Product Type: HTSP heaters
Newest Review: ... heating and we were stuck in that room while some building work was being done. The heater was adequate to keep us warm in a medium-sized ... more
Effective But Not Efficient!
Oscillating Halogen Heater
Member Name: Nar2
Oscillating Halogen Heater
Advantages: Cheap cost price, space and efficient design, reasonably safe, instant heat!
Disadvantages: Build quality, no use in large rooms, questionable efficiency, not good for widespread heat.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Brand & Product: Blackspur Electric 1200-watt Halogen Heater (as shown on Dooyoo UK).
* Safety tip over switch & thermal protection.
* Three-rod halogen heat rod with radiant metal reflector.
* Three heat settings; 400, 800 & 1200 watts.
* Size: 35 by 70cm by 17cm width.
* Cool touch exterior plastic body & 1.5/2kg weight.
* 1 year warranty; my price £15 in 2012, current 2013 prices £15 to £23-99.
* Oscillation/rotation feature.
Walking around my pound shop for cleaning wipes and looking at cheap scented candles made me look a bit further when I spotted the Blackspur halogen heater. The shop actually had one at the time being used to promote the product. I used to work in a pound shop when I was a student in London and I recognised the brand name straight away. Thus, "Blackspur," aren't really an independent brand - they're a trader brand who take cheap and low budget built products from other companies, pay a small fee to use the product's actual basis and then paste their own name on it. It has been a running monopoly since the 1980's even though most consumers and buyers have not been told about it - why else do you think supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and even Morrisons are able to supply low cost white appliances at the fraction of the price compared to more established names? Blackspur lead a similar kind of company process but their main port of call are quality DIY tools including commercial built heaters for garages or DIY workplaces; thus a domestic halogen heater from this company is not unheard of; Blackspur also produce a cheap range of fan heaters, convector heaters and even at one point a small bagged cylinder vacuum cleaner that soon appeared in supermarkets and Poundstretchers.
The Blackspur 1200 Halogen heater is exactly what it sounds like - a three bar halogen rod fitted vertical heater with a narrow outlook and an optional feature of being able to rotate to 90° degrees similar to a conventional "fresh air" table desk or floor fan. Not all halogen heaters of this type oscillate, so it's a bit of a bonus here! It isn't technologically new but it promises cheap eco running costs and the company have dressed it up in pale blue plastics with a round white surround and different colour buttons making it look highly modern against other budget company halogen heaters who often just sell basic "white" colour appliances, hence the name in the trade! My one cost me £15 in early 2012 at my local pound shop but sellers can be notoriously greedy with this kind of product, hyping the price up from £17-99 to £30 at the most in 2013. It does pay to look around if you are looking for this kind of heater, particularly as it promises to be eco-efficient, portable and powerful.
General Design & Quality
Out of the box, the Blackspur 1200 Halogen heater is a simple affair, with the only requirement of taking a plastic tie clip off the power cord to get the heater switched on - everything else was pre-assembled - although I'm led to believe that the base stand has to be screwed on for some buyers. This aspect occurs with cheap brand cheap priced products and notorious in pound shops where small appliances like these are not properly cared for. For those who hate the assembly process, they may love the Blackspur 1200 in pretty much the same way that an electric, portable fan heater-out-of-the-box exercises but in any eventuality, minimal assembly is required here.
There are three main buttons in yellow located at the top of the Blackspur 1200 that gives you three heat setting options of 400, 800 and 1200 watt levels, with corresponding visual indications of the slightest glow from two rungs to the highest heat indication of three rungs/Halogen radiant rods that glow the brightest. It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to use this heater or to get it functioning although the first 400 watts first heat setting doesn't put out much. The heater however is beautifully lightweight with a thick oval carry handle fit for purpose with several safety features that offer peace of mind, even if the one we have at work in another room from another colleague lacks the top handle. Even with its oval stand ring at the bottom, the Blackspur 1200 doesn't look like a budget heater.
General Performance & Downsides
An impression that you'll immediately get with this heater is that it is quite powerful based on the visual brightness that the halogen rods give off. You won't need sunglasses, but it does take a lot out on the eyes if I stare at it the moment the highest heat is selected. In my lifetime though, I have had many heaters. So, whilst there is the dry throat inducing aspect that portable fan heaters can give off, to slightly weaker feeling with a more conventional "stand" convector heater to the more comfortable aspect of Dimplex's excellent Eco-radiators that I bought late last year that lack the dangerous personal quality, this Halogen rod heater gives off a warming heat that is neither dry to the throat or induces any other physical reaction other than being wrapped in warmth.
But there is a bit of a problem with this aspect. As much as it is glorious at being able to provide heat in an instant, I found it strange that the heater at home didn't fair any better than it does at work. I assumed that with it being installed in a much better insulated space with far better ventilation, that its general performance would improve. Just like so many heaters on the market, this one also carries the warning that nothing can be covered over it, so even if Halogen heats up in an instant, it still follows the path where safety is concerned.
The problem with the Halogen rod type is that whilst it is eco-efficient from the way the design of this heater has been made, it isn't as reliable and as comfortable to use as more conventional heaters that don't feature the same design and yet put out more heat with a faster spread in a shorter process that doesn't require to be left on for longer. I'm saying that pedantically so that everyone understands! Whilst I adore the "glowing sun" effect that this heater gives me, this halogen type is one of those heaters where even with the highest heat selected, the only way of feeling the heat is to sit still at least 20 inches away from the heater to feel the full effect and leave it on for a couple of hours to allow the radiant heat to spread around. The instant heat is a bonus due to the technology behind Halogen though but it's a bit of a false impression believing that all pieces in the room like the furniture or bedding will become warm with this kind of heater with the same kind of speed as it glows. It simply isn't powerful enough and requires another two bars for this desire.
The oscillating feature is one of necessity as a result of its general design in a large room. The only way of heat being shot out to all sides of a room (and even then any space behind it is neglected of heat) the effect in a non-ventilated room will fare better. In our utility room which lacks a window and air for example only comes from the outside vent fan located on the cavity wall, the room fares well with heat provided by the Blackspur whenever people are present in the room - but it was still cold everywhere else - the furniture in the room was still freezing to the touch whilst the heater's knack of switching off at odd times was not fully appreciated. Sometimes, 1200 watts just isn't enough if your expectations are to be cosseted in warmth without feeling the need to wear more sweaters and a scarf IN doors.
Therefore I can see why a lot of sellers claim that this heater is ideal for garages and workshops. It provides heat to the owner provided that they are standing beside it or sitting around it, instantly. It isn't like a fan or convector heater that can spread a wider band of heat and heat up a whole room in an instant and then find that it cuts out because of the space in front has become too hot for the waves of heat from the rods to dissipate. The product also claims to be cool touch - but this is only restricted to the plastic parts on the body - touch the metal grill if you haven't got common sense and you'll burn yourself!
Within two months of ownership, my Halogen heater began to wobble on its fixings as well, probably because its rotational feature had been used so much compared to sitting still. Not dangerously so because there is a trip switch added to the design incase it does fall over and thus switches off. But, again compared to a standing heater, although the Blackspur is well protected from causing fire due to its thick metal grill at the front and inner metal protection, the wobbling process to the eye isn't exactly inspiring and at odd times, the rotational design sticks, often requiring a slight nudge at the top to get it rotating again.
When my power bill arrived, I got a bit of shock when checking my eco-metre with the readings it had provided and made a comparison with the bill. This halogen heater is cost effective if you leave it on for half an hour at MOST. However, with the nature of my home being well insulated but suffers from large windows with heat escaping unless the curtains are constantly closed over in some rooms where the Blackspur was placed, my usage of the Blackspur had added £23 to what I usually pay - and that's with my bigger wheeled Dimplex heaters used once a day. Thus, I don't consider that this heater is largely eco efficient when used for longer than half an hour - and that's a great pity.
On the one hand, the cost price of this heater is extremely attractive and its unique design aspect of Halogen rods means it will give you heat the moment you switch it on. But then so does a fan heater and so do many other kinds of heaters on the market. The difference is that you can see the glowing effect and thus be led to a false impression that the heater is more powerful because of it. Whilst it is a neater idea that is more space efficient than conventional stand heaters, the extra bonus of its design is that unlike convection heaters from the latter brands, the legs on this model don't feel like they will break off.
It would be totally unjustified of me to suggest then that Halogen heaters of this type are no more than elaborate foot warmers, even if the first heat setting on this does give me that general impression. It just makes three stars for its glowing effect and instant heat spread. To those who are determined to buy it, they will find that they may get the greatest heat spread by leaving it on for the whole day and allowing it cut out at intermittent times, only to be reminded that it comes back on by the instant explosion of yellow orangey glowing to the eyes. To suggest that it is an ideal and cost effective heater that is cheaper to run is highly questionable based on my own experience though and in my mind, it isn't a cost effective heater other than the way it spreads heat in an instant. But that "instant heat," it promises doesn't mean it will heat an average room in seconds and thus it is more suitable for periodical use rather than depending on it like a far more capable conventional heater that doesn't require a whole day to heat up a room - and minimises burning a hole in the pocket. Thanks for reading! İNar2 2013.
Summary: A handy heater for instant warmth but it is costly to run and not really stable.