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Old 06-15-10, 04:02 AM   #1
Road Fan
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Halogen bulbs - DC or AC?

May seem like a silly question, but are halogen bulbs able to run equally well on AC or DC sources?
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Old 06-15-10, 03:54 PM   #2
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If the voltage/amperage are correct, I would think so. I have Niterider Halogens for bikes (DC source), and use them in different machines at work (AC source).
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Old 06-15-10, 03:59 PM   #3
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May seem like a silly question, but are halogen bulbs able to run equally well on AC or DC sources?
They run equally well on AC or DC.

In general, if the RMS (root-mean-square) voltage of an AC source matches the voltage of a DC source (and both sources can provide the needed amperage), the lights will have the same brightness. And as long as the AC frequency is high enough, there will be no flicker. (60 Hz is certainly high enough. 1 Hz is certainly too low for most bike lights. Ultimately, the frequency is rarely an issue.)

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Old 06-18-10, 05:58 AM   #4
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Thanks, Doug, I was thinking it was based on effective voltage matching the DC voltage, but then I thought maybe the halogen activity is affected by the polarity reversals.
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Old 06-18-10, 12:24 PM   #5
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Nope. All the current does it make the filament hot, and that doesn't care what the polarity is.
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Old 06-18-10, 07:02 PM   #6
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And hence the active halogen cycle, transporting tungsten, must be strictly driven by convection?
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Old 06-19-10, 11:42 AM   #7
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And hence the active halogen cycle, transporting tungsten, must be strictly driven by convection?
Sure. What else would it be driven by? (Well, convection, Brownian motion, whatever.)
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