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What is the purpose of a halogen light bulb?

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2011-09-25 06:47:47

Halogen light bulbs are used because:

  • they can be operated at a higher temperature than can be used

    for ordinary light bulbs.

    This results in less heat production compared to light output

    and an overall much higher efficiency in the conversion of the

    energy which is input - electrical energy - to the energy which is

    output as visible light.


  • they have a significantly longer useful life than ordinary

    incandescent light bulbs.

Technical note

The invention of halogen lamps was based on the discovery of a

special physical feature: when small amounts of a halogen gas were

added to the contents of the light bulb, these were found to help

to return large quantities of evaporated tungsten atoms back to the

filament. This resulted in a significantly longer lifetime of such


General note about how all incandescent filament light bulbs


An electrical current travelling through the filament of a light

bulb makes it glow white-hot and generate both light and heat

because of the electrical resistance of the filament.

The filament is normally mounted within a special mixture of

noble and/or inert gases held inside the glass enclosure of the

light bulb, held at a pressure which is close to a vacuum.

The special mixture of gases prevents the filament from

oxidizing and burning away, which would happen extremely quickly if

it glowed white-hot in normal air which contains oxygen.

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