Cooler Than Ever- Halogen IR Bulbs Use Less Energy, Last Longer, Generate Less Heat
by Chris Weber
3 December, 2010 10:15
CFLs and LEDs have generated a lot of attention over the last few years, but they're still not the best fit for every socket. There are some applications, such as those using dimmers, timers, and photo sensors, where halogen bulbs are still the best choice. If you're looking for increased efficiency from these sockets, look no further than halogen infrared.
A quick technical overview: Most filament-based bulbs only generate visible light with approximately 10% of the energy they consume. The other 90% does not generate visible light, most is lost or wasted as infrared energy (heat). Halogen IR (or halogen infrared) bulbs reduce this loss using a coating applied to the inside of the halogen capsule. This coating is designed to redirect some of the infrared energy back to the filament, which results in less additional energy being required to keep the filament hot and producing visible light.
Benefits and Applications: The traditional benefits of halogen apply to halogen IR bulbs: They provide a bright, white light at a higher level of efficiency than incandescent bulbs, and they also have a higher Average Rated Life. The Halogen IR bulb primarily serves to enhance some of these benefits even further. The exact numbers vary by the specific bulb and manufacturer, but an increase in efficiency of up to 33% can be expected when compared to traditional halogens, and Average Rated Life is increased by up to 40% as well. The reduction in heat being emitted from the bulbs can also help to lower air conditioning costs in applications where that is a concern. Halogen IR bulbs can be used anywhere that traditional halogens are currently being used.
Drawbacks: There really aren't many drawbacks to Halogen IR besides initial cost. For most users, this cost will be more than offset by the decreased energy usage and the savings in HVAC costs, but the savings are not as substantial as what is offered by CFL or LED reflectors, so those should definitely be considered for applications where they are suitable. Our Energy Savings Calculator can help you to compare your existing bulbs with any replacements you may be considering.
Conclusion: Halogen IR is definitely an option to consider for any application where you need to stick with a halogen lamp but looking for additional energy savings and life. This is a product that will only become even more important as government regulations continue to require more light from every watt.