Carbon Infrared heaters emit medium wavelength heat. They have a speedy start up time of under 30 seconds. The big advantage of Carbon heaters is that the heat feels like a warm glow on the skin. The carbon lamp has a lower heat output of 900°C and reduced efficiency. Around 40% of heat is lost in heating the air as opposed to directly targeting people. This does mean that on a windy day you will really struggle to get the same kind of warmth from a carbon lamp.
The elements of a Carbon infrared heater are made of carbon fibre. Carbon fibre lamps contain halogen gas and are therefore a type of halogen lamp. The characteristics of the lamp give longer service life and lower element temperatures. This gives softer radiant heat and can be experienced as warmer. However, as some of this heat is converted into heating the air they are best used in sheltered or enclosed areas. Any wind will blow some of the heat away and reduce its effectiveness. A carbon infrared heater also heats the skin more efficiently and is therefore experienced as warmer despite a lower output.
Carbon lamps are useful in say a cold reception area or in warehouses and garages to provide heat to staff working on benches or similar areas.