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March 7, 2011 / GreenMan

How to Handle Your Halogen Bulbs

Ok, just try and tell me that title isn’t fun to say out loud. Especially with a British accent.  ANYWAY, this blog is all about the bulbs today. Many people have asked me, “GreenMan, why do my halogen bulbs burn out so quickly? What am I doing wrong?” Well folks, I’m here to tell you that you’re doing nothing wrong. The problem is… well, actually, ok, yes, you are doing something wrong.  But halogen bulbs are tricky, sensitive little things that you need to be super careful with, and not many people are informed on the correct way to handle them. So I am here to save the day!

Here are some things to remember when handling halogen bulbs:

1)      Never touch the bulb with your bare hands! You skin contains oils that contaminate the lining of the bulb, causing a weak spot that, when heated, can cause the bulb to burn out or explode. Try and use rubber gloves when handling these bulbs, and if you happen to accidentally touch a part of the bulb with bare skin, you can gently clean the area with rubbing alcohol. Water alone will not do the trick.

2)      Buying a light head that is fan cooled, is a great way to extend the life of your bulbs. Also, make sure to check the wattage on the power cord of your lights and use only what is recommended.

3)      Let you light cool! When you are finished using your halogen lights, be sure to let them cool down for at least 10 minutes before moving them.  Like I said, they are sensitive little things that get extremely hot, therefore take a good amount of time to cool off.

4)      Give your bulbs some TLC. Transport them gently, and try not to jostle them too much. Store them in a temperature controlled environment so they don’t get too hot.

Halogen bulbs can get expensive to replace, and plus it’s a HUGE bummer to have your bulbs burn out in the middle of a shoot. Don’t let it happen to you! Follow these simple rules and your bulbs will love you for it.

GreenMan

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