The halogen lamp is also known as a quartz halogen and tungsten halogen
lamp. It is an advanced form of incandescent
lamp. The filament is composed of ductile tungsten and located in
a gas filled bulb just like a standard tungsten bulb, however the gas
in a halogen bulb is at a higher pressure (7-8 ATM). The glass bulb
is made of fused quartz, high-silica glass or aluminosilicate. This
bulb is stronger than standard glass in order to contain the high pressure.
This lamp has been an industry standard for work lights and film/television
lighting due to compact size and high lumen output. The halogen lamp
is being replaced slowly by the white LED array lamp, miniature HID
and fluorescent lamps. Increased efficiency halogens with 30+ lumens
per watt may change sale decline in the future.
credits and sources are located at the bottom of each lighting page
Lamps are small, lightweight
-Low cost to produce
-Does not use mercury like CFLs(fluorescent) or mercury vapor lights
-Better color temperature than standard tungsten (2800-3400 Kelvin),
it is closer to sunlight than the more "orangy" standard tungsten.
-Longer life than a conventional incandescent
-Instant on to full brightness, no warm up time, and it is dimmable
-Extremely hot (easily capable of causing severe burns
if the lamp is touched).
-The lamp is sensitive to oils left by the human skin, if you touch
the bulb with your bare hands the oil left behind will heat up once
the bulb is activated, this oil may cause an imbalance and result in
a rupture of the bulb.
-Explosion, the bulb is capable of blowing and sending hot glass shards
outward. A screen or layer of glass on the outside of the lamp can protect
-Not as efficient as HID lamps (Metal Halide and HPS lamps)
6 minutes. (YouTube must not be blocked on your server
and flash plug-ins required)
per watt: 10 - 35
*Lamp life: 1700 - 2500 hrs
100 (best possible)
*Color Temperature: 2800 - 3400 K
*Warm up time: instant
mm projectors (first use 1960)
Portable work lights
Film/Television Production Lighting
Home Interior Lighting (Smaller Wattage)
Home and Commercial Exterior Lighting (Larger Wattage)
The halogen lamp has a tungsten
filament similar to the standard incandescent lamp, however the lamp
is much smaller for the same wattage, and contains a halogen gas in
the bulb. The halogen is important in that is stops the blackening and
slows the thinning of the tungsten filament. This lengthens the life
of the bulb and allows the tungsten to safely reach higher temperatures
(therefore makes more light). The bulb must be able to stand higher
temperatures so fused quartz is often used instead of normal silica
halogen is a monovalent element
which readily forms negative ions. There are 5 halogens: fluorine, chlorine,
bromine, iodine, and astatine.
Only Iodine and Bromine are used in halogen tungsten lamps.
A.) The lamp is turned on and the filament begins to glow red as more
current passes through it. The temperature rapidly increases. The halogens
boil to a gas at relatively low temperatures: Iodine (184 C) or Bromine
tungsten atoms evaporate off of the filament and deposit on the inside
of the bulb, this blackens normal incandescent lamps. As atoms leave
the filament the filament gets thinner. Eventually the filament breaks
(usually at the ends of the filament). In a halogen tungsten lamp the
tungsten atoms chemically unite with the halogen gas molecules and when
the halogen cools, the tungsten is redeposited back on the filament.
This process is called the halogen cycle.
See the video
below to watch how a standard incandescent blackens.
Variations and Uses
ended halogen bulb (400 Watts)
The halogen bulb
comes in two basic configurations: single and double ended.
The most common halogen lamps are double ended, these generally
are the larger wattage lamps and are used for work lights, yard
lights and film production lamps. The halogen lamp has an instant
'on' ability unlike mercury vapor or high pressure sodium, therefore
they work well for security lamps that are activated by motion
sensors. The life of a halogen lamp is shortened by frequent
on and off cycles.
Filaments in a doubled
ended halogen may be straight or double coiled. All filaments
are coiled to increase brightness, this was a development by
Irving Langmuir in the standard incandescent bulb.
screen is used to protect actors from violent failures at the
end of bulb life (bulb may burst from high pressure)
lamps used for television and film production range from 125-750+ Watts.
The high consumption limits the number of lamps one can plug in to a
standard 15 Amp circuit. Each year LEDs, HMIs, and daylight fluorescents
replace the halogen lamp due to reduced fire hazard (less heat) and
use of halogen lamps which has grown since the mid 1990s has
been home and commercial lighting. The halogen track light is
a popular way to provide quality light to specific areas for
food preparation, paintings/wall hangings, and general mood
lighting. The halogen lamp is fully dimmable unlike compact
fluorescent lamps. The halogen consumes very little energy and
has a longer life when dimmed. Frederick Mosby developed early
halogen fixtures with standard edison screw in bases for use
in the home as early as the mid-1960s.
MR16 lamp (left) is used in many modern track lighting fixtures.
lamp above is a newer halogen used in car headlights. Sylvania has a
product called "Blue Star" which uses a halogen light and
filters it to create a blue color. This creates a poorer color rendition
than standard tungsten. The deregulation of headlights in cars has lead
to more variety in available lamps.
3. Inventors and Developments
Fridrich and Emmet Wiley developed the halogen lamp at General
Electric in Nela Park, Ohio in 1955. Others had tried to build halogen
lamps, however they could not figure out how to stop the blackening
of the lamp. Fridrich figured out that one had to use a small amount
of iodine surrounding the tungsten filament, which would allow it to
burn at elevated temperatures. The early lamps were used and designed
to "bake" paint onto metal using the high heat output of the
double ended halogen lamp was patented in 1959 in Nela Park (Cleveland,
were issued in 1959, and by 1960 the halogen was improved upon by other
engineers so that it was cheaper to produce and market. Since the 1980s
the lamps have been made lighter in weight.
work done before the 1950s includes William
D. Coolidge's work developing ductile tungsten in 1911. This material
is used in many lamp types including the halogen lamp. Irving
Langmuir studied gas filling and doping of tungsten to lengthen
bulb life from 1905 - 1940s.
Elmer Fridrich developed the first halogen tungsten
lamp prototypes with Emmitt Wiley. The first test use of the
lamps were on aircraft wingtip lighting in 1955. The team later
developed the double ended halogen lamp in 1959. Fridrich also
lamp technology in the same period. Fridrich continued to
develop improvements in the lamp until his death in 2010. General
Electric. Nela Park. Cleveland, Ohio
Emmett Wiley worked with Fridrich on the first
halogen lamps. They used Iodine as their halogen. General
Electric. Nela Park. Cleveland, Ohio
Frederick A. Mosby also worked for General Electric
at the research facility at Nela Park. He developed a more efficient
halogen lamp, and adapted the lamp for use in regular lamp sockets.
General Electric. Nela Park. Cleveland, Ohio
Unknown - Philips Engineers at Philips developed
a lamp that used the halogen bromine. This lamp was more efficient
than iodine at the time and became a standard. Philips has a
policy of not releasing the names of its engineers so the truth
about which people deserve the credit may never be known. Philips
are presented in the order of chronological development
by M.Whelan with additional research by Rick DeLair
Please contact us if you are a historian and wish to correct or improve
"At 88, halogen lamp inventor Elmer Fridrich still coming up with
bright ideas" by Roger Mezgar, Cleveland.com
How Halogen Works. www.sylvania.com
The Subdivision of the Light by Unknown
History of Electric Light and Power" by B. Bowers
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