heat lamp systems

Infrared radiation feels like sun--without the skin damage of the ultraviolet spectrum, or the inconvenience of seasonal or day cycles. Heat lamps--the mechanical device for delivering large quantities of this spectrum of warm and pleasurable wavelength--come in a variety of standardized forms, and have been in production since close to the advent of electricity (check out their colorful history here). Decoding Labs has been experimenting with a number of these types of lamps, deploying them in different configurations, settings and designs.

As far as electric heating systems go, these really aren't a bad one. They feel like sun, work instantly, and put the heat where you want it: right on your epidermis. Moreover, depending on the kind you use, they use a fraction of the electricity of a space heater.

heat lamp projects

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the lamps

medium-base incandescent heat lamp bulbs

These incandescent heat lamps fit into a normal light bulb socket (though you should always use a ceramic base with the proper wattage rating!), and come in 75 watt and 250 watt sizes, and come in clear and red.

a note about color:

Red heat lamps emit just the red and infrared spectrum of light. They illuminate (rather brightly) a targeted area with an extremely pleasant red-orange color. Clear heat lamps, by contrast, emit an extremely bright white light similar to any other incandescent light. Probably more akin to the color of actual sunlight, it can be jarring at night.


It is recommended that one use ceramic-based fixtures with the right wattage rating when using heat lamps, because the bulbs get so hot that they can melt the plastic base of other fixtures. This can lead to wires shorting out (as their conductive cores melt through their insulation)--leading to an electrical fire or electrocution--so you really want to take this seriously. The below fixture is rated at 300 watts, has a grounded power cable (safer), comes with a protective guard, and has a sturdy ceramic base.


floor lamps

Some heat lamps come preassembled in fixture form. This is nice because you can direct the heat to wherever you want it. That being said, many of them are kind of ugly, and resemble (and are marketed as) medical equipment. If you can get past the dentist office aesthetic, these are a pretty hassle-free way to get your hedonistic medicine.

infrared bars

There are many different kinds of these, but we've experimented with the below models, which are for human and industrial uses, respectively. The one on the left comes equipped with a full-spectrum light (presumably for curing SAD disorder), and the one on the right is for auto body shops (presumably for curing paint). Their heat output is similar, and they both feel like super hot sun. This being said, the quartz heating elements themselves glow, but they do not really illuminate. If the illumination experience is part of what you're looking for in your designed sun-lounge, then we recommend using the incandescent bulbs.