A halogen is a chemical element that forms a salt when it reacts with metal. Halogen lamps are illuminated by bulbs that contain a halogen and an inert gas.
There are five halogens in the periodic table of chemical elements: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine. The halogens are all highly reactive, which means they're quick to form bonds with other elements. What they often end up becoming is some kind of salt, including common table salt. In fact, the literal translation of halogen is "salt-producer," from Greek roots hals, "salt," and gen, "giving birth to."