Heat lamps are also known as infrared emitters, infrared bulbs, infrared tubes, or infrared lamps.  They use low amounts of energy, have an ability to heat quickly, and are low cost.  Heat lamps or infrared emitters differ from illuminating lamps in their low filament temperature, resulting in much less light and more infrared radiation.  They are designed to emit light in the Near Infrared, Middle Infrared, Far Infrared, and Far-Far Infrared.  Heat lamps are designed for use in applications specifically requiring a short-wave infrared radiation source.  Heat lamps or infrared lamps are commonly supplied with either a clear, red, or inside frosted bulb.  The heat is not determined by the color or finish of the lamp; however, it is determined by the wattage of the lamp.

Important performance specifications to consider when searching for heat lamps include wavelength range, watts, voltage, life hours, and operating temperature.  The wavelength range is the range of wavelengths the lamp is designed to emit.  Heat lamps are designed to emit light in the Near Infrared (.7µm-1.3µm), Middle Infrared (1.3µm-6µm), Far Infrared (6µm-40µm), and Far-Far Infrared (40µm-1000µm).  Watts specifies the power of the lamp.  Heat lamps consume a large amount of wattage but product little light.  The voltage specified refers to the voltage of the electrical input.  Life hours are the average length of the lamp in hours.  The operating temperature is the temperature range the lamp is designed to operate in.

Important lamp dimensions to consider when searching for heat lamps include overall length, lighted or heated length, diameter, and weight.  The overall length of the lamp includes the leads or contacts.  The lighted or heated length is the length of the emitting section of the lamp.  The diameter and weight are also important to consider.  Common features for heat lamps include twin tubes, reflectors, and water-cooling.  A twin tube heat lamp has two tubes with filaments for higher intensity emission.  A heat lamp with a reflector has a built-in reflector to increase light intensity in the desired direction.  Water-cooled heat lamps tend to have better performance.


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