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Halogen light bulbs: pros and cons

Updated on April 22, 2013


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Halogen is not exactly synonymous with efficiency, but it is one of the most widely used types of car lighting in the world. Aside from the fact that halogen headlamps have cheap replacement costs, they also consume less energy compared to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Halogen lights only take about 2 to 10 watts of electricity which is also a good option for most electric and hybrid cars. Unlike HID lighting that generates a bluish bright light, halogens produce an impure yellowish white light which is similar to most incandescent glows.

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Halogen lights are ideal for specific fixtures and situations. For example, it is widely used as a light source for libraries and reading rooms. The right amount of light halogens emit reduces the eye strain and provides for a well-lit environment. In addition, halogen bulbs are also a favourite among exhibits wherein artwork, photos, and sculptures must be highlighted. Halogen lighting has a pinpoint focus which is ideal for directing attention to certain fixtures such as those in exhibits.

In terms of its application to driving lights, halogen headlamps have just the right amount of light to provide a wide vision to the driver. Halogens cast a kind of light that is easy to see even in daylight. During the night, halogen lamps can easily brighten the road. While it still produces glare, the brightness is still incomparable to the likes of HID lighting and Xenon driving lights both of which are infamous for their excessively bright luminosity. Glare can easily distract drivers on you opposite direction which can result in fatal road accidents. Also, unlike HID and Xenon head lamps, halogen glare can easily be filtered by adding a shade to the bulb encasement.


One of the main disadvantages of halogen lamps is that it generates excess heat much like incandescent and LED lights. The excess heat has the potential to cause damage to nearby assemblies. In addition, overheating halogens can cause hazardous scenarios. For instance, if moisture sinks in the bulb while in a very hot state, the bulb itself could explode. As such, it is important to immediately replace halogen bulbs if you notice any malfunction in order to avoid unnecessary accidents. The same problem has been around since the introduction of halogens for public use. It caused everything that contacts it to ignite and often result in fire.

As a solution, engineers and car manufacturers are beginning to develop special bulb encasement technology to regulate the temperature of halogen lamps. The filter is also expected to be resistant to moisture that could easily cause explosion if the bulb reaches an ultra-hot temperature. All driving lamps have their own share of flaws, so in the end, choosing the right driving light can really only depend on the driver’s preference.

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