Electrical Repairs

Are Halogen Lights Safe



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Learn about the dangers of Halogen lights

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Halogen light bulbs are a form of incandescent light bulb technology. The bulbs look like traditional light bulbs and are filled with halogen gas that helps extend the lifespan of the light bulb. While safe for normal use, there are some dangers associated with this type of light bulb technology.


You can identify a Halogen light bulb in a few ways. One way to identify the light bulb is to check the packaging when you purchase the bulb as it should be labeled as a Halogen bulb. If you do not have the packaging you can identify the bulb itself by the thickness of the glass.
The glass of the bulb is thicker than traditional incandescent light bulbs due to increased heat generation. Also Halogen bulbs come in different shapes and sizes but many have two pin like connectors that extend from the base which is how they connect to a light fixture.


Heat


Halogen bulbs run far hotter than other types of bulbs. In fact a 300w Halogen bulb can get as hot as 970 degrees F. This poses a number of dangers when using this type of bulb. One risk is that these bulbs can cause a fire hazard. Lamp shades, drapes, or other materials nearby or over the bulb can become heated and potentially burn or catch fire. Another risk is that they are extremely hot to the touch. Bulbs placed in areas where people or animals will come in close contact with the bulb risk being bumped into. This can cause burns to the skin or discomfort.


Risk of Explosion


Any type of light bulb can explode or burst if installed into a fixture that exceeds the maximum wattage of the light bulb. Halogen light bulbs are no exception. Halogen bulbs should be checked for maximum wattage and placed into appropriate light fixtures only. The oils from a person's skin can also weaken the glass bulb which over time can cause the bulb to burn out or explode. You should avoid handling the bulb and never touch the bulb when it is turned on or has been recently on. This is due to the risk of burning and the added risk of weakening the glass structure of the bulb.
Stability Issues


Some Halogen light bulbs are larger and their fixtures may be larger than traditional light fixtures. The design of the fixture may alter the center of gravity of the lamp stand or fixture increasing the risk of the lamp being top heavy. This is especially true with tall lamps with skinny bases. To avoid them tipping over due to vibrations or being brushed against, the lamp fixtures should be secured to the floor or wall.


Other Dangers

Halogen light bulbs can cause combustible fumes and materials nearby to catch fire from the heat they generate. No combustible liquids or materials should be placed in the same area as a Halogen lamp. Also due to their high temperatures these bulbs should never be left turned on and unattended. This is especially true for homes that have pets that could potentially knock the light fixture over.


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