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Conventional Fixtures Lamping question... Varied Inventory

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Lotos, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Lotos

    Lotos Member Premium Member

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    Okay, so the edict has come down from on high...

    Find a way to save money in our electrical bill... Turn off all lights when not in use... Don't turn the preset on in the theatre until 5 minutes before doors... etc...

    Thus I, as the good little Head Electrician, scutter off to the dimmer room, and start sifting through Control Booth, recalling discussions regarding FEL replacements... Surely cutting a boatload of 1k lamps out of the rig will save some pennies, and make the beancounters happy.

    My Strand SL's were designed and built around the Philips GLC, to my knowledge, and that is what we feed them.
    My Altman 360Q's see the air very little these days, but run Osram EHG's when they're up there... I am seriously considering HPR's instead for them, but that will need to wait until we're through existing stock.

    But what about my old Strand 22xx inventory and the old Berkey Colortran's...
    They seem quite happy to be fed a steady diet of Osram FEL's for the most part (minus the ocasional TP-22 burnout...) coupled in with some Osram GLC's in the Strands when twofer'd on a 1.2k dimmer...

    My question is this:
    Can anyone (ship, I'm looking at you here) recommend a good replacement lamp for an FEL with a (mostly) non-specific inventory in mind...

    I currently feed FEL's to Strand 2209/2212/2216 and Berkey Colortran 5/50's...

    I would LOVE to get rid of these 1k beasts, but need to maintain the light output... The 'punch' is mandated by my LD :lol:
  2. church

    church Active Member

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    hi Alex

    I have a number of the same Colortrans (5/50 and 213s) and the Strand fixtures that you refer to in my inventory. I typically use the GLC lamp in them. I did a blind side by side test on four identical fixtures using four different lamps including the FEL and GLC and much to my surprise the fixture fitted with the FEL was picked by the judges as the fixture with the most "punch' - the GLC was a close second. I have not tried this but my suspicion is that the GLE lamp will outperform the FEL in these fixtures.

    If you pm me your email I will send you the write up i sent to Osram
  3. mrb

    mrb Active Member

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    how big is this facility, and more important how large is the service and how many KWH do you use per month? I dont know how they do things in canada, but here over a certain size service they stick you with demand charges. If you are billed for demand, cutting a few hours of lighting usage isnt going to change your bill one bit.

    Here is an explanation of demand http://www.nationalgridus.com/niagaramohawk/non_html/eff_elec-demand.pdf
  4. Lotos

    Lotos Member Premium Member

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    *chuckles*
    You're more than likely right on the money.
    But when was a beancounters head firmly rooted in reality?

    If we're using lower wattage lamps, we're saving the company money, and the department gets a pat on the head. Whether the savings exist, or not.

    If I can save burnout in fixture bases, and cram more lights into the same amount of dimming... More's the benefit.

    As for size of our operation...

    Stage West is a 600 seat dinner theatre... They aint around much anymore...
    Attached to a 16-storey hotel, high class restaurante, 3-storey waterslide, gift store/personal service (hair, nail, etc) concourse, 20+ banquet rooms/meeting halls... And all the trimmings.
    I'd say our power demands are huge, and nothing I can say or do will make a drop of difference in the bucket... But as I said above, that's really neither here nor there.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  5. Lotos

    Lotos Member Premium Member

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    Abouuuuuuut... This big...
    [​IMG]

    And that's just on one side of the property. :lol:

    But now I'm just getting silly...
  6. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It might be worthwhile to touch base with Hydro One to see if you can tap into their Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program.

    They offered a "Greening Ontario's Theatres" program through Theatre Ontario several years ago that helped pay for our Source Fours and relamping from FEL to FLK for our older Strand gear. I'm pretty sure if you can quantify a savings they can figure out a way to subsidize it. It's a lot cheaper than building a new generating station.
    Lotos and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Lotos

    Lotos Member Premium Member

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    I'll be heading to Theatre Ontario's website ASAP, it seems... THANKS!
    (P.S. Have you seen the new Theatre Ontario Rona Rebate Program?)

    Sadly, FLK's aren't going to fly... I suppose I should have mentioned that in the original post... My LD did an FLK vs. FEL shootout a few years back, and was decidedly unimpressed... Not to mention the cost difference for an FLK vs an FEL...
    Hopefully someone can come up with some other sugestions though :)
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  8. DELO72

    DELO72 Active Member

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    If it's purely an output vs. Energy savings you are seeking, I suggest changing your FELs to GLD's. (Both are 300hr, but the compact coil of the 750W GLD should give you better output by far than the FEL for 250W less energy. )

    For a 575W solution, I prefer the GLC over the FLK as the coil design is more robust and less likely to break when bumped.

    If you want to go with longer life, then the GLE is the 1500hr version of the GLD. Output is probably closer to the GLC, but you have 5x the life.

    When I was running the theatre down at UF I relamped all our Colortran 5/50s and Altman 360Qs to GLCs and we were happy with the output.
    Lotos and (deleted member) like this.
  9. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I wasn't suggesting the FLK, simply providing an example. Technology continues to march on.

    We're already registered for the Rona rebate program but thanks for pointing it out for others.
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I would recommend a total re-lamp of the fixtures to long life GLA, and GLE versions for where you need more output. Initial output should be enough in punch to get used to as only slightly dimmer and lower in color temperature. Than as the designer type.. gets used to the new lamps, as the lamps age and have less output, his expectations of output on stage will also lower some psychalogically in needs. Or he or she will add more fixtures which won't help green up the house in energy usage but will inititally be a fighting point at least. Kind of like going from a brightly lit room to a dim one - you notice it, if you go from one dim room to another instead... you don't think it's dim. (How did they ever survive in theater before the 750w high output S-4 era?)

    While in using or experimenting with GLC and GLD lamps you have an expectation and they are more efficient, they are only 300hr @ 115v lamps. Sorry but to be more at least energy if not cost effective your situation says long life lamps are best for it, you should be using the above long life lamps and in that way it don't matter if S-4 or what ever your fixture for energy usage.

    Other things to throw back to the bean counters or designer in making it their fight and no longer yours.

    First that while the long life lamps use just as much energy, they are five times longer in lamp life thus in changing to them you would save money in another way.

    Second, once you propose this, it's now in the designer's lap and not your's as to why you don't convert.

    Third, the other option in perhaps happy medium would be replacing the fixtures with new more efficient ones. (A sort of cost/benefit type of thing you could get grants for.) Once the higher wattage nitrogen filled versions of incandescent lamps came to the market (about 1916), Bunch light (many lamp) versions of the Olivalitte (about 1906) became obsolete. Once Major Lighting invented the Azark process for aluminum in being a better reflector, ceramic white painted single lamp Olivalitte fixtures became obsolete also. (about 1926.)

    Stuff gets obsolete in technology both by way of efficiency and lamp type - the FEL nobody should be using - got a like 18" monkey wrench available if necessary or the Philips #6981P lamp designed for the High End Color Command should be above a GLD higher output and better color temperature to fool the eye into thinking it's brighter - given an also more efficient and smaller filament. As with your lights saved for secondardy purposes, they are still useful but not as efficient. If your designer has a problem with lower wattage on older gear in output, the other option is lower wattage still but with more efficient gear.

    Ok.. high output house or long life house. More efficient fixtures or it would seem you are doing the best you can so far even if high output versions.

    Less a fight with you in getting efficient but high output lamps, and more a fight with this designer that wants a certain amount of output that's not realistic and he need to move from dim room to dim room in getting back to a base lighting expectation of needs. The 575w versions should be fine and the 750w versions saved for punch or less efficient fixtures. Both I would think in your situation long life versions unless absolutely needed for more punch. Gee, how did they do it in the 1950's mount such great shows with radial mounted Lekos and Fresnels... at about 500 or at best 750w but normally not? Imagine say West Side Story... how did it ever become so popular given 500w/120v lamps and radial Lekos in doing so? Your designer perhaps has his bar raised too high in intensity for what he or she is used to but not the necessity for properly lighting it.

    Sub notes: There is a Ushio 1.2Kw lamp available which puts the FEL lamp to shame, and other you can do in staying the same and more, but not energy efficient. I think on the other hand it better to lamp it down and be more efficient in getting back to older standards for intensity. Sorry you are the middle man as it were between a designer's expectations and that of the management that wants to lower costs. But not your fight also in throwing it back to them.

    That Olivalitte... about 1916 that I have, it's obsolte but going out on a show next week in a museum of antiques for a vendor tent. Just finishing texture painting black the outside of it and new "ceramic white" for the reflector of it. This is now a prop fixture - lots of prop fixtures worked on in the past - espcially the big ones like 10Kw Mole Fresnels as made into LED source fixtures. Short on time in needing a more accurate reflector, I went with a latex based Pittsburgh Paints Acrylic "with Ceramic formulation". Na... that won't take a 300w to 2Kw lamp but if the fixture is plugged in at all, it would be dimmed way down as per a prop light. Should it ever be used to capacity, easy enough to scrape off the paint and re-paint with a proper high temperature ceramic paint as often required and mentioned in the 1929 Fuch's book.

    At some point a light becomes obsolete and museum grade. Prop light or museum grade light restored to what it would look like if new when no longer what it would be back than, or ever again used for it's purpose. (I should have gotten some ceramic high temperature paint... in doing it accurately, but it's now a museum piece and will never again be used for a production other than as a prop. Should it become a fixture again, I will scrape off the stippled paint to it and re-paint. Easy enough.)

    This or spread around the older lights - many schools or theater's that would kill for what lighting you currenty have. Save one or two for the historic value if even becoming lobby sculpture as it were, but give to good homes the rest should your theater get an upgrade. An upgrade that in efficiency given your designer's expectations of output, and management's expectations of greening up due to energy bills.. perhaps is necessary in satisfying both.

    If not, it's really more their battle and you have to get yourself out of that battle. You have what you have to work with and in most cases made them as efficient as possible, I'm sure you wouldn't mind going long life but again that's going to be a Designer end choice it would seem. New fixtures or go long life etc... your hands are tied in presenting it more between the two sets of antagonists you are for the moment between.

    Really would go for lamping down and long life in doing so. Something to get used to but it works for lots of places sufficiently. In doing so, you now also have head room in getting brighter. Still though even if lamping down would save energy or at least lamp replacement costs.. not much you can do beyond that before the designer and the board figure out their differences.

    Beyond that, the HPR lamp is now discontinued. Great idea and might come back some day in concept say once ETC looses their pattent to the HPL filament design but this lamp was based about the FLK filament. Difficult to get a reflector inside a more complex filament assembly I'm told but possible stilll. This and say in some concept - liquid filled lamps. Got them for various xenon lamps... Plazma and other technologies TBA but not here yet. I would take GLA the HPR while I can still get them - not as good for gobo perhaps but good in punch, than afterwards the GLC for normal lights and the GLC for gobo's... (Assuming both the HPR and GLC are high output and overall better would be Philips or Osram GLA lamps), but that is me and the industry didn't catch on in time to save the HPR lamp. A few disributers like me have some in stock in the HPR still, but overall like the FEL/R lamp of the same concept... dead lamp type. Yes there really was a reflector version of the FEL lamp at one point.

    As one of my friends might say... What's it take to sell a lamp? We even gave away free samples and T-Shirts to make this lamp a go? Still the HPR lamp is no longer and a shame. It did out punch a S-4 fixture. In a few years we will see what comes out.

    Lamp down and go long life is my advice.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  11. DELO72

    DELO72 Active Member

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    I'm going to go out on a limb and disagree with Ship on this one. (There's a first for everything!). I personally don't recommend the long life lamps for generic theatre use for two reasons:

    1) The Color Temperature. Long Life lamps are ~3000K, and therefore are much dimmer/amber appearing than your standard ~3200K lamps.

    2) Unless you are going to be running these at full 100% of the time, you will already double, triple, or quadruple the rated life of the lamp due to dimming. So while a show in Vegas or Universal Studios might get 300 hrs. on a 300hr. avg. rated lamp, a Theatre where the lamp is dimmed in different scenes or used in a variety of applications will see a vast increase over the avg. rated life spec as they will be providing lower power to it often.


    If it's 100% a cost decision, then sure, get the most life for your buck, but otherwise, get the lamp that will give you the most performance for the least amount of energy, and will still last a long time. Just my 2 cents.
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  12. church

    church Active Member

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    I agree with the above post.

    I have done the side by side tests using a range of new lamps in identical fixtures and using that information reached the same conclusion.

    I use the FEL, GLC and GLA lamps in my non S4 inventory and my preference is to always avoid the long life lamps because of their reduced light output and the colour temp issue requires more fixtures therefore it negates the power savings over an FEL, plus the GLC and the FEL lamps certainly seem to last longer in theatre because they are usually not run at 100%. I also lamp all my S4s with the high output lamps again I only install a long life lamp if it is an application where it is going to run at 100% for extended times.

    On a non S4 fixture for pure punch the FEL tends to simply produce more light on the stage despite the optical inefficiency of the filament. The GLC lamp always works better with a gobo and in most applications you do not notice the reduced lumen output.
  13. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Fair enough on the high output lamps. On the FEL though... have you tried a GLD lamp or better yet a Philips #6981P lamp?

    In the end though my point was lamping down in output and even color temperatue. Sure in comparision to other especially 1Kw or high output lamps, the color temperature and overall output on a long life lamp will be much less.

    More about the psychology of light. Go back to the idea of going say from a lamp lit bright room to a candle lit room. Yep, the candle lit room is dim. On the other hand, walk from a candle lit room to another candle lit room, it's no more dim seemingly. This is an extreme but a concept still. Before the FEL, the HPL or GLC came out, even before halogen lamps came out... how did theater ever survive, is my comment.

    When the GLA came to the market, as with the origional HX-603, I did get them play tested against the EHG and HX-600 lamp at a theater. Couldn't tell the difference sufficiently as shin busters. I didn't do the test but the person that did so was very happy in switching to GLA lamps. Could be a matter of opinion, direct shoot out verses use and place used etc. Also if dimming down of the lamps is frequently done and amber shift an issue - the lower the output and wattage, the less amber shift you will have in needing to do so in the first place. Plus lamping down to say a 375w GLG lamp or HX-401 where appropriate for the amount of light needed in retaining that full color temperature would be better.

    Lots of lamp options out there even 120v versions. Given the options... certainly there is the debate of going long life verses high output. Could mean a lamping down and adjustment or just sticking with the 115v high output versions - depends on overall budget. Certainly 300hr lamps last longer... but so do in the same respect 1,500 to 2,000 hour lamps - only five times longer in savings. This in exchange for color temperature and output of course. Is a GLA lamp more efficient than a EHD lamp on the other hand??? How did we ever survive the past?
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Expectations are higher today than "in the past." Jean Rosenthal lit dance, on a forty foot wide stage, with one head-high 500W T20 6" Fresnel in each wing. Doubtful that would be accepted today.

    A SourceFour 10°, with any 575W lamp, is three to five times brighter than the 8x12 "Cannon" Lekos with 1500W T-24 lamps we used to use from the FOH.

    Older audiences often ask, "Why does it have to be so loud?", but few ask "Why does it have to be so bright?"
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  15. DELO72

    DELO72 Active Member

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    Which shows that as you age your eyesight goes faster than your hearing! ;)

    If I had a dollar for every beautiful dim, lighting moment I have created only to have it destroyed by an elderly director who said, "It's too dark!"....*sigh*
  16. Arez

    Arez The Royal Renaissance Man Premium Member

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    Old directors and parents that want to see their kids faces overly lit up the whole time.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    But are them old' timers seeng the show more used to 'old lighting standards or modern lighting standards in perhaps being too bright?

    Fascinating debate.... Many valid concepts and lots of reasoning to support such stuff as how much wattage do your fixtures really need. This for me in a 2.5Kw world for the latest moving light lamps.. The Mac 500/600 that was state of the art in the industry in ligting when I gave up carpentry... mostly rarely used if not totally gone from the inventory. Funny even in the "Entertinment Industry" how in only slightly over ten years now we are already up to 2.5Kw lamps.

    Perhaps I'm getting old.... don't have some 18" sub woulfer in my car... (any such or even imagine such a thing,) much less my pants are pulled up to my hips. The Walkman I listened to Metal with it would seem tame these days in music volume concepts these days it would seem. Thus lighting also seemingly would follow would be more of impact than my concepts or "Art" made in the past. Need it...? "We go up to eleven.." And or in me perhaps becoming a crumbmugen.. if you can'st make art make it lighter or louder perhaps the current concept. Darn.. I must be getting old and romantic.

    Nope I never made art given I didn't have movers or more high intensity if even 500w/120v lamps. Nope no art there with less efficient fixtures. Gotta get blinding light to make art of corse. S-4 at 575w versese 750w for a theater space... how did we ever survive with a 575w fixture? How did we ever survive before the S-4?

    I stand behind this viewpoint in as much intensity as available at this point isn't really needed - just used to. Can make art off radio type 1940's Leko's still. That the key point "art" of design verses intensity I think. Newer fixtures are better and more efficient, but it is my viewpoint that stage and studio - much less the concert industry has gotten too bright in doing a intensity over quality type of thing. My opinion of course...

    Needing some Syncro Light spare lamp for a up and coming spare lamp on a tour... Hanguro Flash strobe light lamps cost about $2.4K per lamp at dealer cost. Really.....? Even the strobe light has advanced to that extent in necessity over the Martin 3K version or the Diversitronics 2K version.

    Even for the Martin Atomic 3000 strobe it's crap now. Same concept but can no longer get a proper lamp for it either from Martin or alterate sources for it. At some point Martin parted ways with Philips for the lamp and found a China type supplier for the lamp - same vendor as availabe thru others. Same lamp all really bad in quality. Lamps just don't last as long in poor quality.

    Got a higher output than the Diversitronics fixture initially perhaps, than the lamp becomes crap for lamp type faster. (Didn't study this concept in other than observation.) The Diversitronics strobe was very useful and dependable say in the Mac 600 era... suspect that we mostly sold them off at this point given I don't get much requests for their lamps. Still have some and they still work well, just not used as much. What problems that strobe had was within my level of engineering for what was a good fix for it. Ten years ago the main question was how to rig such fixtures - given neither were really ready. Now mostly obsolite and with what's the current status of either or more advanced.. can't say - this other than about their lamps.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  18. church

    church Active Member

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    Derek raises a good point on the ever incresing intensity on stage. I started lighting shows in 1974 and remember when a professional repatory theatre with a 36 foot proscenium had eight 1kW Strand patt 264s on the front of the dress circle and eight strand 500W patt 23s four each side of the stage located in the dress boxes for the total FOH. there were also footlights 32 compartments with a 150W general service lamp in each. This theatre today has sixty 750W Source 4s for its FOH complement.

    The same is true at home. My grandmother typically lit each room downsatirs with one 60W lamp and the bedrooms got a 40W lamp. In my own home I have illumination levels that are ten to twenty times the lumen output.

    It is anyones guess when we will decide enough is enough.

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