We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to test a halogen bulb

Updated April 17, 2017

Halogen bulbs are made up of a combination of halogen gas and tungsten filament, which produces a chemical reaction. Halogen bulbs operate at a higher temperature than standard incandescent light bulbs and offer higher luminous efficiency. Because halogen bulbs are different from regular incandescent bulbs, there are a few things to remember and watch for when testing or troubleshooting a bulb.

Loading ...
  1. Wait until a bulb has been on for a couple minutes to see its full potential and luminosity. Halogen bulbs take longer than regular light bulbs to reach the temperature needed for the chemicals inside of them to work. For this reason, it is not suitable to use a halogen bulb for lighting a closet, refrigerator or any other light that is only on momentarily.

  2. Refrain from touching the bulb with bare skin. Contaminants and residue from fingerprints can create a hot spot on the surface of the bulb. The localised heat will cause the quartz to change into a crystalline form that leaks gas. The strains from the gas can cause the light to crack and explode. If you do accidentally touch a bulb, clean the surface with a rag or tissue soaked with alcohol and rinse with water.

  3. Look for any bubbling effects on the bulb. Bubbles are indicative of contaminants that have already damaged the bulb. If the light continues to operate, the bubbles will form cracks and the light may explode. It is best to replace the bulb as soon as possible.

  4. Inspect the colour of the bulb when the light is off. If the bulb is old or of low quality, it will exhibit a smoky black or dark grey colour instead of the correct white or light grey colour. A dark smoky colour will usually indicates an old bulb in need of replacing. A lighter smoky appearance usually indicates that there is cracking in the bulb.

  5. Tip

    Check if the halogen bulb you are using is actually a halogen capsule placed inside a glass outer bulb. Bulbs such as the Philips "Halogena" or Sylvania "Capsylite" use a capsule-based bulb inside a bulb. You may touch these types of bulbs with bare skin without any ill effects.

Loading ...

About the Author

Jayme Richards has been writing since 2005, and also works in radio. His writing has been published in a variety of university newspapers, such as "The Uniter" and "The Projector." Richards has a diploma in creative communications from Red River College in Winnipeg and a joint degree in communications from the University of Winnipeg.

Loading ...