Infrared lamps are electrical devices which emit infrared radiation. Infrared lamps have many uses, but are most commonly used in communication and heating. Less common uses include illumination for use with night vision devices.
Infrared heating uses infrared lamps, commonly called heat lamps to transmit infrared radiation to the body that is being heated. When large bodies or bodies with a large surface area need to be heated, infrared lamps are often used in banks. Infrared heat lamps are commonly incandescent bulbs which are able to produce infrared radiation. Infrared lamps have many industrial applications including curing coatings and preparing plastic for forming, commercial applications such as cooking and browning food, and personal applications such as providing heat (especially in bathrooms and for pets).
IR data transmission is also employed in short-range communication among computer peripherals and personal digital assistants. These devices usually conform to standards published by IrDA, the Infrared Data Association. Remote controls and IrDA devices use infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to emit infrared radiation which is focused by a plastic lens into a narrow beam. The beam is modulated, i.e. switched on and off, to encode the data. The receiver uses a silicon photodiode to convert the infrared radiation to an electric current. It responds only to the rapidly pulsing signal created by the transmitter, and filters out slowly changing infrared radiation from ambient light. Infrared communications are useful for indoor use in areas of high population density. IR does not penetrate walls and so does not interfere with other devices in adjoining rooms. Infrared is the most common way for remote controls to command appliances.