Energy Saving Halogen Reflectors
You get no prizes for guessing where the prefacing ‘R’ comes from in the naming of reflector sizes, but we can confirm that the digits represent the diameter size in millimetres. Hence, R80 is an 80mm diameter reflector bulb, for instance. These bulbs - usually screw-fitting retro replacements - are well represented by the incandescent technologies, available as they are in regular halogen, E/S halogen, and even original incandescent forms.
You’ll find a variety of differently sized reflectors in our range of energy-saving halogens, usually including R39, R50, R63, or R80 denominations. The energy-saving comparisons you’ll see will normally be with the ‘old technology’: the regular incandescent equivalent.
Halogen v E/S halogen v traditional incandescent
Halogen in its base form is very nearly as inefficient as incandescent, with perhaps a 10% difference in energy-efficiency. Energy-saving halogen technology can usually bump this figure up to 30%, and sometimes markedly more in uncompromising designs. It does this usually by using an alternative form of halogen gas over the norm, e.g. xenon instead of argon. This enables the filament to burn more brightly, thus allowing a correspondingly lower use of power for the same output. The second method used to increase energy-efficiency is to use a reflective coating inside the halogen envelope that directs IR heat onto the filament - also causing it to burn more brightly.
There we dealt with relative energy-efficiency, but what of the relative qualities of these bulbs? They’re all incandescent technologies, is one thing to note, which means a usually warm, natural light with an unparalleled degree of underlying colour accuracy. Halogen burns more brightly than regular incandescent, and for spotlighting purposes produces a crisp, well defined beam of light that is easily suited to the task.
New kids on the block
Not that new in the case of fluorescent lighting, but it’s still younger than the pioneering incandescent technology. Fluorescent reflectors will give you an 80% energy-saving advantage over the original incandescent reflector bulb, with LED stretching that figure even higher. CFL and LED lights generally represent a significantly higher initial investment, but may save a veritable fortune in running costs in situations where lighting is kept on for extensive periods of time. The incandescent and halogen counter-punch is always initial cheapness and sheer quality of light!