Pros of halogen lights
The pure white light halogens emit makes them ideal for certain fixtures and situations.
- For reading and other exacting tasks, the bright light reduces eyestrain.
- For display lighting, where you want to highlight artwork, photos, crystal or architectural features, the white focused light makes colors appear more vibrant. Halogen spotlights allow pinpoint focus. Using standard bulbs for general lighting in the same room heightens the effect of halogens even more.
- For outdoor use, halogen floodlights cast a brighter, easier-to-see-by light. And since they last twice as long as standard bulbs, you won't need to struggle to reach hard-to-access outdoor fixtures as often. They have other benefits too. They're 10 to 20 percent more energy efficient and cheaper to operate. They burn brighter longer (a halogen bulb will still be cranking out 94 percent of its original light output near the end of its life, while a standard bulb diminishes to a measly 82 percent).
- When standard argon-filled bulbs glow, minute amounts of tungsten evaporate from the filament and are deposited as “soot” on the inner shell of the bulb. This burned-off tungsten has two drawbacks: The “soot” gradually reduces light output, and it slowly weakens the filament until it becomes thin and breaks and the bulb “burns out. ”
- Cost: About 50¢ for a 75-watt bulb
- Life span: 750 to 1,250 hours
- Light output: 1,180 lumens for a 75-watt bulb
- Best uses: The best and most affordable all-purpose bulb around. Good for general lighting in bedrooms and other living spaces where you want “soft” light and for fixtures with bulbs that are in the line of sight.
Overview: When and where halogens are worth the extra money
If you're an average homeowner living in the average house, 32 light bulbs will blaze away in your hallway, refrigerator and workshop tonight. The lion's share of those bulbs will be the standard inexpensive incandescent, screw-base type—a bulb based on simple yet ingenious technology that has remained the same throughout its 100-plus year history. But recently, two upstarts have begun challenging this old standby: compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), because of their tremendous efficiency, and halogen bulbs, because of their longevity and brighter, whiter quality of light. For the lowdown on halogen bulbs, read on.
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