Halogen Bulbs

A halogen bulb is an electric light that falls into the family of incandescent lamps. Incandescent light bulbs typically made up of an airtight enclosure (usually heat resistant glass) containing a tungsten filament and a mixture of inert and halogen gasses.

How do halogens work?

When an electrical current flows through the tungsten filament in a bulb, it burns so hotly that it glows white producing light. Now ordinarily, if this process was conducted outside of the air-tight enclosure, exposed to oxygen the filament would burn out before it got to that temperature. Halogen bulbs work purely because the mixture of gasses inside the glass protects the filament preventing it from burning out quickly.

As the traditional GLS incandescent bulbs are being phased out, halogen light bulbs are the closest equivalent available that produces a similar light output. Although halogen bulbs use 20-30% less energy than their incandescent counterparts, they are still considered the least energy efficient bulb compared similar bulbs.


As we mentioned before halogen bulbs are the least energy efficient of the energy saving bulbs. Despite this, they still have some advantages.

  • Halogen bulbs are the cheapest, but not the most energy efficient energy saving bulb.
  • Halogens reach full brightness as soon as they are switched on. No waiting for warming up as you would with some compact fluorescents.
  • Halogen bulbs are dimmable if used with suitable switches, unlike some LED and CFL lighting.
  • Halogen bulbs generally have a high CRI (colour rendering Index) score. Making them the ideal for colour critical applications.


Even though halogen lamps are good for some applications, there are some downsides.

  • Care must be taken when changing or handling halogen bulbs. If any grease or grime from fingertips makes contact with the glass it can leave a residue. The deposits can cause uneven heating while the bulb is in use, shortening the life expectancy.
  • Halogen bulbs have a much shorter life expectancy compared to other energy saving bulbs. In typical conditions, the life expectancy of a halogen would be around 2,000 hours. With LED bulbs you would expect to see 25,000 hours and CFLs around 10,000.
  • Higher wattages being phased out.


Halogen lamps come in a variety of bases in both Bayonet cap and Edison screw. Ranging from BA15 to B22 for Bayonets and SES to E27 for screw types. Lamps are also available in different wattages, shapes, and luminosities.

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