Although the bulb market has been booming with new options that are eco-friendly, energy-efficient and affordable, the most luxuriant illumination is still provided from the halogen lamp. New bulb designs from clean spot lights to bold flood lamps continue to bring out the best in both residential and commercial decorative environments.
Learn the basics to make the most of your lamp choices. Most lighting plans incorporate a smartly designed mix of lighting options.
What is halogen lighting?
A type of incandescent lamp filled with halogen gas that provides a whiter light and longer life due to the “Halogen Cycle.”
HALOGEN CYCLE: Switch on the lamp→tungsten particles from the filament evaporate→evaporated tungsten collides with halogen gas→particles chemically bond with the halogen gas→tungsten redeposits back onto the filament and the gas is re-released. This cycle only performs properly when the temperature of the bulb filament is very high and the halogen gas is under the appropriate pressure.
Quartz glass is used to protect against the intense heat, so lamps are sometimes referred to as “Quartz -Halogen.”
Halogen lamps are available in line voltage and low voltage. *
Why we herald the halogen lamp…
- Flattering bright white light
- Long life
- Energy efficient
- Compact size
- Good beam control
- High efficacy: Halogen gas allows lamps to burn more intensely, with a whiter light and a slightly higher efficacy than ordinary incandescent lamps.
- High lumen maintenance: The halogen-cycle redeposits the evaporated tungsten filament, so that blackening is avoided and output is maintained through out the life of the lamp.
What are the drawbacks?
- Costs more than regular incandescent
- They are not as energy-efficient as LED or CFL.
- They do emit a great deal of heat and may not be the best choice in the kitchen where you want to keep additional heat to a minimum.
- It is imperative to follow product safety rules to keep halogen lamps from posing a fire hazard.**
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Halogen lamps provide luxurious illumination. They are designed for decorative home lighting applications where excellent color rendering, color temperature and dimmability are a must.
They continue to be a favorite by interior designers to supply accent, task and general illumination to bring out the best in home décor.
New halogen to try:
- The Times Square New Year’s ball was composed of halogen bulbs from 1999-2006, before being replaced with LED (light emitting diode) lamps.
- Halogen bulbs do not contain any material classified as hazardous waste.
*Incandescent lamps designed to run at 12 volts are increasingly common, especially low voltage halogen lamps, because of their advantages: a smaller filament, permitting more precise beam control, and whiter light. The required transformer is normally part of the fixture, but sometimes it is remote. Because the life of low voltage lamps is dependent on the voltage with which they are operated, the transformer rating and the lamp wattage should be closely matched. Electronic transformers have advantages over magnetic types, especially when incorporated into the fixture: they are smaller, lighter and quieter.
**Important Halogen Safety Standards to Know**
From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Underwriter’s Laboratories:
-Do not place the lamps near curtains and bedding.
-Never put any material (clothing, scarves or towels) on the lamp.
-Do not leave the lamp on when you leave the room or the home.
-Keep the lamp away from children or pets.
-Use only a halogen bulb of 300 watts or less to reduce fire risk.