Microplate readers require a light source to provide the incident of light directed at the sample. The first lamps used in microplate readers were halogen, tungsten, and deuterium lamps. All of these had to be used in some combination to cover most of the UV to far red spectrum.
BMG LABTECH uses high performance xenon flash lamps in our microplate readers as high energy xenon flash lamps, in contrast, provide a single light source with more energy over a broader spectral range. Thus microplate readers that use xenon flash lamps allow for a larger range of assays at lower concentrations. In addition, since it is a flash lamp and not a continuous wave lamp that can readily burn out, it is has a much longer lifetime.