Why do some infrared bulbs emit red light?
Infrared bulbs (also called red light lamps or heat lamps) emit infrared-A rays. These bulbs emit visible red light because the infrared area is directly adjacent to visible light. IR bulbs are used for medical purposes, for example.
Is infrared radiation dangerous for children, animals or the skin?
No. Humans are constantly exposed to infrared radiation, also known as “thermal radiation”. All objects warmer than 1 kelvin emit electromagnetic radiation, depending on their temperature. With rising temperatures on the surface, the intensity of the radiation increases and the wavelength becomes shorter. Most of this radiation remains within the infrared range up to approx. 600°C and is invisible to humans. If the temperature increases further, the radiation becomes visible and the colour of the glow shifts from fiery red to light red (850°C), then to yellow (1000°C) and, finally, to white (1300°C).
The proportion of harmful radiation - ultraviolet light, for example - increases only if surfaces exceed these temperatures further; this can result in a danger to humans. On the other hand, infrared heating devices that work in the invisible spectral range beyond the red light do not emit any harmful radiation.
Is there a danger of burns? What surface temperatures do IR heating systems reach?
DIN EN 60335-2-30 stipulates that temperature increases – based on the ambient temperature – of heating devices with metal surfaces cannot exceed 85 kelvin, and that temperature increases for devices with glass or ceramic surfaces cannot exceed 105 kelvin.
Thus, at a room temperature of 20°C, surfaces must not be any hotter than 105°C or 125°C.
Burn injuries are not caused if the heated surface is touched briefly. Nevertheless, we recommend limiting surface temperatures - in children's rooms, for example - depending on use of the device. There is no prescribed limit for heating systems installed at heights of more than 1.8 m that are not easily reachable.
Does IR heating generate electrosmog?
High-quality infrared heaters are practically free from electrosmog and fall below permissible maximum levels; thus, there is no harmful radiation exposure associated with them. Electrosmog is generated in small quantities only when systems have cable connections (supply cables), as with other household appliances.
Does heating with electricity make sense in the long term?
Gas and oil reserves are not infinite and are subject to major price fluctuations. The environmental impact of various other types of heating is well-known. Heating with electricity makes sense. Electricity can be obtained from wind or photovoltaic power, i.e. users can become energy-independent by generating their own electricity. Infrared heating systems, combined with green electricity (e.g. using photovoltaic systems) yield a CO2-neutral energy source and can result in household energy self-sufficiency. The increasing importance of electric vehicles, as well as the desire for more efficient energy use in “smart homes” also point towards the future significance of electric heating systems.
Is heating with electricity expensive?
Consumption cost comparisons indicate that heating with electric power appears more expensive in comparison to oil or gas due to the higher price per kWh. When costs relating to capital and operation are considered, however, infrared heating offers considerable economic advantages, particularly in buildings that require only a small amount of heat.
In old buildings, for example, when replacing old night storage heating systems, use of infrared heating results in lower levels of consumption due to the fact that it is easier to regulate. Whether it is possible to operate such systems economically depends to a large extent on the local tariffs in place for night storage heaters and direct electrical heating systems.
We always recommend comparing overall heating costs - capital, consumption and operation-related costs - in respect of the relevant heating systems before taking any specific action.
Are studies available on the durability of IR heating systems?
Some manufacturers conduct continuous stress testing and allow third-party monitoring. We are not aware of any official studies. Because infrared heaters do not contain moving parts, their lifespan is dependent only upon the temperature resistance of the materials used. Thus, their lifespan can far exceed 20 years.