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What is a heat radiator for?

What is a heat radiator for?

Heat radiator is a device that heats surfaces or people within its heating area by means of infrared radiation, ie heat radiation. No time required for heating the air. You can switch on the radiator for the time you actually stay near it. The heating elements in the devices consist of quartz or halogen lamps.

Where can radiators be used?

Heat radiators can be used in places with a large volume of air where heating the air would be too expensive (high rooms) or with insufficient thermal insulation. Radiators are used on terraces and outdoor cafes of restaurants, bars and shopping malls. In addition, they are used for heating kiosks, warehouses, production buildings, etc. Private individuals use radiant heaters, for example in summer cottages, on balconies, in outdoor kitchens and on sauna terraces.

Which model should you choose?

The most important thing when choosing a radiator is to take into account the current surface and the necessary effect. The heat from the radiator must reach the person who needs the heat. For larger areas, it is best to get several radiators of heat and direct them towards the heated area from different sides.

Infra-red radiaton (IR radiation) is electromagnetic radiation within the wavelength range 700 nm to 1 mm, that is, wavelengths just above those for visible light.

Infrared radiation is often called heat radiation. However, not all heat transfer by radiation takes place by infrared radiation, so it is a misconception that heat radiation and (IR) radiation would be the same thing. In everyday contexts, however, a large part of the radiation emitted from objects due to their temperature is within the infrared spectrum.

The infrared radiation emitted by the earth is called terrestrial radiation.


Night vision

Shortwave infrared radiation is used in night vision equipment, such as image intensifiers and thermal imaging cameras, when there is not enough visible light to see an object. The radiation is detected and converted into an image on a screen. Hot objects give a different image than cold objects so you can distinguish hot objects such as people and cars. Heat detectors do not measure the heat directly but the difference in infrared radiation from different objects.

Because smoke is more transparent to infrared light than visible light, firefighters use infrared imaging technology when working in smoke-filled spaces.


Infrared image of a dog's head. The colors are coded according to the scale to show the radiation temperature of the details of the image.

Long-wave infrared radiation can be used to estimate the temperature of various objects. This is called thermography, or if the object is very hot, it is called pyrometry. Thermography is mainly used by the military, industry and medicine. Falling prices mean that infrared cameras can begin to be used as an aid when driving in the dark with cars. [source needed]


Shortwave infrared light is used for information transmission. The equipment is a light source that transmits and a photocell that detects the radiation. Variations (analog or digital modulation) in the light source result in corresponding variations in output signal from the photocell. It is advantageous to use an infrared light source because the signal transmission then becomes invisible to humans. The light transmission can go through the open air, or you can use fiberglass that protects the signal. Examples of the application are standard remote controls for, for example, TV sets. Fiberglass is used in many broadband connections, long transmission distances are possible.

Measuring instrument

Shortwave infrared light is used in material analysis, see FTIR.


Long-wave infrared radiation is used in infrared heaters and is used to heat cold rooms and to remove ice from aircraft wings. It can be used to cook and heat food, as it only heats the object it is lit on and not the air around it.

Health hazard

In industrial environments such as forges, smelters, glass huts and the like, strong infrared radiation occurs outside the human field of vision. If the general illumination is low, man lacks a pupillary reflex against heat radiation. The radiation then gives increased heat in the eye, which in the long run leads to turbidity in the lens, cataracts, here often called "glassblower cataracts". This used to be a common occupational disease in the world. Now there are regulations that special eye protection must always be worn in these radiant environments.


IR spectroscopy is an application in organic chemistry that takes advantage of the fact that the bonds of molecules tend to absorb IR radiation. Different types of chemical bonds absorb IR radiation of a certain wavelength, and the absorbed intensity can be analyzed and the nature of the bond determined. IR spectroscopy cannot be used exclusively to determine the atomic structure of the molecule, but it is an aid in determining the functional groups in a compound.


Observations in the IR range, infrared astronomy, from ground telescopes or space telescopes (eg Spitzer) are of great importance in astronomy. IR observations have e.g. provided a lot of astrochemical information about the interstellar medium.

Infrared spectroscopy (IR)

Synonyms for heat

  • heat, high temperature, plus degrees, hot air, heat; heat conduction, heating, firing, heating systems, central heating, district heating; positive feeling, cordiality, sincerity, tenderness, fire, fervor, zeal, enthusiasm

Synonyms for radiation

  • energy transfer, radiation, irradiation, radiation; radioactive radiation