How to replace a halogen light bulb

Updated March 23, 2017

Halogen light bulbs are different from normal incandescent light bulbs both in the way they work, in the materials from which they are constructed, and even in their shape. The "glass" of a halogen light bulb is not made from glass at all---it is made from quartz. The bulbs burn considerably hotter than a normal incandescent light bulb but they also last considerably longer. Also, halogen bulbs are often made in a wider variety of shapes, making them especially useful in modern "arty" lamps. Changing a halogen light bulb is not especially difficult but care must be taken not to touch the bulb at any time with your bare skin, as the oils on your skin can weaken the quartz covering of the bulb and cause the bulb to fail within a short time.

Wear gloves at all times when handling a halogen light bulb. Never touch a halogen light bulb with your bare skin, even when removing the bulb from the package before installing. The oils on your skin will eat into the quartz of the bulb as soon as the bulb gets hot and will drastically shorten the lifespan of the bulb.

Wait for at least 15 minutes before touching a previously-burning halogen light bulb. Halogen bulbs burn extremely hot. If a halogen bulb burns out, you must give it time to cool before touching it, even if you are wearing gloves.

Unscrew the old halogen bulb as you would any light bulb. If you plan to toss the old bulb out, you may unscrew it with your bare hands (provided you have waited a sufficient time for the bulb to cool), but do not touch the new bulb with your bare skin before installing it.

Screw the new halogen bulb into place while wearing gloves as you would any light bulb. Do not touch the bulb with your bare skin at any time.


Do not put a halogen bulb into a device that is not rated for the much hotter bulb or you are risking a fire.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
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About the Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.