With the chaos of Lockdown during Coronavirus in 2020, many families are finding that their social activities are limited to meeting outdoors and their entire social lives are restricted to meeting for meals and drinks in their gardens as they can no longer meet indoors.
With the pubs largely closed, the option for socialising in the Pub Beer Garden under the toasty quartz halogen lamps have also become off limits. Whilst the idea of meeting in Gardens and having bar-b-ques on the patio in order to eat al fresco seems somewhat idylic and appealing at the start of a warmer than average spring, the idea of doing it in November, and then over Xmas and possibly into the dark winter months, suddenly makes lying on the Sofa watching Netflix the much better option. But, staying at home, is not good for your mental health and general well being, but what is the option, when its too cold to meet for a beer in the gardens of relatives.
Fortunately the technology exists to heat people, without first heating the air, which lets face it would be impossible and expensive to do in the open air. Quartz Halogen Heaters are the same heaters which are screwed to the walls of pubs in beer gardens and smoking areas, they are often used for outdoor meeting areas in hotels.
The Quartz Halogen heaters, use quartz bars filled with special halogen gas, these emit short wave infra red energy which emit little radiant heat, but can be felt some distance away by the body, in the same ways that rays of the Sun can still feel warm on a chilly winter morning.
How far the distance from the heater itself that the heat can be felt, and how how much heat, is all based on the wattage of the heater, which just like conventional lamps, determine how much energy is emitted. Halogen heaters also produce a reasonable amount of usable light, unlike their infra red counterparts which just emit a dim red glow. This ultimately means that one halogen heater, can also serve the purpose of producing quite reasonable amounts of visible light, saving on the need for additional lighting.
All types of Quartz Halogen Heaters work in the same way, so if budget is an issue and short term temporary use is required, then there would be no reason as to why domestic halogen indoor heaters could not be taken outside onto the patio and plugged into a suitably rated extension lead with RCD protection, or ideally, an outdoor socket if heating was only required for one Evening or on an ad-hoc basis. However extreme care should be taken when using domestic indoor halogen heaters outside as they are not waterproof and so should be shielded from any risk of moisture ingress and should not be considered for use during wet weather.
A lot of smaller indoor halogen heaters only have 3 bars and 1200w of heat output which would struggle to heat a large group of people social distancing, however it may be suitable for a small family gathering, when positioned to heat people sat around a table for example.
More suited for outdoor use, is the more powerful outdoor halogen patio heaters and these can either be supplied as portable units attached to an adjustable tripod stand. The other option is a waterproof wall mounted option which can be fixed to a wall on a decking area or overlooking a patio.
In terms of running cost, a domestic 1200 watt halogen heater will use 1.2 units of Electric for every hour it is on at its highest setting, which at an average cost of 14p per unit would cost about 18p per hour to run, whilst a 2kw (2000 watt) outdoor halogen heater will use two units per hour, or 28p based on the same 14p per kw/h electricity cost. So even running the most powerful outdoor option will produce enough heat for an entire night of patio socialising for far less than the cost of a round of drinks at the local pub.
Whichever option you choose, the quartz halogen technology will ensure that you can keep warm during lockdown whilst still spending a few hours with your family, and halogen patio heaters generally cost less to buy and run than the LPG type heaters which are not only expensive, but a hassle to obtain refills and store.
Whichever option you choose to use to heat your patio or garden during the 2020 Lockdowns, stay safe and warm!.