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How to change a halogen bulb – and what not to do!

how to change a halogen bulb

Need to replace a halogen bulb? Our step by step guide outlines how to change a halogen bulb — and the things you should avoid doing!

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Halogen is still often used today as a light source in the home. The halogen lamps are usually found in the form of an under-cabinet lamp in cupboards or sideboards, but they are also used as ceiling spotlights andfor workshop lamps. Rooms are very well illuminated by halogen lights, but it is immediately noticeable if even one bulb fails. Then a replacement must be obtained. 

We’ll show you how to do the change yourself easily in 15 minutes. In addition, you will find a green alternative below for the spare parts. For every type of lightbulb and halogen, there is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly equivalent of LED. This is particularly interesting for energy savers.

Buy a new halogen lamp or a suitable LED

The halogen bulbs are usually labeled. The diameterlength and type of frame are noted. With the help of this data, you can find the right new halogen bulb in the nearest hardware store. Otherwise you can alternatively use an LED bulb of the same size, which is not only more durable than a normal light bulb, but also  saves a lot of electricity !

Halogen rod
in comparison
LED alternativeHalogen bulb
Energy efficiency classA +C.
Light output950lm5000lm
Equivalent light output for a light bulb75 watts300 watts
Power consumption10 watts230 watts
VersionR7sR7s
Average life25,000 hoursno information
price$10approx  $15 approx

 Tools to change a halogen bulb

  • screwdriver: For unscrewing the protective caps
  • Stepladder: To reach the lamp if high up
  • Cloth glove: To avoid grease stains and breaking the halogen bulb

How to change a halogen bulb: step by step

1. Shut off the power supply

Before doing anything, you should exercise caution. The lamp must be disconnected from the mains. That means: pull the plug! This measure is necessary to avoid getting an electric shock and to be able to exclude dangers from electricity. If the lamp is not connected directly to a socket, you can also pull or flip the corresponding fuse in the fuse box in your apartment so that you no longer have any electricity in this room.

2. The halogen lamp should cool down

Before you try to remove it, you should first wait at least 10 minutes for the halogen lamp to cool down completely. The bars are small, but they produce a multiple of light. 

Therefore temperatures of around 250 degrees are not uncommon. As soon as the halogen bulb has cooled down completely, you can loosen the protective glass cap with your Phillips screwdriver. Don’t put it too far away, as the protective cap will be needed again later.

3. Never touch halogen rods with bare fingers

Then you can carefully twist the halogen bulb out of the socket with the help of paper or a cloth glove. To do this, you must first turn the stick clockwise or counterclockwise. Do not use bare fingers as this leaves skin oils on the bulb and can cause it to burn out.

4. Insert a new halogen bulb

The installation should now be easy for you. Everything is screwed back on in reverse order. So first insert the lamp into the socket with a piece of paper or with gloves and twist it in the opposite direction. Then carefully put on the protective glass cap and screw it on. The lamp can now be put back into operation.

5. What to avoid!

WARNING: Halogen lamps get extremely hot. Grease stains (e.g. from touching) can cause the rod bulb to burst. Therefore, you should only handle cooled halogen bulbs.

Think about LEDs for the future!

LEDs emit less heat and conduct more efficiently due to the material properties. This makes them extremely economical with the same or even higher light output. So you save electricity and thus money. Therefore – and for the sake of the environment – we think it is time to finally convert to LED!

gerhardt-richter Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.