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Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 830
S
Member
What's your opinion on halogen lamps vs. reflector bulbs. My experience is that the halogens get a whole lot hoter than the reflector bulbs. The halogens are suppose to be more efficient in energy savings, and brighter light of course. My concern is on the effect the heat has on the socket and wiring. I have some track lights I'm getting ready to install in a modular home, and I'm wanting to inform the owner on the best decision. I'm leaning toward the reflector bulbs. I had one customer that refused to have any more halogens. She said she "was talked into it", and obviously didn't like them, and didn't want them again. Looks like the light fixtures that are approved for them though, would be able to take the added heat they give. Just wondering... Steve.

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 132
M
Member
While I don't have any numbers to back it up, I think that the "R" lamps (Relector Bulbs) may put more heat back at the socket. A lot of recessed lights list a 50W max for the R bulbs, and 75W max for PAR. The PAR (Halogen) lamps have a lot more of a reflector near the base, and the actual halogen bulb is encapsulated by the outer reflector, a double walled type of construction. R bulbs are just like "A Lamps" in that there is only the bulb and filament, nothing else. This all said, if the fixture is listed/labeled for PAR and R lamps at the wattage you need, I think you are doing OK. If you want to reduce the energy consumption and heat, use the IR versions of the lamps. These take wasted IR energy (heat) and convert it to light. So, for example, a 37W MR16-IR gives off the same amount of light as a 50W MR16.

Optically, the R lamps give a smoother, less halo'ed beam of light, at ~2700K color temp. Good for general lighting or washing. The PAR lamps are better at focusing the light on something like a painting or sculpture, however, the light they give off has a few scallops and halo rings. Also, the center of beam is much brighter than the edges, even in flood lamps. This makes them a bad choice for general downlighting unless you want the light pool look. A "soft focus" filter can fix this, giving you the best of both worlds.

Probably more than you wanted to know!

Here's some good links on lighting and halogen:
lightingdesignlab.com/articles/halogen/halogen.htm
www.gelighting.com/na/ business_lighting/faqs/halogen.htm


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