Shedding Light On Halogen Lights And Bulbs

Thursday, September 14, 2006

There are 32 light fixtures blazing away in an average American household. These are the lights in your fridge, hallway, workshop, and porch. Most of these light bulbs are cheap two-for-a-dollar incandescent, screw-type bulbs. This is remarkable because the incandescent bulbs have been around for over a century using the same technology. Although these bulbs still suffice for the lighting needs of the average household, people have become discriminating and looked for other options. Popular choices for many households are halogen lights and bulbs. They are preferred over the incandescent varieties because they emit light that are of whiter and brighter nature. Also, these halogen lights and bulbs generally last longer than ordinary incandescent lights.

How do these halogen lights and bulbs differ from the incandescent lights? Their difference primarily lies on the principles governing their functions. Incandescent lights work by having electricity flow through a fine filament of tungsten inside the bulb filled with argon gas. This action causes the filament to resist the electric flow, which makes the argon gas heat up. The heat causes the argon gas to glow and emit light. Miniscule tungsten particles evaporate and accumulate on bulb walls as soot. As the tungsten burns out, the filament grows weak and ultimately, burn out. There are key disadvantages to this process. First, the soot reduces light emission, resulting in duller light output. Second, the soot weakens the tungsten filament and makes it brittle, hence, promoting faster burnout. Given these problems, incandescent lights are best suited for low traffic areas where soft lighting are better appreciated like the bedrooms.

The function of halogen lights are similar to those of incandescent bulbs, but with key structural differences. Halogen lights and bulbs are composed of peanut-sized and pressurized bulbs inside larger outer shells. The inner bulbs are halogen chambers. The halogen from these bulbs direct the evaporating tungsten to the filaments. As a result, the tungsten filament is constantly rebuilt. Decreased outer shell soot maintains bright light output. The rebuilding of the tungsten filament also makes the halogen lights last longer. The brighter and whiter light of the halogen bulbs make them suitable for high-traffic areas like hallways, living spaces, and work areas.

Because of these qualities, halogen lights and bulbs are preferable in most situations. There are several benefits from using halogen lights. Halogen lights are perfect for exacting tasks that require focus like reading or woodworking. Bright lighting reduces risks of eye strain and eye problems. Mistakes are also lessened because everything is put under clearer focus. Halogen lights are also best for display purposes. Bright light highlights artworks, crystals, and photos perfectly by making the colors and features stand out vibrantly. Halogen floodlights are suitable for outdoor lighting because they illuminate places with brighter light. Generally, halogen bulbs are cheaper than the standard incandescent because they eliminate the need for frequent replacements.

However, halogen lights and bulbs heat up quickly. As such, they must be installed in higher places or in built-in recesses. Their bright lights, while beneficial, must be shaded to prevent eye problems. Halogen lights and bulbs are not perfect, but with proper installation and correct use, they can serve homeowners longer and better.

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