A halogen lamp is an incandescent lamp that houses a tungsten filament contained with an inert gas and a small amount of a halogen such as iodine or bromine. Halogen and Zenon technologies allow you to get more light from fewer watts, but they are still rather energy-inefficient. Although a 100-watt Halogen provides about 250 watts of incandescent equivalent light, the bulb still requires 100 Watts -- whereas a fluorescent would only need to be about 60 -75 Watts (although such a high wattage CFL is not made.) The benefit to Halogens and Zenons are that they are small in size compared to incandescents or fluorescents. Zenon bulbs are also significantly more efficient than halogens, as they operate at a lower temperature and maintain a better quality of light. Halogen Energy Savers (from Philips) are uniquely designed to provide the same crisp, white halogen light as standard halogen bulbs, but they use much less energy. When using Halogen or Zenon bulbs, the best option is usually to choose low-voltage systems that operate at 12 volts as opposed to the standard 120 volts seen in regular incandescent light bulbs.
When it comes to energy efficiency, the easiest way to start cutting down your monthly bill is through your home’s lighting. By making simple changes to the types of bulbs you’re using, you can be more eco-friendly while saving yourself a pretty penny. Due to all the changes the green lighting industry has undergone in just the last few years, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the options that are available. But fear not – if you’re looking for some insight into the wealth of green lighting alternatives available today, this handy guide will give you the basic foundation you need to upgrade your bulbs and reap the financial and environmental benefits of energy-efficient lighting!
SOME IMPORTANT LIGHTING TERMS
Watt: This unit measures the power that is needed for a certain application – for instance you need 100 watts to run a 100 watt light bulb. Technically, this is defined as the amount of Joules per second.
Volts: A unit of measure that expresses how many electrons flow through a given circuit. For example, if you compare this concept to the water in pipes, it is equal to the water pressure, or more specifically, how fast or slow the water is flowing. Generally speaking, the US standard for homes is 110 Volts but in Europe it is 220 volts.
Lumens: These units are used to measure the power of light that is perceived by the human eye. These measurements are intended to gauge the varying sensitivity of the human eye to different wavelengths of light,
Kelvin: This unit is used to measure temperature. In relation to lighting it is the most important number to look at to determine the color of fluorescents and LEDs. The lower the Kelvin temperature the warmer the color of the light, and the higher the temperature the more blue and cool the light is.