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The regulation of infrared lamps

The infrared lamps are an eco-compatible system to heat indoor and outdoor spaces in a discreet and delicate way. In fact, these are very similar lamps, to a first glance, to the other lamps on the market. They are powered by electricity, designed to give off heat and light but in complete absence of emission of harmful residues in the atmosphere.


How infrared lamp heating works

To understand how an infrared lamp can heat us it is necessary to start from a basic concept: the heat is transmitted between two bodies passing from the body with the highest temperature to the one with the lower. The ways according to which the heat can be transmitted are substantially three:

  • conduction
  • convection
  • irradiation


The heat transfer mode we are going to investigate is irradiation which is the only way heat can pass from a warmer to a colder body without a direct contact and without a propagation medium. This happens because the energy of infrared light, which warms the body, it is a beam of electromagnetic radiation. That’s why when we are in front of an infrared lamp, which is a light thermal source, we feel warm.

Nevertheless, not all the perceivable heat is transmitted for irradiation; in fact, it must be said that a part of the perceived heat is due to the convection, which makes the surrounding air particles warm up.


Focus on the irradiation for a correct use

Now that we have explained, in very reductive terms, how a lamp can heat an environment. We pass to a more practical discussion: how to best use an infrared lamp.

Irradiation and convection are the two phenomena of heat transmission that an infrared lamp employs to heat an environment. Since the convection warms the air, it is counterproductive to use infrared lamps in large spaces. Since the hot air will tend to rise upwards, moving and dispersing itself.

By exploiting irradiation, on the other hand, infrared lamps can be used so that the electromagnetic radiation which transmits the heat is concentrated in a single relatively small point. Contrarily of the air the subject invested by this bundle, warming itself, will not move but will accumulate heat.


How to regulate infrared heating

By exploiting a thermal source which emanates heat by irradiation, the temperature regulation must be carefully evaluated. In fact, many factors must be considered: the power, the shape and dimension of the infrared lamp, the distance to which it is set and the presence of obstacles.

For this reason all necessary evaluations must be made before placing an infrared lamp. The suggestion is to pay attention to four important precautions:

  • Choose a lamp that is sufficiently powerful but does not exceed. The optimal powers range from 1500W for large indoor spaces to 2000 W for open spaces;
  • Use lamps that have a circular area of light, so that the area affected by infrared radiation would be as regular as possible;
  • Position the lamp so that it illuminates the lens entirely (for example a table in a cafĂ©), at a reasonable distance;
  • Completely eliminate objects that can prevent the light from reaching the lens, included minute objects which can somehow absorb or to reflect thermal radiation (nets, curtains, etc.).

In any case is not recommended the use of a thermostat to regulate the temperature, as it will perceive the air temperature, which (as we have already said) is not reliable to measure the heating efficiency of infrared lamps which work above all through the irradiation. It is preferable to use the remote controls and/or the accessories that the manufactures can furnish and recommend to regulating the temperature.

Last suggestion: prefer Made in Italy products, both because they comply with the normative in subject of environment, health and safety and because they follow higher qualitative standard compared than the imported products.

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