Lighting is a global industry supplying a wide array of devices and systems that emit light ranging from incandescent lamps to light emitting diodes to electric discharge lamps. Electric discharge lamps are the most familiar plasma devices to most people. This work focuses on plasma light sources, some advances in this area and recent trends.Plasma light sources fall into two broad categories, namely low pressure and high pressure. The low-pressure lamps operate in the range of 40 to 500 Pa while the high-pressure lamps operate in the range of 0.1 to 15 MPa. The corresponding electron temperatures are about 1eV and 0.5 eV for the low and high-pressure lamps respectively. High-pressure lamps are treated under the assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium wherein the gas temperature is equilibrated with the electron temperature. They are often called high intensity discharge lamps because of their intrinsically high radiance. Within these two broad categories are many subgroups, perhaps the most important being mercury and non-mercury containing lamps. An example of a low pressure, mercury-containing lamp is the ubiquitous fluorescent lamp. Attempts to improve the efficiency of these lamps center around inductive excitation techniques and two-photon phosphor development. The plasma research on mercury-free low-pressure lamps is focused on finding substitutes for a mercury-rare gas discharge. Several ultraviolet emitting candidates have been explored which emit both UV and visible. Longer wavelength UV is of interest because of the parallel development of phosphors mated with LED excitation wavelengths around 380nm. Several examples will be discussed. There have been major advances in high intensity discharge lamps with and without mercury. Mercury containing metal halide lamps are now being fabricated from translucent ceramic envelopes instead of the conventional vitreous silica. The higher temperature tolerant envelope materials permit using discharges in vapors hitherto unacceptable because of chemical reactions. Temperature driven chemical reactions (which affect lamp life, starting and stability) are better understood. Lamps are better designed with finite element thermal modeling and thermodynamic computational tools. Improved understanding of molecular processes in the energy transport within the plasma has opened possibilities for new types of light sources relying heavily on molecular emission. Examples of lamps containing sulfur, indium, thallium and rare earth halides will be discussed. General trends in plasma based light source have been towards lower wattage, directed visible output, high quality visible output, longer life and mercury-free lamps. Consumer demand for high tech, high performance lighting devices has broadened the use of HID lamps in automobiles, video/data display and medical/technical applications. Short arc gap lamps (1mm) with a luminance exceeding that of the sun's surface (1600cd/mm2 -as observed from earth), and operating with extreme line broadening lead the video projection market. Low wattage HID lamps coupled with tailored optics can direct the light output more precisely leading to reduced light pollution and better system throughput. Tailoring of the driving electrical waveforms have enabled stable operation, controlled the effects of species segregation and improved lamp life and performance.