Using Bulbs to Generate Heat
What feasible options remain if you've been using incandescent bulbs as small sources of heat?
I use a 100W bulb to heat my small pump house in the winter to keep my pipes from freezing. I know they are changing the light bulbs that are available now, so what kind of light bulb can I buy that will give enough heat to keep my pipes from freezing, but not cost me an arm and a leg? The pump house stays sufficiently warm right now with the 100W.

Wow, my mom’s side of the family is from Alberta, Canada, and they needed to do the very same thing! I believe I have an excellent and economical solution for you. There is a certain class of higher-wattage incandescent bulbs that will not be discontinued. These are called "rough service" bulbs. These have an extremely long life of 4,000 hours, compared to 750 hours for a standard incandescent bulb. These bulbs are also available in shatterproof versions, which is a very nice safety feature. The best thing is they are under a dollar each.

Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

I think that it's an aesthetic call, not hard science. Crystal-type chandeliers can hang lower, since you can see through them. The more modern drum-... read full story
You didn’t tell me what type of bulb you were using. I’m going to guess incandescent or halogen, since fluorescents or LEDs will not cause fading.... read full story
The quick formula is to add together the length and width of your room. The total of those two numbers is the suggested diameter of your chandelier... read full story
There are kits available made by two companies I know of that can transform a recessed downlight into a pendant light. Hopefully there is one... read full story


Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2-3 p.m. EST Sponsored by Emerson and Kuzco Lighting. Register for this free CEU webinar by clicking here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW... read full story
Sponsored by Bock Lighting, CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT This free CEU webinar has... read full story
Sponsored by Emerson, Ferguson and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This free CEU webinar has already taken place, but you can watch the archived presentation on-demand by... read full story

RL Tweets!