Halogen Bulbs

halogen headlight bulbHalogen Bulbs are most often used for headlights on vehicles, but can be used for other settings, such as lighting in a work environment. Halogen bulbs fall into the technological description of a charged ion light source, as a tungsten filament is activated by an electrical charge that causes the halogen gas that is contained within the bulb to produce a yellow-white light. In layman's terms, once electricity is applied to the halogen bulb, it heats up in order to produce light. Halogen bulbs are more durable than most incandescent bulbs, and are easier and cheaper to replace than LED bulbs or other forms of lighting. Due to the controlled nature of the halogen within the bulb, the lights do not pose any additional concerns when installed in a vehicle, and can produce up to 5000K worth of light quality. This means that halogen bulbs allow you to see the road without having to worry about a higher price ticket. Here are some of the ins and outs of halogen bulbs, and how they compare to other lighting options, both for vehicles and for more localized sources of light, such as flashlights.


Patented in 1959 by General Electric, halogen bulbs were created to produce a high quality of light using a resilient form of filament that does not darken the surrounding glass as it ages. The original form of the halogen bulb was invented in 1882, before the invention of the hand-held flashlight, but due to the unstable nature of using chlorine as a source for the halogen within the bulb, the form of halogen bulbs we see today were invented almost 75 years later using iodine gas. Halogen bulbs come in two-sided and one-sided forms, with one-sided forms being used most often for headlights due to their focusing ability that allows for a further spread of light. One-sided halogen bulbs work by employing a cone-shaped reflective surface that spreads out into a rounded bulb, much like a diamond. The light is reflected off of the back of the bulb and bounced back towards the glass opening, which allows for an intense focusing of the created light. Two-sided bulbs are most often used as floodlights in construction and other situations that could benefit from a wide spread of unfocused light. Halogen bulbs pose a risk of burns due to the heat produced by them, and as such are not used in many open-bulb situations due to potential dangers. However, iodine-based halogen bulbs have been used for providing intense, focused or dispersed lighting for over 50 years, and are a cost-effective way to light up your work space.

Here is a video discussing how Halogen bulbs are made:


While halogen bulbs are one of the most popular forms of lighting for headlights, they are not without their issues. Halogen bulbs are unable to reach the same level of light production as High Intensity Discharge (HID) or LED lighting options without putting the integrity of the light source at risk. Halogen bulbs are also much more prone to burning out than HID or LED lighting options, lasting on around 300 hours before needing to be replaced compared to the 5,000 hours offered by LED headlights. However, halogen bulbs do not require any complicated replacement processes, and in most cases can be replaced at home following the correct instructions, as halogen bulbs merely slide into place and can be changed in a matter of minutes. While they are not the fanciest of headlight or lighting options, halogen bulbs do provide a large amount of light at a low cost. Halogen lighting can also be used for larger scale flashlights, as well as for construction site lighting, and the popularity of halogen bulbs as a source of light allows for an ease of finding replacement parts, whether on the road or at home. When considering what kind of light to use for your project, make sure to look into the wattage and light production of the lighting source, as well as potential energy use and replacement fees. While LED and HID lighting may last longer than halogen bulbs, on average the cost for replacing a halogen bulb is far less than paying to have HID lighting repaired. Halogen lighting offers options for both focused and dispersed lighting, and does not cause the same blue lighting as LED light options. When looking for a light source within your budget, consider looking into halogen lighting to help illuminate ways to manage your money carefully.