Why not to touch halogen glass bulbs

Updated February 21, 2017

Halogen bulbs provide an clean and bright light for several uses, including high intensity reading lamps, spotlights and decorator lighting. But the bulbs should never be touched, whether they are on or off.


Similar to everyday light bulbs, halogen bulbs heat a tungsten filament. But the addition of the halogen gas protects the filament and allows it to much burn hotter, making it dangerous to touch.


Halogen bulbs have higher pressure and thicker glass than regular bulbs. If they break, they can send glass particles flying in all directions.


Halogen lamps can get over 700F in under a minute, whereas standard bulbs usually operate under 300F . Touching a lit halogen bulb can cause an instant severe burn.

Touching When Off

The oils on your fingers can cause a "hot spot" on the bulb that will get hotter than any other part, causing premature bulb failure.

Changing Halogen Bulbs

Never touch the glass of a halogen bulb. When changing the bulb, wear gloves or wrap the bulb in paper or cloth.

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About the Author

Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.