Why Is It Hard to Beat Halogen for High Quality Illumination?

Lit Up Halogen Capsule

Heat a metal filament enough and it illuminates… by “incandescence”. Immerse the filament in an inert halogen gas and the filament can get even hotter without breaking. A hotter filament produces brighter and whiter appearing light. The filament also lasts longer. Where quality illumination and affordability are both priorities, it is difficult to beat tungsten halogen for many applications from accent lighting to floods and spots of all shapes and sizes.

Halogen Light Bulbs from Topbulb.com

Now halogen is finding a new calling. THE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SECURITY ACT OF 2007 was signed into law on December 19, 2007. Included is a provision to phase out, starting in 2012, the standard 40 – 100 watt screw based incandescent bulbs. To meet the lumen output equivalent of these old standby bulbs and also meet the strict energy requirements, one option is compact fluorescent. Many people are already in the habit of screwing the familiar spiral CFLs into their lamps and ceiling fixtures. A 100 watt equivalent CFL uses only 13 watts and provides similar light plus 8 to 10 times the rated life. But some can’t find much to love about the CFL. This is where the new halogens come in.

Halogen A-bulbs (they look exactly like what we know so well) can be manufactured to meet the energy efficiency mandates that could doom the traditional 40, 60, 100 watt screw based incandescents we have all been using since Edison. Halogens can’t beat CFLs for energy efficiency (72 watts will deliver the equivalent of 100 watts), but at least it’s a move in the right direction . . . . and, we can still have all the glorious illumination of a tungsten source.

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Dave Burtner

Dave has been active in the lighting industry since 1994. Formerly a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and certified by the National Council On Qualifications for Lighting Professionals, Dave now writes blog posts, lighting tips and provides lighting product assistance for the Topbulb website.