Halogen Bulb Guide
If you have spent any time shopping for different kinds of light bulbs for your home or workspace, you have likely come across the halogen bulb. Though not as common as traditional incandescent or LED bulbs, halogen bulbs are still commonly used and widely available for purchase both online and off. That said, there is still a lot of confusion about how halogen bulbs work, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as how they compare to other kinds of lightbulbs. Fortunately, in today’s comprehensive guide on halogen bulbs, we will put all of this confusion to rest!
What Is A Halogen Bulb?
A halogen bulb is a type of incandescent bulb that uses halogen gas to improve overall light output. Halogen can be composed of various elements on the periodic table, including fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine. Traditional incandescent bulbs are often filled with argon gas, which is comparatively more useful, as it helps prevent the bulb filament from decaying as quickly or using as much energy.
Alternatively, most halogen bulb types have the opposite effect. Halogen light bulbs are designed to produce more light than standard bulbs, which often means that the filaments burn more energy. For this reason, the halogen lightbulb is not quite as popular as more modern options like LED, which are generally safer and far more energy-efficient.
Do Halogen Bulbs Get Hot?
In short, yes; halogen bulbs are known for getting very hot. So, why do halogen bulbs get so hot? The halogen gas used to produce light helps maximize the illumination of each bulb. By default, incandescent bulbs of all kinds create heat. Thus, amplifying the power of the light also means that more heat is created in halogen bulbs.
If you are careful with your halogen bulbs and do not touch them while they are on, the additional heat should not be too much of an issue. However, halogen bulbs do get hot enough that they can start fires if they come into contact with flammable materials, like fabric curtains or drapes. In fact, many house fires have started due to halogen lamps that have fallen over or somehow come into contact with foreign objects.
How hot do halogen bulbs get? Unfortunately, the answer can be a little alarming. A 300-watt light bulb can reach temperatures at or above 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Naturally, most people would not be using such high wattage, but this is still an extremely high and dangerous temperature. To put these numbers into perspective, a standard incandescent light bulb of the same wattage would reach temperatures of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit — less than one-third of the temperatures you could expect from a comparable halogen bulb.
Fortunately, most halogen bulbs designed for regular consumer use have much lower wattages, and therefore lower temperatures. However, even a 30-watt halogen bulb can still produce temperatures that can cause burns to the skin or start a fire if allowed to stay in prolonged contact with flammable material. This means that you need to ensure that you are very careful when installing, replacing, and maintaining halogen bulbs in your home.
How Long Do Halogen Bulbs Last?
As previously mentioned, halogen bulbs are designed to get the most light out of each filament. This results in lifespans that are far shorter than more modern LED bulbs. On average, halogen bulbs last for about 2,000 hours, while LED bulbs can last for as much as 25,000 hours. However, it is also important to consider that traditional incandescent light bulbs only last between 750 and 1,000 hours. In short, halogen bulbs certainly do not have the longest lifespan, but they do not have the shortest lifespan either.
Are Halogen Bulbs Dimmable?
Yes, like most types of consumer bulbs, halogen bulbs can be dimmed. In order to use halogen bulbs in this way, you will have to get a dimming system installed. Ideally, you should get a system that has a higher wattage rating than the wattage of your bulbs. This way, as the halogen lights age and near the end of their lifespan, they will not suddenly burn out if you turn the dimmer all the way up.
Halogen Bulbs Vs LED
Halogen bulbs are often seen as an outdated predecessor to modern LED bulbs, which is why many consumers want to find a halogen bulb LED replacement. However, this doesn’t mean that you should completely discount using halogen bulbs. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types. So, let’s take a closer look at halogen vs LED to see how they compare:
- Energy Use - LED bulbs are known for their energy efficiency, while halogen bulbs are not. On average, LED bulbs use up to 80% less energy than halogen bulbs, which means that you can save a lot of money on your energy bill by using LED bulbs.
- Illumination - Generally speaking, LED bulbs produce more light than halogen bulbs. Even a low-wattage LED bulb (10 watts) can be comparable in overall illumination to a higher-wattage halogen bulb (50 watts).
- Price - Halogen bulbs are far cheaper than LED bulbs. Depending on the wattage, manufacturer, and vendor, you can spend about half as much on a comparable halogen bulb. However, you will need to keep in mind that halogen bulbs need to be replaced far more often and they use up more energy, so the initial price tag can be misleading.
- Lifespan - As previously mentioned, most halogen bulbs last for about 2,000 hours while LED bulbs can last about 12x longer. This means you would need to replace your halogen bulbs once every year or two, while you could use the same LED bulb for anywhere between 5 and 15 years.
- Safety - While LED light fixtures produce some heat, the bulbs themselves produce no heat. Alternatively, halogen bulbs get extremely hot, making them a potential fire hazard in the home or office. In either case, neither type of bulb contains toxic chemicals, which means that they will not pose a direct risk to you, your family, or your pets.
How To Dispose Of Halogen Bulbs
Since halogen bulbs do not contain toxic chemicals, they can be disposed of like most other types of bulbs. Many people consider recycling halogen bulbs, however, most recycling centers in the United States will not process burned-out bulbs. For this reason, it is better and easier to simply throw away halogen light bulbs.
Assuming that you have a light bulb that still functions, you should skip any proper disposal of halogen light bulbs and find a donation center in your area. That said, it is not a very common situation to donate partially-used lightbulbs. Instead, it is more common to use them until the filament burns out, and then think about proper halogen light bulb disposal.
Since incandescent, LED, and halogen bulbs cannot be recycled, most of them end up in landfills. For this reason, incandescent and halogen bulbs are far worse for the environment. Not only do they use more energy than LED bulbs, but they also have to be replaced far more often, resulting in millions more bulbs in landfills every year. So, if you want to save money on your energy bill and take a more environmentally-friendly approach to lighting your home or business, LED bulbs are definitely better than halogen bulbs or other incandescent alternatives.
We hope you found this guide on halogen light bulbs both fun and informative! Are you interested in learning more about halogen light bulbs? Are you ready to purchase high-quality halogen bulbs at affordable prices? If so, be sure to check out the products available at Bulb Center today!