Better posted in the lighting section.

So if you know they need to be wired in series, and in wiring in series you add up the voltage and wattage, what's the question?

Assuming a #4552 ACL low voltage lamp that is 250w/28v, or a #4559(X) at 600w/28v, you than have 4 x 28v which equals 112v. At full it's operating over it's rated voltage but not more than 10% of it in an assumed to be 120v system thus the lamps won't pop instantly. Instead color temperature, lumens will go up but lamp life will never get to it's full 25 hours.

After this in question, we have added up the wattage thus know what gauge of wire it needs feeding it and what size dimmer. Screw terminal instead of GX 16d thus your wires will feed in and out of the lamps directly by way of crimp terminal but still need to be high temperature.

Same basic pricipals of a lamp bar after this only it's fed by one instead of four to six circuits.

Do you wish to more refine your question?
You seem to really know your stuff ship. OK to refine:

I will be using 250w bulbs x 4 bulbs with gives me 1000w. That tells me what guage wire I need. However, does simpily wiring the the hots, the neutrals, and the grounds together achieve 112v? That is what I am unsure about. I'll attempt a diagram:
Lamp Lamp Lamp Lamp

Would this be the correct sequence to wire assuming the three lines are the hot, neutral, and the ground? Given that they run higher than their rated voltage, would you recommend using then at say 90% or 95% on a dimmer system to attempt to eek out more lamp life?

Thanks for the help.
I think what you are looking for is:
         (      (       (       (
  |                                     |    +
  |                                     = 120v
  |                                     |    -
Series circuit where
"o" is a lamp
"+" is the hot
"-" is the nuetral
ground is attached to a common chassis or each pars' chassis.

Your diagram seems to be wired in parallel, which is only a total voltage of 28V across the four lamps.

As for whether to dim the lamps to save lamp life it depends on what kind of dimmers you are using. If you are using the very latest in dimming technology, by all means, dim away. But if you are still using SCR dimmers (or similar) dimming will probably yeild diminishing returns; dimming the lamps to eek out a bit more life will just stress their filaments and very possibily cause them to blow sooner.

If you really want to know which gives a better life expectancy, you should try the lamps dimmed and undimmed and see which lasts longer. I'm not sure which will work out better for you (after all, I'm just a guy in a bar. :wink:)

One last thing... since these are low voltage lamps, there is also the posibility that when one of them blows, the rest could also go due to the momentary short across the lamp that blew first. The system would still be getting 120V through the three remaining lamps which have a combined voltage of 84V. Just a possibility though.

Hope that helped you out... good luck.
"Just a guy who works in a bar"... Well drawn and explained. Much less the note on the momentary arc within a bad lamp's filament allowing current to pass without resistance at times to the rest of the circuit is excellent knowledge to pass on. With some assemblies such as a DHA light curtain, when one lamp blows, you replace all the lamps because of this and frankly, once one lamp blows would you rather hope during a show you don't loose a second one or depend at least in the first set of hours all should work as designed? ACL (Aircraft Landing Lights) or properly termed (Sealed Beam Lamps) by high output type, (There are some long life versions) are not cheap in reliability to be using. Part as with a moving light lamp is in determining the cost effectiveness of the effect over the cost in using it. A bunch of fixtures you can't afford to lamp is not doing much good as opposed to a bunch more that last longer and will get the job done at times for the same price.

I might also add that plugging this assembly into a 120v source without warming them on a dimmer or bringing them up a little more slow than from cold to full as if plugging them in to a wall outlet is bad for the lamps. Very high output lamp, one that does not like shock loading. Your normal dimmer - what ever the brand should have a warming current in it that's sufficient to warm the filament so it's not a cold start. Don't plug the assembly directly into a wall outlet.

Jezza, this is basic wiring, without training in it (knowing series by word description but not how it works) you should be cautioned in doing this project even if in general explained how it works and you have some basic but well trained wiring skills in technique and theory - no offense meant.

Yes I "really know my wiring" - at my pay rate and position, I had at best - it's been years in getting there and mistakes are not allowed. Some parts school, some parts on the job training by real electrictions and stage hand old timers, most lots of studying by way of cheap handy guides to $180.00 books on the subject on my own if of any help. The studying on the subject does not stop either.
On the other hand there are many people on this forum that know as much if not at times more than I do on this and other things. Just responded first. Lamps, sure perhaps I might be in some top percentage, on wiring that's mostly basic skills and experience or need to know thus what you learn. There is stuff I don't understand sufficiently also. Stuff I less deal with, what I do deal with in needing to know it's something studied and mastered to my best extent.

This is not to say that you don't possibly know what you are doing very well, just that in not knowing how series works persay sufficient to use the term but not understand it's wiring, it brings up certain cautions I'm sure you would have in others asking about other things. No problem, just have someone with more training look over your shoulder or inspect your work. Nothing I or others don't do in stuff we are less familiar with.

There are details in how to make the lamp bar or what power cord assembly to do this with. For instance, installing Edison/stage/120v twist plugs on the individual fixtures could be dangerous. Also, that lamp is also still going to get hot thus normal at least 150c heat wire is still necessary. This in addition to the - you could do it that way but this would be better type of thing that is experience based.

Note in the drawing above that instead of a normal lamp having a hot and neutral wire feeding each individual lamp, this is a chain of them thus wired in series instead of parallel (hot/neutral normal.)

The first lamp gets the hot wire and it's other terminal goes to the second lamp in the string and not the neutral. That second lamp gets the wire from the first lamp and it's second terminal feeds the third lamp etc. until the last lamp which gets the power from the third lamp and it's second terminal goes to the neutral wire as shown in completing the circuit. Loose one lamp and just as a string of Christmas lights you curse, (also wired in series - unless the more industrial shunt type) you loose all lamps. Mayhem and others in the 230v world in using our 120v PAR 64 lamps have to do this on a daily basis in order to use our lamps instead of their own 230v lamps. Not sure of the benefits in doing this but experience says it's a better method for them. From what I can see, the FFN has just as much output as the EXC (CP-60) for the most part given the same beam spread.

As for lamp life, it's a 25 hour lamp. How much more life are you hoping to squeeze out of it before you loose the intensity thus it's purpose? This is not some 800 - 4,000 hour 1Kw VNSP PAR 64 lamp you can go at times 130v in getting even more life out of it.

Think of ACL's and ray lights as special effects. The 800w ray light lamp (Ushio JCS 120v800w/C) is a 75 hour lamp and as an alturnative in possibly you not having to re-wire your fixtures if it will work (should put out just about as much light - given the differnt type/feel of beam.) It's a little more economical but still a special effects lamp. (Ushio #1000909.) Should play test this lamp first in saving the man-hours in re-wiring at least. Kidd Rock used this lamp for it's 36 fixture PAR pods/walls of light - something like eight or ten pods of them in doing this ray effect in a large scale. This given by design, the ray light beam was more effective or intended for the production than the ACL lamps I believe I play tested also in choosing one over the other. If of any help, this was probably the first use of that lamp and I thru study in lamps was the first to note it. Thus in saving you the trouble, I might recommend this lamp above the 600w DYS if beam/ray of light is less a artistic choice in it being different, than some intensity choice. Certainly if it saves you labor in re-wiring your bars and fixtures, it might be very cost effective. Just don't try shipping them to Birmingham England overnight unless you know if it's the venu or the hotel the crew wants the lamps to arrive at. Otherwise you will given a supplier that has and can do it, will have to double ship at double cost - this as opposed to having to catch up to them when they hit Russia or are in a sea container headed for the great OZ. Not a normal lamp and thru most suppliers it would be a special order.

Neither type ACL/Ray Light is something you want to leave on for work lights or in the use of them, it's an expensive effect that costs a few cents every minute you have them in use. Think of it that way instad of some just beam of light that will be brighter and questioning if dimming them that will give the effect still, but in extending the life a few more hours. Want a cost effective beam of light that is cost effective, get a VNSP or even beam projector from Europe using a also low voltage lamp or 120v old time beam projector. Only a few sources still make beam projectors, but ah' what a use they have. There is four basic and different beams of light possible in standard fixtures/lamps. This and there is some ACL lamps of longer life types but they much exchange lamp life for output. That specific beam you wish for can be matched to the flavor of the fixture or lamp you choose but if in general just a beam, go with what is more is cost effective. I might say for a beam of light, the VNSP 120v PAR 64 has it's uses, just as the 800w Ray light does. After that should you want the effect, the ACL #4552 also has it's use and is a standard solution, but it's not the most cost effective effect compared to the above two in order of cost effectiveness.

You might go into the dimmer setup mode/patch and set the ACL up for a maximum of say 93 or 90% thus 93% will now be the max 100% in calling a cue at full. That only brings you - at best the full 25 hours of expected lamp life. I would not worry about such a detail.

Given a 120v supply voltage (this will not be in measuring voltage where you plug the lamp in and after the dimmer the actual voltage - it will be less thus less intensity but a longer life by say an hour) you are only loosing about two hours of lamp life saved. Don't think you will be able to tell the difference between 23 and 25 hours in any case. You in dimming to even 93% certainly might notice the loss of a 120v maximum of 11,550 Lumens you will be loosing by dimming to the equivolent of 112v from our 120v bench mark. Again it won't most likely be 120v at the fixture but it's a goal.

The S-4 fixture lamp is not persay brighter because it's a hugely better lamp than a 1Kw lamp, certainly more efficient, instead it's operating in a condition over it's rated voltage in most instances thus as shown above, you get a huge amount of more output in a 115v lamp say operating at 118v instead of a 1Kw lamp designed for 120v now operating at 118v.

Hmm a 500,000 lumen verses 511,550 lumen lamp @ 120v. Sorry the color temperature of the lamp is not listed but it will also diminish some. Still even if at 118v it is not as much, you should be able to note say 9,000 lumens in output in difference - especially when competing with moving lights.

It's a science of feeling/art plus some science and lots of study. I hope this above inspires you and all to study more into what some little voltage detail or what difference a lamp will have or where you find a cost effective lamp for your balance of art verses production. No telling where you can go once you start to concept the above details in theory. Thus also the purpose of me and others on the forum being here in making someone that takes us to school that happens no matter the length of the message.
ship said:
Mayhem and others in the 230v world in using our 120v PAR 64 lamps have to do this on a daily basis in order to use our lamps instead of their own 230v lamps.

Yep – have to twofer every pair of 110V lamps and in the case of ACL’s more complicated in bringing up the end voltage to 240V. It is a pain in the rear as you end up with patch panels that are rigged for 110V and others for 240V and you have to swap out your combinations. Our 110V lamps are always on round earth pic plugs, where as the 240V lamps go onto the standard rectangular ones. Hence no chance of mixing the voltages up.

I guess that the 204V Par 64 lamps were made available in Australia long after the 110V lamps were being used over here, either in local tours or international ones. Much easier to pick up an international tour when you can plug their rig into your system. Once that happened I imagine that no company was going to spend the time any money to change their 64 from the 110V lamps to the 240V ones. Strange as all of our Par 56 lamps are 240V.

I think this is what you want to do isn't it. That is an example of series wiring.

You mention that you have to two-fer all of your lights to get up to 240V, which makes sense, never thought about it before. Now, am I hurting anything by running 2 S4's (115V) at 115V since the dimmer can handle 2400W?
I think that you may be confusing wattage with voltage.

For me (running 240V) 2400W would represent a 10A load. For you (running 120V) it would represent a 20A load.

Other than that, a 575W lamp that I use is still 575W regardless of the voltage that is uses. The difference is the amount of amps that it draws (as the voltage differs).

Remember that P (Wattage) = V (Volts) x (I) Amps

This is the thing to consider when looking at dimmers. Your total wattage must not only be under or equal to the maximum rating but it must also have an adequate power source.

I have a dimmer that can handle 3200W but only if it is plugged into a 15A circuit (240 x 15 = 3200). If I plug it into a 10A circuit, I have to limit the load to 2400W, even though the dimmer can handle a higher load (240 x 10 = 2400).

So for a 2400W dimmer I can place 8x 300W lamps or 4x 575W lamps or 4x 500W lamps or 2 1K lamps. Just as long as the combined wattage does not exceed 2400W.

This site my be of some use
Hope this helps.
Thanks for clearing that up. That answers a lot of questions that I've been confused on for a while.

Users who are viewing this thread