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Halogen Lights Dangerous?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by W. Watson, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    I told my wife I was going to buy a halogen desk lamp, and she protested that they
    are dangerous. I asked her why, and she didn't really know. Maybe something she read.
    I also mentioned that I already have one on my desk. Too small for this desk, that's
    why I want another one. BTW, what's the story on power consumption and illumination?
    Better, worse than incadescent lights?
    --
    Wayne T. Watson (Watson Adventures, Prop., Nevada City, CA)
    (121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
    Obz Site: 39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet

    Web Page: <home.earthlink.net/~mtnviews>
     
  2. Randy Day

    Randy Day Guest

    IIRC they run much hotter than incandescents;
    the only danger is if the lamp gets knocked over
    and the element contacts something flammable, or
    if little fingers poke though the protective
    cage...
     
  3. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest


    Halogens *ARE* incandescents. The main difference is the operating
    temperature - Halogens run MUCH hotter than a "regular" bulb. They're
    also usually much "tougher" - in that they're harder to break - than a
    standard incandescent, which makes knocking them over somewhat more
    dangerous than a regular bulb - regular bulb is likely to pop on impact,
    which will cause it to go out in a blaze of glory, PROBABLY (but by no
    means certainly) without starting a fire. A halogen, with its tougher
    bulb and higher operating temperature, is likely to survive being tipped
    over without breaking, and continue to work, with the result that it
    could start a fire where an "normal" lamp would have just done a "pop -
    fzzzt! Game over" thing.

    Certain halogen fixtures (notably, the "torchiere" style) are a problem,
    as the "open end" is up, which allows flammable "stuff" (dust, hairs,
    paper scraps, and whatnot) to collect on and around the bulb, leading to
    a fire hazard even without it being tipped over. Fixtures like a desk
    lamp, where the open end is (usually) pointed down, don't have this
    problem - they don't act as a "funnel" to concentrate and dump flammable
    stuff on/around the bulb.

    Otherwise, halogens are no more or less dangerous than a regular
    incandescent - both have the potential to burn your house down around
    your ears, but with reasonable precautions, pretty much identical for
    both types, neither is likely to do so.
     
  4. Gareth

    Gareth Guest

    Halogen lamps give off UV radiation, and UV can cause skin cancer. I
    seem to remember there was small scare about this a few years ago. I
    expect that is what your wife is thinking of.

    There is some more information here:

    http://www.promolux.com/english/mr16.html

    Gareth
    --
     
  5. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    Thanks. I'm planning on buying a popular type. Can't recall the brand. I see about 20
    models of them at our local Staples store. Tripod? Something like that. I have a
    small halogen lamp on my desk, and I just looked to see who made it. China. No other
    clue. Looks just like one at Staples, but even that may not be the Tripod. Well, when
    my wife gets into the picture, there's no telling what line of reasoning she'll come
    up with. :) Then there's the instance of me wanting to put a padlock on an outdoor
    power panel ...

    --
    Wayne T. Watson (Watson Adventures, Prop., Nevada City, CA)
    (121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
    Obz Site: 39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet

    Web Page: <home.earthlink.net/~mtnviews>
     
  6. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Guest

    Skip the halogen, they are dangerous if you have a kid around, they love to
    touch everything on the desk, check out the "natural" light lamps, they are
    more $$ but looked great in my side-by-side comparison to the halogen.
     
  7. john jardine

    john jardine Guest

    Yes. That's what I remember. Also noticed about 3 years ago the
    manufacturers starting to covering the fitments with a particular glass.
    What's annoying is that the UV aspect would have been fully known before the
    original bulbs were marketed.
    regards
    john.
     
  8. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    The UV story is interesting, but I have some difficulty believing they are so
    harmful. I forget the name of the company that is a large mfger of them, but Staples
    has about 20 of their models at their stores. I would think they would have safety
    warnings on them if what is said is true.

    I'm sitting here with a small one shining down on my desk--not a me. In fact, I have
    a bag of about 100 UV detecting beads that I just put under the light. I see no glow
    like I would if I exposed them to sun light. Perhaps the glass shield on the light is
    effective in blocking the UV. That's generally the case with window panes. They stop
    the sun's UV. I think fire and burns are a higher risk.

    --
    Wayne T. Watson (Watson Adventures, Prop., Nevada City, CA)
    (121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
    Obz Site: 39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet

    Web Page: <home.earthlink.net/~mtnviews>
     
  9. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

    However, keep your fingers off the halogen bulb- even when it is cold. Oils
    on your fingers can lead to hotter spots and failure.
     
  10. krw

    krw Guest

    These days they have glass UV filters over the bulb. I have a few of
    the "Staples specials" with the boom and geared counter-weights in the
    bedroom and my office. I put in halogen track lights in the computer
    room, halogen torchieres in the family and living rooms, a couple of
    halogen worklights around the house, and halogen floods in the back
    yard and kitchen. I like halogens quite a lot. ;-)
    That's exactly what the glass is there for. Even my torchieres, which
    are pointed towards the ceiling, have a glass filters over them.
     
  11. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

     
  12. This concern is mostly minor, and although lesser it's not quite zero
    with non-halogen incandescents. Usually, being outdoors in daylight
    conditions (even with sky overcast by clouds) is worse for carcinogenic UV
    exposure than being indoors and being irradiated byv most halogen lighting
    fixtures being used as directed.

    - Don Klipstein ()
     
  13. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    Well, I bought a good sized desk lamp at Staples and am happily using it. They do get
    hot though. Having them within the reach of you children probably isn't good. Mine
    has a long arm bent at 90 degres. The angle is adjustable. If the pivot slipped, it
    would easily slide down to the papers on my desk. However, there's a veritcal pole
    extending down from the lamp. Ostensibly it's there to adjust the lamp's head, but it
    also seem to be a safety feature in case the pivot slips.

    Interestingly, after all my wife's protesting, she decided to use the smaller one I
    no longer use! :)

    --
    Wayne T. Watson (Watson Adventures, Prop., Nevada City, CA)
    (121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
    Obz Site: 39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet

    Web Page: <home.earthlink.net/~mtnviews>
     
  14. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    -Well, I bought a good sized desk lamp at Staples and am happily using it.
    -They do get
    -hot though. Having them within the reach of you children probably isn't
    -good. Mine
    -has a long arm bent at 90 degres. The angle is adjustable. If the pivot
    -slipped, it
    -would easily slide down to the papers on my desk. However, there's a
    -veritcal pole
    -extending down from the lamp. Ostensibly it's there to adjust the lamp's
    -head, but it
    -also seem to be a safety feature in case the pivot slips.

    -Interestingly, after all my wife's protesting, she decided to use the
    -smaller one I
    -no longer use! :)


    Wayne T. Watson (Watson Adventures, Prop., Nevada City, CA)
    (121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
    Obz Site: 39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet
    --
    "Summertime,
    And the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin'
    And the cotton is high ..." -- G. Gershwin

    Web Page: <home.earthlink.net/~mtnviews>
     
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