a beam approximately 10 degrees wide at the half power points. These lamps all emit at precise, known wavelengths, making it possible to monitor for specific species by the selection of the gas filling.

Q: Will the PID lamps perform as well in our laboratory?

A: Sensitivity and stability are the two primary areas of PID lamp performance that are most important to GC users and GC instrument manufacturers. We assure the high quality of each individual lamp, by testing each of its components during manufacturing, as well as testing each of our lamps’ performance prior to being shipped to the customer. We also “life test” our lamps as a way of ensuring that the high level of lamp performance, for which our company is noted, is maintained in each of the lamps we produce.

Q: How are your PID lamp life tests conducted?

A: Life tests are conducted under conditions simulating normal PID operation, except that external window contamination is avoided. We measure the photoionization current resulting from passing the VUV beam through ethylene in nitrogen. The lamp is operated continuously at 1ma and 250 degrees C for a period of three months. Data accumulated over the years indicates our guarantee of three months of useful life in these extreme operating conditions is easily met.

Q: Why does the instrument response fall off with use?

A: To remain in calibration, the PID lamp must have a stable output. Our lamps are carefully processed to provide a stable output over a long period. However, inherent in the use of the instrument is the formation of a deposit on the outside of the window, gradually blocking the VUV output. This deposit must be removed periodically to restore the lamp output. This can usually be accomplished by a gentle polishing. We provide a Polishing Kit (P/N 510200 0001) and instructions for this purpose.

Q: Does it hurt the lamp to turn it off when not in use?

A: No, there is no detrimental effect from being turned off and on. Rather, this will prolong the useful life of the lamp.

Q: Does the lamp have a limited shelf life?

A: No, the shelf life is virtually unlimited. However, warranty is limited to three months of operation. The warranty period begins when the product is delivered. See Warranty for details and conditions.


Model 103 and 108 lamps are warranted to perform for 2000 hours (approximately 3 months of continuous usage), (provided normal operation does not exceed 1 ma at 250°C). It is the users responsibility to properly handle and maintain the lamps in order to obtain the warranted level of performance. Required care includes careful cleaning with our cleaning kit, P/N 510200 0001, when deposits form on the window and blocks the VUV output.

Every lamp is tested again before being packed for shipment to insure that it is in excellent operating condition.

If one of our lamps fails to meet your expectations, call us at 800-845-0026 or 856-692-4435 to discuss the problem and if necessary, receive a Return Authorization Number (RAN) to send it for our evaluation.

Any questions on our products or their operation that are not available in our literature will be answered thoroughly and promptly, whether they are received by written inquiry or over the telephone.

We can be contacted at 800-845-0026 or 856-692-4435 or by e-mail at

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