Resistive vs Tungsten Load (Facts You Need To Know)

An electrical load is the area of circuitry where the current is converted into a usable format. An engine, transistor, and bulb are among examples. Energy is converted into heat, illumination, or motion by a load. In other words, an electrical load is the portion of a circuit that is connected to a strictly delineated output node.

Tungsten makes up the standard illuminating filaments, which makes them a resistive load. Since one is a specific kind of electrical load and the other is only a method or tool to utilize that load, the distinction between tungsten and resistive load is, to be honest, hardly nonexistent. Now, in this post, we’ll go over all there is to know about this and related subjects.

Resistive vs Tungsten Load

Types of Loads | Resistive vs Tungsten Load

Circuits have three distinct kinds of loads: capacitive, inductive, and resistive. These vary in terms of how much power they use in an AC system. Illumination, motor, and heating loads roughly correlate to inductive, capacitive, and resistant types of loads. Linear and nonlinear loads are terminologies used by certain academics and engineers; however, they are not as helpful.

Resistive Loads

Resistive loads are those that contain any type of heating element. This included kitchen appliances, ovens, heating systems, coffee machines, and conventional lights. The maximum, lowest, and zero voltage and current values throughout time must match up for a load to draw power in a cyclical waxing and waning rhythm in tandem with a sinusoidal fluctuation in voltage. This load is entirely resistive and contains no additional components.

Inductive Loads

Inductive loads are those that provide power to electric engines. Blades, vacuums, washers, household appliances, compressors in air conditioners and refrigerators, and other home appliances and gadgets with moving components all include them. In opposition to resistive loads, completely inductive loads have peak, minimum, and zero points that are not in phase because energy maintains a sinusoidal waveform and peaks just after the volt sine wave.

Capacitive Loads

Electricity and voltage are not in phase in a capacitive load, just like they are in an inductive load. The distinction is that with a capacitive load, the peak current value is reached before the voltage level value. In a resistive load, the output current lags the voltage waveform whereas the reverse is true for an inductive load.

Tungsten as an Electrical Load

Purely resistive or tungsten-heated loads are both examples of resistive loads. The simplest load for switches to manage is a resistive load without a heating element, and the device’s rating is predicated on this kind of load.

A load is said to be resistive if all of its components are resistive. Interface erosion is minimal, and the power factor is strong (PF = 1). As a result, it is possible to predict the electrical life of the switch.

Compared to Resistive Loads, Tungsten Loads Have Overload Problems

Light bulbs made of tungsten have high thermal coefficients of resistance. This implies that while the bulb operates and warms up, its resistance rises, and the amount of current it draws lowers. 

To prevent severe arc damage and degradation to the connections, the needs accordingly must be downgraded from its resistive load capable of obtaining when switching on a cold bulb since the inrush current can be a sizable multiple over and above the steady-state load.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Role Does Wattage Play in a Resistor?

Each resistor is rated for a certain maximum power. It’s essential to ensure the energy across such a resistor is kept below its maximum rating to avoid the resistor from overheating. A resistor’s input power is expressed in watts and typically ranges from 18W (0.125W) to 1W.

Do Tungsten Loads Have Resistance?

Since the voltages across a tungsten filament are exactly in sync with electricity running thru the bulbs at power cable frequency, the filament is regarded as resistive.

What Is A Tungsten Power Rating?

A gadget is certified for incandescent bulb (tungsten) illumination loads up to 1250 Watts if it says “1250W tungsten.” When a device is designated as “15A general purpose,” it may handle any load up to 15 amps as long as it isn’t in a particular category.

A Tungsten Electric Load: What Is It?

When tungsten is cold, the inrush current is around ten times more than when it is heated. A 100 Watt, 230 Volt light, for instance, has an extremely poor resistance when it is cold. (42.9 ohms) Just calculated using a calibrated ohm meter. A 100 Watt, 230 Volt light, for instance, has a very poor resistance when it is cold.

Watt Resistive: What Does That Mean?

The resistor input power, also known as the resistor watt scores, is defined as the quantity of heat that such a resistive element may dissipate indefinitely without deteriorating its performance.


Because tungsten is a metal, it possesses all of the qualities that all metals have. Because of the existence of localized ions, it is an extremely good electrical conductor. 

At power cable wavelengths, a tungsten filament is called resistive since the power through the bulb is precisely in sync with the voltage throughout the bulb. A resistive load without the need for a heating element is the easiest load for switches to control, and the device’s rating is based on this type of load. Hope this article answers all your queries.

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