How to Troubleshoot a Halogen Lamp


A halogen lamp is a type of indoor light fixture designed to burn at a high temperature to produce a brighter, cooler light than typical incandescent lamps. Because they can emit high levels of light from smaller bulbs, halogen lamps are popular in small, enclosed spaces. However, halogen lamps occasionally do not work as expected. Learn specific troubleshooting strategies to fix a halogen lamp and make your home a brighter place.

  • Check that the halogen lamp is plugged into a reliable electrical outlet. Flickering or occasionally dimming of the light may point to unreliable wiring or poor circuitry in the outlet. Check that the halogen lamp's voltage rating matches the rating in your home. The lamp's rating is typically stamped on its box or the base of the lamp stand. Some older homes may not have enough voltage to illuminate newer halogen lamp models fully, resulting in less-than-optimum illumination.

  • Inspect the light bulb if it does not illuminate, or if it sparks, flickers or dims. A halogen lamp uses a tungsten filament incandescent bulb. Over time, the filament can burn out or fail to burn at a consistent rate. Such problems are often highlighted by a darkened tungsten filament or a smoky film coating the inside of the bulb's glass. Replace faulty light bulbs with new bulbs.

  • Verify that the halogen lamp is assembled properly, if you notice the lamp swaying or falling. Many large lamps, such as the torch-style lamps, require some home assembly. Verify that the lamp's body is securely screwed into its base and that the top of the lamp does not wobble. Secure the lamp against a wall for added safety and to protect against fire hazards if the lamp falls to the ground.

  • Check the lamp's wiring and environment if your lamp suffers from consistent short life. Halogen light bulbs burning out quickly are often caused by poor wiring in the house or in the lamp itself. In addition, high levels of moisture in and around the lamp can cause the bulbs to short-circuit or even crack.

Tips & Warnings

  • Due to their propensity to start fires, limit halogen light bulbs to 300 watts or less.


  • Photo Credit Zsuzsanna Kilián
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