Bright, durable, more economical than our good old incandescent bulb, easy to recycle, the halogen lamp that celebrates 55 years this year, is a charming fifties!
What is a halogen bulb?
Let's start with a little technical reminder to better understand how a halogen bulb works and therefore its advantages.
The halogen bulb works on the same principle as the conventional incandescent bulb, the one presented by Edison at the 1881 World Fair: A metallic filament that is incandescent in a glass bulb. Various improvements have been made to obtain more brightness. The carbon has been replaced by a tungsten filament more resistant to heat. But the more the filament heats the more it becomes fragile. It loses metal atoms that will settle on the glass and end up obscuring. Since the 1930s, the glass bulb has been filled with inert gases (krypton or argon) to trap these metal particles: By combining with the gas, they are redeposited directly on the filament. In 1959, EG Zubler, a General Electric chemist, had the good idea to take a more heat-resistant quartz glass and use halogenated high-pressure gases. Thus the tungsten filament raised to a very high temperature produces a brighter light and the halogenated gases by protecting it ensure its longevity.
The best uses of the halogen bulb
If the halogen bulb is very present in our homes is that it has many advantages: A warm light, instant ignition, a life of 2000 to 3000 hours, easy recycling since it does not contain dangerous gases such as compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Because of its beautiful brightness with excellent color rendering you can use it to illuminate all volumes of the kitchen to the dining room through the living room. In the latter, a dimmer will allow you to play on the moods: good brightness for reading, soft light for... what you want! But be careful, using a dimmer can reduce the life of the bulb. See at the end of the article how to overcome this disadvantage.
The diversity of shapes: standard, spherical, flame, linear or pencil, tubular, capsule, with reflector or spot allows to install any type of luminaire. It also finds its place in the garden to illuminate your driveway, your terrace and enjoy the sweet summer evenings. It is also compatible with a presence detector. Whether it's raining, selling, or freezing, it will not let you down, unlike its colleague, the fluocompact, who is cautious and not very resistant to cold.
A little trick to improve the life of a halogen bulb used with a dimmer: Leave the bulb at maximum intensity for a few minutes before reducing with the drive according to your convenience. This "hot shot" will allow the filament to regenerate.