How To Make Halogen Bulbs Last Forever

I own a few halogen bulb light fixtures. My favorite is this one desk lamp. It casts an excellent light  One is this desk lamp that I’ve had for  

I’ve used it most every day for 8+ hours a day for the last 8 years… something like 15 thousand hours and I’m still using the original halogen light bulb.

I’ve asked myself “Self, how can this be? These bulbs are supposed to be rated for 3,000 hours!”

The lamp has a dual power switch. The low power setting casts a slightly warmer, yellower, dimmer light than the high power setting. I like that setting much more than the high power setting. Ladyada pointed out  page 8 of this GE Lighting Technical Catalog. Simplified, it reads, “If you turn the brightness down a little, the bulb will last a whole lot longer”. So there. :-)

After much looking, I found replacements for my halogen bulbs online but of course there are so many different bulbs it can be hard to find the right replacement. I had initially bought them in a lighting store in a strip mall in Cupertino. They charged $20+ per bulb. I was so angry when I found them online for $3 per bulb that I returned the store bought ones. With shipping, I bought 3 bulbs online for the price of 1 in the store. The shipping cost more than the bulbs.

PS. No, it’s not actually a Babylon 5 lamp. I put that there, off some B5 Action Figures I bought :-)


  1. Kragen Javier Sitaker says:

    The $20 bulbs might actually be better than the $3 per bulb. Certainly that’s usually the case with $20 high-intensity discharge headlight bulbs and $500 ones: they’re equally bright, but the $500 ones last a lot longer. (Maybe in your case that doesn’t matter.)

    How much does the efficiency of the device diminish at the lower power level?

  2. lee says:

    Yes, I think HID lights are a different matter. I replaced my headlights last year and I saw the option for HID-looking headlights. They were, in my mind, purely for show. They had such a short rated lifespan that they were worthless… except of course to impress your friends for the 15 minutes before they burnt out.

    >How much does the efficiency of the device diminish at the lower power level?
    Look in the spec sheet image above.
    90% voltage = 69% lumens.. a small bit of effeciency loss.

  3. Philips says:

    In our country, we say it the chinese bulb. The Chinese bulb are mainly inexpensive and they have a very short life. But the branded ones are costly and have long life. People often wants to try their luck with the chinese ones. If they run then they think it is their luck. The chinese lights do not come with any warranty. If it fails, then the buyer have to suffer a loss and nothing can be done their.

  4. Dan says:

    I’ve been using a halogen bulb in my “Torch” since 1993. That’s 16 years, twice as long as you, and I only use the high setting. It’s still going strong.

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