Red Light Experiment (120V Vs. 130V)


Thread starter
Mar 18, 2013
USA / Europe
@haidut ; do you still use the 130V 250W infrared bulbs at your office? Or have you found something better? Also, if you have a link to the specific bulbs, perhaps you could share with us ;)?

Yes I do. I have 2 x 250W red bulbs in the office and a few 500W bulbs at home. I use the 500W ones primarily in the winter after sunset and the red ones at night for a few hours in the spring/summer.


Apr 14, 2013
Yes I do. I have 2 x 250W red bulbs in the office and a few 500W bulbs at home. I use the 500W ones primarily in the winter after sunset and the red ones at night for a few hours in the spring/summer.

Excellent thanks!


May 7, 2017
Bought a set of 120V/250W Halco red bulbs. On paper this should give off less heat than 130v, allowing one to get closer. The black body peak is also closer to 600-900nm range compared to 130v variants, resulting in higher intensity in the beneficial spectrum. Double whammy. :thumbsup:

Arrived earlier this week and I can attest it gives off much less heat than my 130v/250W GE red bulb. Much more red, too. I'm almost certain this is the type of red bulb RubyLux uses, as users often write about how close they can get and the "knockoffs" are too hot ("knockoff" in this case being a 130v red bulb).


Aug 13, 2018
Hi all, this topics has been discussed many times, without any definite resolution. Hopefully, I will be able to add something to it (not the confusion:): though). So, the confusion stems from the fact that Ray Peat recommends a heat lamp designed for 130V network but run at 120V. In his opinion this would reduce the amount of near-infrared and shift the light towards the desirable red spectrum. However, forum embers have consulted with a person who seems to be an expert on lights and spectrums and he seems to think that "downgrading" a bulb like that would do the exact opposite - i.e. produce more infrared and less visible red light. Also, this person stated that if a bulb is downgraded like that it would produce almost no visible light. Finally, someone on the forum suggested an experiment where two bulbs of the exact same brand/model and wattage but with different voltages (120V and 130V) are tested side by side and differences are investigated. Well, I did such a test and here are my results.

I bought the lightbulbs from the website listed in the Supplements thread. Instead of buying the clear lights I bought the red lights b/c I wanted to also use a spectrometer to measure what kind of light the bulbs will be emitting. I used both lights to heat up a surface for a preset time (15min) keeping the conditions as equal as possible. I have not done the spectrometer analysis yet since I have to buy one first but it seems that even without it some obvious things are emerging.

1. The 120V/250W Red Bulb: When plugged into the normal socket on the wall (residential unit in USA) the 120V emits a light that is for a lack of a better word "orange" in color. The bulb has red colored glass but I think the light produced is intense enough to make it appear orange in color. Also, the 120V bulb emits a lot more heat. I will use the 120V as a base and say that it produced a unit of heat in 15min and I will use that to compare to the 130V bulb.
2. The 130V/250W Red Bulb: When plugged into the outlet, the bulb produced a radiant saturated red color. If a have to compare it to something I would have to say something between cherry-red and burgundy-red. Also, the bulb produces about 40% less heat than the 120V bulb.

I have ordered this relatively cheap open source spectrometry kit and plan on analyzing the light spectrum of all bulbs in the house. ... ectrometer

I strongly encourage others with an interest in doing it to also do their own testing so that we know for sure if the Peat-recommended lights are really optimal, and also what is the spectrum of the common light bulbs of your home. My initial tests suggest that Scott (I think this was the name of the light expert) maybe incorrect in stating that downgraded light bulbs would be worse. In my experience that are much better in terms of producing rich, saturated, red color and producing less heat. Why that doesn't agree with theory and the charts that have been posted is beyond me, but I trust my eyes and how the light affects me.

Curious, did you ever test your bulbs with the spectrometer?


Mar 1, 2013
500 watt would be really hot too hot so safelty would be concern I would not go higher then 300 watts.
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