Incandescent Lamps Technical Information
In an incandescent lamp, a tungsten filament is heated by an electric current until the filament becomes incandescent or gives off light. The life of a lamp depends on the thickness of the tungsten filament; a thick filament will last longer than a thin one. But a thick filament does not get as hot so it produces less light. That's the trade-off - if you want more life, you get less light and vice-versa.
Halogen lamps are technically incandescent lamps, but they have three features that make them superior to standard incandescents: they are brighter, whiter and last longer. A Halogen lamp has a thin filament. A thin filament produces more light than a thick one. This makes it brighter and whiter. But how does it last longer despite having a thin filament? The Halogen Cycle: in a Halogen lamp the filament is contained within a glass capsule inside the lamp itself. The Halogen gas inside the glass capsule transports the broken down tungsten back to the filament before it has a chance to deposit on the lamp wall, thus replenishing it and keeping the lamp clean and bright. The halogen gas actually regenerates the filament.
Incandescent/Halogen Bulb Shapes
- Letters designate the shape of the glass lamp
- Numbers indicate the diameter of the lamp in eighths of an inch
- For example, "G-40" indicates a globe shaped lamp having a diameter of 40 eighths or 5 inches
Incandescent/Halogen Bulb Bases
Screw bases are made of Aluminum, Brass or Nickel-Plated Brass. Aluminum is the most economical material. Brass and Nickel-Plated Brass bases are corrosion resistant and are used on lamps designed for outdoor use, very long life or in corrosive environments that might cause a lamp to seize in the socket and make replacement difficult
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