The once irreplaceable incandescent lamps are a thing of the past. They have been replaced by other, improved light sources. They are more economical, easier to operate and more durable. These include halogen lamps, which can be considered the direct \"descendants\" of incandescent devices.
There are several varieties of such lighting equipment. Low-voltage halogen 12 volt lamps are very much in demand. About their device, varieties and scope of application, and we will talk in this material. Also consider the best manufacturers who supply the market lighting bulbs at 12 volts.
Content of the article:
- Halogen bulb principle
- Low-voltage halogen bulbs
- Views of low-voltage halogen light sources
- Directional light devices
- Capsule or finger devices
- Best halogen manufacturers review
- Place #1 - German company Osram
- Location #2 - Dutch brand Philips
- Location #3 - Russian company Navigator
- Location #4 - Hong Kong brand Camelion
- Conclusions and useful video on the subject
The principle of halogen lamp
The structure of halogen lamp is comparable to that of incandescent lamp. Also here there is a bulb and inside it is a filament. All of this is in a base. The main difference is the composition of the gas that fills the bulb. A significant disadvantage of the incandescent lamp is considered to be its short life and increased power consumption. This is explained quite simply.
In order to increase the intensity of the luminous flux, it is necessary to increase the temperature of the incandescent body. This in turn increases the energy consumption. When heated, the tungsten from which the filament is made begins to evaporate.
Atoms are deposited on the inside of the bulb. As a result, the amount of light produced by the lamp will invariably decrease over time. The higher the operating temperature of an incandescent lamp, the faster this process occurs.
Halogen lamps do not have these disadvantages due to the fact that there is a so-called halogen additive inside the bulb. Bromine or iodine is added to the gas filling. The filament for these lamps is made of special grades of tungsten and is spiral shaped. When heated, the tungsten begins to evaporate and combines with the volatile halogens present inside the bulb.
Halogen lamps are advanced incandescent devices. Their principle of operation is the same. However, the composition of the gas filling the bulb differs considerably, which explains the difference in performance
Tungsten halides are produced, which do not settle on the walls of the shell. They return to the filament, where they decompose into tungsten and halogens, after which the cycle repeats.
This way the bulb remains transparent during operation, and the coil does not burn out, which greatly prolongs the operation of the halogen lamps.
Smaller bulbs may be filled with xenon which multiplies the light output and brightness of the lamp.
Use of so called halogen-tungstate cycle noticeably increases lamp life and prevents the bulb interior from darkening
Such lighting is popular with consumers. We talked about the varieties of halogen lamps and choosing the best option here.
Low voltage halogen lamps
All halogen type lamps can be divided into two big groups: high and low voltage. The first ones are 220V, the second ones can only function with a lower voltage.
This gives them a number of advantages:
- Long life up to 5000 hours.
- Great color rendering and high quality light.
- Small size.
- High luminous intensity.
- High strength due to the quartz shell.
- Economical efficiency obtained by a good light output.
But these lamps have some features many tend to consider them as drawbacks. First of all, they can only work with a low voltage of 12 V, but there are other varieties for 6 V and 24 V. In order to connect such a lamp to the network it is necessary to use a step-down transformer. The latter must be properly selected, otherwise the light sources will not be able to function properly.
Low voltage halogen lamps cannot be plugged in. They can only be operated with a low voltage and therefore need to be connected via a transformer. An example of this connection is shown in the diagram
The transformer may be electromagnetic or electronic. The second type is compact and yet has high performance characteristics. Most often, transformers must be installed concealed. This is the case when arranging the lighting on the ceiling or inside furniture. In this case, it must be remembered that during operation the device generates heat, so it is necessary to leave enough free volume to dissipate it.
In addition, the low operating voltage implies a significant increase in the current flowing through the wires. It can be up to 18 times greater than that of a 220V circuit at the same voltage. This requires proper calculation of the cross-section and length of the wires used and a high quality of their contacts.
Even small errors in the calculations will lead to a significant reduction in the brightness of the lamps. All these features significantly complicate the process of mounting 12 V halogens. However, proper calculation and proper installation guarantee their trouble-free operation.
All varieties of halogen lamps are equally sensitive to dirt on the bulb. The presence of dirty areas causes heat redistribution and lamp failure
There are also undeniable disadvantages to the devices. These include the high amount of heat produced during operation, which among other things drastically reduces the efficiency of the device.
Besides this, the lamp housing should not be touched with the fingers. Even small dirt can cause a redistribution of temperature within the bulb and leads to blackening and subsequent lamp failure.
By type of low voltage halogen light source
Halogen low voltage halogens are widely used. They are used in different kinds of lights, lamps with special bases, car headlights, etc. There are mainly two types of these lamps available.
Directional light fixtures
They are lamps equipped with a reflector or reflector. This redistributes the light rays emitted from the device and directs them to a certain area of space.
The design consists of a miniature halogen lamp mounted in the center of the reflector. The latter may be made of different materials, which determines the performance of the product.
Halogen lamps with an interference reflector are called cold light devices because the heat they produce is evenly dispersed around the device
Most commonly mirror reflectors are made of aluminum or other metals. Their peculiarity is to direct the heat generated by the device together with the light rays forward. If this is for some reason undesirable, a device with an interference reflector is used. A so-called cold light bulb.
The reflector of such a device is made of glass with a very thin metal film applied to it. The coating reflects only a certain wavelength, so that the light visible to the eye is reflected in a given direction, and the thermal or infrared radiation is scattered.
This kind of lamp has another feature - the reflector lets some light rays through, giving them different shades of color.
This phenomenon is advantageously played up by designers in various types of lamps. Despite the name interference reflector lamps, it is a mistake to think that no heat is generated when they work. Just like devices with a mirror reflector, they emit heat in the order of 90% of the device's power.
Thanks to the properties of the material from which the reflector is made, it is evenly dispersed around the lamp. That is to say, the temperature around the operating device is still increased. For this reason even \"cold light\" devices may only be installed with certain restrictions concerning fire safety.
Low voltage halogen lamps are equipped with special pin (pin) bases. The marking necessarily indicates the distance between these pins
There is another type of reflector lamps - IRC lamps. They have a special coating that can reflect infrared radiation. It \"locks\" the infrared rays inside the bulb and directs them back to the coil.
This way the filament temperature can be increased with less energy consumption. IRC lamps have a longer service life. In addition they have a lower power consumption.
Devices with a reflector can be produced with or without special protective glass. In the latter case they are only used in closed luminaires.
The protective glass can be transparent, frosted or colored. That makes it possible to arrange any kind of decorative illumination. Almost all safety glass retains ultraviolet and harsh IR radiation that is not good for humans.
Lamps with reflectors are separated by light distribution.
Depending on beam direction, the following are distinguished:
- narrow light beam of 8 to 12°;
- medium 18 to 24°;
- wide light beam of 36 to 60° or more.
Labels are often encountered.
- SSP or NSP designation of ultra narrow beam up to 8°;
- SP narrow 8-12°;
- FL medium 24-30°;
- WFL wide 36-38°%
- VWFL very wide over 60°.
Light distribution is a very important indicator of a lamp's ability to produce certain types of light.
It is very important to know what angle of the light beam the lamp reflector implies. Only in this way can the right fixture be selected for certain functions
For example, fixtures with a wide light beam are ideal for overhead lighting and those with a narrow beam for relatively long distance illumination or for creating bright light spots.
Capsule or finger type devices
The main feature is their compact size and high power from 5 to 100W. Capsule halogen 12 volt bulbs with a small capacity of 5 and 10 watts have proven to be a good choice for decorative lighting. This creates bright points or spots of light. Higher wattages are used as light sources for all kind of luminaires including stretch ceilings.
Besides that, capsule lamps are used in small spotlights for interior lighting or spotlights as they are called by professionals.
There are two types of finger lights and they differ in the direction of the filament. It can be horizontal or axial. Depending on this, the amount of light emitted by the device changes slightly. This is insignificant for ordinary lamps, but very important for spotlights.
Capsule halogen lamps are miniature sources of bright light. They are widely used for the arrangement of various types of decorative illumination
The light distribution of spotlights is noticeably impaired if the choice of lamp is incorrect. We must admit that it is best to use capsule lamps without reflectors.
The production of spotlights is quite time consuming and requires careful focusing and adjustment of the lamp. It is much easier to purchase a device with a reflector, which is essentially a factory-made spot.
Capsule lamps can be coated on the inside with a special composition that reflects infrared waves. The result is an IRC device that has a longer service life and consumes less electricity. The quartz glass, of which the lamp shell is made, may have UV protection. This is necessarily indicated on the product label.
Halogen capsule lamps differ in the arrangement of the filament body. This can be axial (a) or horizontal (b). The arrangements are shown in figure
Both types of low-voltage halogen lamps and reflector and capsule lamps are equipped with special pin-type bases. They come in several types and are provided with alphanumeric markings. The numbers indicate the distance between the two pins, which is expressed in millimeters.
Overview of the best halogen lamp manufacturers
The performance of halogen lamps, including brightness and durability, is largely determined by the quality of the products, which in turn depends on the manufacturer. For this reason, experts recommend choosing products from well-established companies. Among them, you can safely include such brands.
Place #1 - German company Osram
The history of the German company began over a century ago, when in 1906 the first Osram brand products appeared on the market. It was an incandescent bulbs.
A little later the manufacturer merged with several companies involved in the production of lighting devices. Today the brand specializes in the development, manufacture and sale of a variety of lighting products.
Osram brand halogen lamps are considered some of the best. The manufacturer offers a wide range of different light fixtures
The company's assortment includes a large number of light fixtures for a variety of purposes. It is automotive equipment, energy-saving household lamps, projection devices, display optics, sensors, light control systems, UV devices for water disinfection.
The brand pays attention to development of new technologies to meet the needs of users to the maximum.
The Osram production facilities are located in 17 countries. This is 46 large factories with the most modern equipment. Millions of lighting fixtures are made here which are then sold in more than 150 countries of the world.
Each of the lamps made here is tested before sale, consisting of 28 tests where its tightness, durability, accuracy of manufacturing, etc.
Users are confident in Osram products and consider them a good choice. It is proven that the products of this brand last several times longer than those of other manufacturers. The company invests a significant portion of its profits in engineering, which allows it to become the author of new trends in lighting technology.
Place #2 - Dutch brand Philips
The company made its first products more than 125 years ago, almost immediately after Edison patented his invention. Initially it produced only incandescent bulbs, but over time its range expanded.
Today the brand is one of the world's leading manufacturers of lighting equipment with an extremely wide range of products.
The Philips company is the undisputed leader in smart lighting products. The brand leads successful developments in this field and implements them in production
Philips originated in the Netherlands, its headquarters are still located there. Whereas production facilities are scattered all over the world.
Most of the company's factories are in China and European countries. These are assembly plants with precisely tuned technological cycles by Dutch engineers. The quality of the products is monitored at every stage of production.
The brand is considered one of the pioneers of LED lighting, the first LEDs were developed and put into production here.
The company is passionate about the idea of moving lighting to the digital level. It is the leader in the development and production of \"smart\" lamps and fixtures, as well as lighting control systems.
The company produces multifunctional devices that can not only light, but also to collect, store and transmit information. They are well installed in a Smart Home system. The distinctive feature of Phillips is considered to be the highest quality products, their well-thought-out functionality and durability.
Place #3 - Russian company Navigator
The first products under the brand name entered the market quite recently, in 2006. It was an attempt to create its own production by Battery Team, previously engaged in the sale of lighting products.
The attempt was successful, today the products under the brand Navigator are well known not only in Russia but also in other countries. The company's range is wide and is constantly being updated with new products.
The Navigator company produces inexpensive but quality products. It is very much in demand in the medium price segment
The brand produces various lamps, lights for household and industrial use, extension cords, flashlights, various batteries, spotlights and much more.
The company's production facilities are located in Klin. The technological cycle involves the production of high quality products, which are carefully monitored at all production stages.
All Navigator brand products have an extended warranty. In particular, the lamps have a two-year warranty. The manufacturer deliberately keeps the price of its products in the middle segment, making it very affordable. The quality remains quite high. Thanks to this brand manages to successfully compete with very well-known brands.
Position #4 - Hong Kong brand Camelion
The history of the Hong Kong company began in 1962 with the release of various power supplies. Gradually, the assortment expanded into electrical products and today Camelion can be considered one of the leaders in the production of lighting equipment.
The company produces different types of lamps, lamps for all kinds of purposes, spotlights, flashlights and much more.
The Camelion brand originally specialized in producing batteries, which did not prevent it from later opening a production of lighting equipment. The quality and quite affordable lamps are in demand by customers
The production of lighting products began with one factory, today there are more than ten. Each of them has modern production lines, which allows producing high quality products.
Camelion products are thoroughly tested before being sent to the customers, which allows detecting and eliminating manufacturing defects. At the same time the company keeps its products affordable to most customers.
The brand closely monitors all innovations in lighting technology and implements them in production. Digital \"smart\" equipment is gradually appearing in its range. In addition, the production of light control systems that allow creating a variety of lighting schemes has been started.
The company confidently occupies its niche in the medium price segment, producing products of rather high quality at quite reasonable prices.
Conclusions and useful video on the subject
A video on the principles of operation and advantages of halogen lamps:
Why low-voltage halogen lamps need a transformer:
What you should know about operating a halogen lamp:
Low-voltage halogen lamps are practical solutions for setting up ceiling, furniture or room area illumination. They are characterized by their pleasant to the eye color and high brightness. In this case they serve long enough, especially on the condition of correct operation.
Manufacturers offer many varieties of such lamps, which gives the opportunity to create any, even the most complex lighting system to your taste.
Use a 12 volt halogen? Share your experience with newbies - tell us which manufacturer's products you prefer? Add unique photos of your bulbs below this article.
If you still have questions about the topic of the material, feel free to ask our experts in the comment block.