LEDs Vs Halogen Lamps: The Next Generation Takes Over

Still in widespread use, halogen lamps have been traditionally deployed as a source of SWIR. These lamp types are known for their stable light emission and a spectral output closely approximating that of the Sun.

An Ushui halogen lamp

Halogen Lamps

Total output

Generally total amount of SWIR light emitted from halogen lamps are far larger than that of SWIR LED. If users need SWIR illumination with large amount of light, users need to use a lot more LEDs to achieve the same effect

Filter requirement

Halogen lamps emit range of wavelengths, from visible to far infrared (3000 nm – 1 mm). When using halogen for SWIR applications, many unwanted wavelengths are introduced. To mitigate these unwanted effects, expensive optical band-pass filters are needed to bring the spectral range in line with requirements

Excessive heat

halogen lamps and their unwanted wavelengths also generate a large amount of heat. This brings a requirement for an extremely robust thermal management system, alongside the need of wavelength filtration

Pulse width limitations and luminance degradation

Halogen lamps are unsuitable for fast pulse modulation and suffer from a decline in luminance over time. This means the brightness and intensity of the light output diminishes, leading to increasingly unreliable results and the frequent replacement of lamps

Shorter lifespan

Depending on the type and model, halogen lamps can only last up to a few thousand hours. Alongside the reduced lifetime, using such lamps beyond their warrantied lifetime can result potentially hazardous events, such as lamp bursts


Conversely, an array of LED packages can do without those problems. The main advantages of LEDs when deployed as an alternative to halogen lamps are:

Spectral flexibility

SWIR LEDs usually have a spectral width of around 50~100 nm, allowing illumination of only the necessary wavelengths. By controlling the wavelength of each individual Ushio Epitex SWIR LED, the synthesized spectrum can be modified at will, with benefits such as:

  • 1050–1750 nm
  • Wavelength tolerance : ±20 nm
  • Increased spectral match precision
  • Reproduction of a variety of irradiation conditions, e.g. mimicry of sunlight at any point on the Earth, during any season, or time of day

Pulse drive flexibility

LEDs can offer a freely adjustable pulse width and are quickly switched on and off. SWIR LEDs are capable of fast pulse modulation up to about 10-8˜-9 seconds. On the other hand, halogen lamps are not suitable for fast pulse modulation

Built-in heat management

Ushio’s Epitex LEDs have various methods of dealing with excess heat. SMBB packages feature a copper heatsink with a high level of thermal conductively, while the smaller EDC packages possess the insulating and thermally conductive properties of a ceramic base

Longer lifespan

LEDs have an extremely long lifetime that reaches into the tens of thousands of hours, saving maintenance, as well as downtime for replacement and recalibration

Build Your Own SWIR LED!

With so many configurations and variations available, we decided to put the choice in your hands. Select your preferred wavelength, package type, viewing angle & output power, and let our SWIR LED Builder do the rest!

Need some help? Simply get in touch and one of our experts will guide you to the right solution!

Contact Ushio

If you would like to make an inquiry regarding Ushio’s record-breaking SWIR LEDs, contact Ushio’s regional experts via the following link:

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