Frequently Asked Questions


Incandescent light sources are electric bulbs with filaments. When electric energy is transformed into heat energy the temperature of the solid bodies are raised. The heated body gives off different levels of light according to the degree to which it has been heated. Halogen bulbs fall under this category.

There are two kinds of bulbs used in halogen lamps: transparent and translucent quartz bulbs. Materials inside the halogen lamp include tungsten filament, molybdenum foil, and filling gases consisting of a combination of Nitrogen (N2), Argon (AR), Krypton (Kr) and a small amount of halogen gas made up of iodine (I), bromine (Br), chlorine (Cl), and fluorine (F). The base of the lamp is usually made of steatite or heat-resistant metal.

Quartz is used in halogen bulbs because it can withstand high temperatures. Quartz also ensures against heat shock.

Tungsten is used because of its high flexibility and low rate of evaporation at high temperatures. Tungsten also has a very high melting point of 3400°C. This lends to its slow evaporation.

Molybdenum foil is used as a conductor through the seal part of lamp. It insures the hermetic sealing of the lamp. Molybdenum has almost the same thermal expansion properties as quartz.

It works through the halogen cycle. As tungsten evaporates from the filament, it combines with halogen gas and becomes tungsten halide. This tungsten halide state is maintained at temperatures between 250°C and 1400°C. The temperature of the bulb is kept above 250°C in order to maintain this state and prevent the tungsten from sticking to the bulb wall and darkening it. When the tungsten halide nears the filament, the heat of the filament separates the tungsten from the halogen gas, redepositing the tungsten on the filament. The freed halogen gas then repeats the same process again thus the halogen cycle.

The halogen cycle effectively prevents blackening of the bulb wall so that there is no reduction of light output or color temperature.

Halogen bulbs are more efficient than ordinary incandescent bulbs. They can give a longer lamp life expectancy because of the halogen cycle.

Color temperature is the temperature at which a black body emits radiant energy competent to evoke a color of the same hue and saturation as that evoked by radiant energy from a given source.

Due to the high temperature the tungsten filament is operated at, some of the tungsten evaporates during use. This evaporation leaves the filament thinner on some areas. The weakened area of the filament becomes hotter, which leads to even faster evaporation causing the filament to burn back and the lamp to burn out.

The thinned filament in a cold state can not withstand the inrush surge of energy and thus the bulb burns out.

This is due to the quartz halogen lamp being overheated. This causes the filament inside the bulb to sag and become too close to the quartz envelope thus creating a bubble.

The most common causes are over heating and over voltage.

Never operate the halogen lamp above the rated operating temperature. The seal temperature should always be maintained below 350°C and the bulb temperature should be kept between 250°C and 550°C. Make sure the cooling system is functioning properly. Do not allow one lamp to directly expose another. If a reflector is being used make certain the IR is not reflected back onto the filament or its support. Finally, make certain particles do not fall on the lamp.

The lamp should never operate beyond 8% of the total rated voltage. Check that the power supply or line voltage is not delivering spikes or surges to the lamp. It may be necessary to place in-line suppressors in your system. Inspect your sockets periodically. Bad connections will cause arcing which may surge the lamp. Avoid the use of dimmers that may drive your lamp over the rated voltage. Finally, avoid any unnecessary vibrations.

In the event that you experience a problem using an USHIO lamp, please return it to your local USHIO distributor. Please include a description of the problem and the lamp’s hours of operation. From that point, it will be determined if the problem resulted from a user error or a production error. In any event, constructive advice will be given to you on how to avoid the situation in the future.