Candy Questions in Tech 7

Given a 118v powersupply with a ETC - Source Four fixture, what's going to be brighter in it and saf

  • a HPL-575/115X+ (JS115v-575wX) lamp

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a HPL-575120v+ (JS120v-575wC) lamp

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a HPL-575/120X+ (JS120v-575wX) lamp

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a HPL575T6/95v (Osram/Sylvania #54822) lamp

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Here is a short easy one. Most HPL lamps below are using Ushio product descriptions out of symplicity. Osram and GE make similar lamps to the Ushio ones given.

Note: Lamp code as per on this poll might seem hard but once you understand a few things about it, plus general electrical theory it's an easy question. - This is an easy question

Hint 1, look at the voltage
Voltage and Light Output: The effect of voltage on the light output of a lamp is ±1% voltage over the rated amount stamped on the lamp, gives 3.1/2% more light or Lumens output but decreases the life by 13% and vise a versa. Do not operate quartz Projection lamps at over 110% of their design voltage as rupture might occur. GE Projection, Ibid p 13

If you want to cheat: &

Hint 2, What's the difference between lamp descriptions as posted of similar lamps? What do you think the differing letters stand for?
ship said:
Here is a short easy one. Most HPL lamps below are using Ushio product descriptions out of symplicity. Osram and GE make similar lamps to the Ushio ones given.

Note: Lamp code as per on this poll might seem hard but once you understand a few things about it, plus general electrical theory it's an easy question. - This is an easy question

Hint 1, look at the voltage
Voltage and Light Output: The effect of voltage on the light output of a lamp is ±1% voltage over the rated amount stamped on the lamp, gives 3.1/2% more light or Lumens output but decreases the life by 13% and vise a versa. Do not operate quartz Projection lamps at over 110% of their design voltage as rupture might occur. GE Projection, Ibid p 13

If you want to cheat: &

Hint 2, What's the difference between lamp descriptions as posted of similar lamps? What do you think the differing letters stand for?

Well since my knowledge of the lamp specifications is not as in depth as yours, I figure I will give this one a guess and see how I do... My guess would be the HPL575 a 115v lamp at 118v and it will burn brighter (about 25% brighter in this instance of 115v at 118v--eh?) but for a shorter life span. Plus I will "guess" the X stands for Xenon...I think the main differences has to do with the gasses used. Of course--the X could just mean extra longer life and different filament.. ?

As I said--its a guess since I'm not as versed these specifics, and I'm looking forward to learning more on this subject. Its a subject everyone could benefit from to know and learn...

X for Xenon would be a good guess but given long life verses standard life lamps what is the symbol for eXtended life? ✘life. I also should have been more specific in stating this is all the 575w HPL lamp designation types out there and that I did not leave out any versions of it such as a Xenon verses halogen.

Perhaps it's more of a difficult question than I thought. The tech people that get lamps from me learned the difference after some time with me tormenting them perhaps and I assumed it was a normal thing to know. Also I started giving out ETC lamps when that's what they asked for. That's the 150w DC/Bayonet lamp most used in a 3" Fresnel "Inkie" fixture. It definately won't work in a ETC fixture. Anyway, the question might be useful to learn from still. Bear with me for more info to keep in the back of your head.

X = Indicates some arbitrary deviation from the normal product. - GE Catalog
Given the choice in most instances between normal life and extended life lamps, it's most used to designate long life lamps when LL is not used. That is except for in the American DJ catalog where LL does not designate long life, it designates Lamp Light their house brand.

There is no specific lamp code difference for a Xenon verses halogen lamp, plus no xenon HPL lamps on the market yet to the best of my knowledge. Might be some xenon fillers in with the halogen/nitrogen but not enough to seriously boost it's output above what other companies mix it with. The cost of Xenon as a gas is cost prohivitive I expect for the most part at this point so far. Wait a few more years with the dichroic filters and internal reflectors. Ushio just came out with a ceramic instead of aluminum heat sink for their HPL lamps. Just got 20 of them today. Not sure how well it will work in the fixtures, might break in some of the tighter brackets, especially when a screw driver or pry bar is needed to insert or remove them - we will see.

The Osram GLC is a halogen/xenon lamp. Had ETC recognized the GLC/GLA line with Philips removable heat sink for use with the fixtures, than Osram will have probably also introduced a removable heat sink for their GLC lamps and than had a Xenon lamp used with ETC fixtures. Otherwise there is no notes on S-4 fixtures having xenon lamps. It's of interest also that Osram while their high output GLC lamp is halogen/xenon, the GLA long life version of the same lamp is not. Might be something to the less output or color temperature of the long life lamp not working well yet with xenon fillers - yet.

The HP600X by Osram was also a halogen Xenon mix lamp but it's "X" designation was for long life not Xenon. X frequently is a substitute for LL in lamp code - especially for HX/HP lamp code such as a HX-600. The HX designation is kind of a Lif code and a Pre ANSI designation, but more of a experimental lamp designation and pre-ANSI code that GE/Thorn uses and others adopt. As opposed to Philips and Osram that uses their own pre-ANSI systems such as #6880P or #71-2529 or #64637.

In Japan code the JC/JCD type lamp code as noted in brackets above, the code of JCX lamp is noting a Xenon lamp such as the JCX 12v-5w as it differs from the JC12v-5w/cc-8 or JC12v-5w/c-2R. This confusing code as opposed to ANSI and the Euro Lif codes is probably the only lamp code that designates a Xenon lamp.

There are three main lamp code standards. ANSI (American National Standards Institute) as the main one, Lif code as the Euro one and one that's more broad in what it covers than ANSI such as a CP-92 or P2/25 lamp, and the J-Code or Japan code that's even more broad and confusing yet.

A FCS/XE lamp is a Xenon lamp also much similar to a normal ANSI coded FCS lamp but with a Xenon filler. Note that the FCS is directly followed by it's modifier /XE just as the HP600 is followed by X but since X normally stands for extended life a XE now is used. (My assumption that in seeing an X, it would be assumed that it's a more common usage of the letter in being long life/eXtended life not xenon.)

To confuse you more yet,
Osram makes a EVC lamp that's Xenon, they call it the EVC/FGX Instead of designating the lamp in description as front glass - FG, Xenon - X, the FGX is actually a ANSI code for the lamp. ANSI lamps have three letters to them. FG is also a modifier for a MR lamp with front glass. Usually they list front glass MR lamps with just one letter a G but sometimes it's listed as FTC(FG) depending upon the brand. Such as a FTD/G. CG is also used, standing for cover glass as opposed to front glass. Point is since a EVC lamp is not a open faced reflector type MR-16, it does not have a cover on it and hopefully it will never have a G, FG or CG following it's code. Were a EVC lamp a MR-16 variant, it would get a new ANSI designation for it such as a ELC/3H or ELC-3/X or ELC/3. The /3 designates a aberation from the standard 50 hour lamp to in this case a similar to the EVC in 300 hour. Pop a EVC into a ELC reflector any you would have a better lamp in fact. Instead the EVC/FGX is a double ANSI coded lamp similar to EHC/EHB with one lamp the origional designation of it and the other the newer designation.

For the most part, Halogen/Xenon lamps don't have a X designator in it's code unless it's a lamp in addition to a non-Xenon lamp also produced. A Philips EVD/XHP lamp will be a Xenon high power lamp as opposed to their normal EVD lamp probably since otherwise Philips will have just noted it as a EVD/HP. The X in this case is prominant but confusing because normally it would designate long life and only be two or other than three letters so as not to confuse it with a second ANSI code. The HP being the only hint that it is high power and higher than normal power/output lamps usually are not extended life. That and ANSI designations have not gotten up to the X letter code yet. Still in the H designations given HPL is an actual ANSI designation. Otherwise, GVH it would seem is the last number used that I'm aware of.

Were a HPL lamp specially designated as Xenon, it would probably read if any designation of it were made: HPL/XE 575w/115v/C or HPL/XE 575w/115v/X.

Note that HPL lamps while ANSI designated as such have become complex in that they range in voltage and wattage unlike other ANSI lamps such as a BTL or BTN which give a new code for a differing wattage or voltage. The idea of an ANSI code to a lamp is to make an industry wide uniformity to certain lamps for all to be within tolerances the same lamp. HPL does not follow this rule so I guess it has become complex, or HPL is not an actual ANSI designation. I have not paid money to join the institute and so have no access to the code ANSI other than what's published in lamp catalogs.

Anyway, is that help in reading what the X verses C means? C you can probably guess probably designates high output in J-Code.
Officially it's otherwise:
C = Base With Cable “XBO700w/HSC.OFR” (Xenon Short Arc, 700w, Horz.
C = Flattened Egg Shape or Christmas Tree Shaped Bulb. (Cone Shape) (Arbitrary Designation for lamp shape.)
C = Coiled Wire Filament, this effectively shortens the width of the filament to allow a smaller focal center and smaller bulb. In Gas Filled filaments, reduced thermal losses and increases efficiency. The number following the coil identification letters denotes the arrangement of the filaments on the supports. A number before the letter denotes a double or triple filament. Wire wound into a Helical Coil, or is Deeply Fluted
ship said:
The tech people that get lamps from me learned the difference after some time with me tormenting them...

Going back to a previous QOTD, now we know Ship is a "tormenter"... still haven't figured out what a "teaser" is.... :lol:

Teasers are pritty Women that torment me. It's not proper PC language but an easy way to remember a short skirt for a drape.
Why not join us??
when we got our 2 s4 zooms we were going to order the a HPL-575/115X+ (JS115v-575wX) lamp becuase they had a longer life than the a HPL-575/115v+ (JS115v-575wC) lamp but i remember looking at the output and the 575wC had a higher output than the 575wX(if i understand correctly, you scarafice output for life). but we ended up going with the 750wX.
I immediately regretted my vote the second I pushed submit! In a brain lapse I thought X was brighter, and remembered better too late! Oh well...

We only have one s4 we never use and all I know about the lamp is that it is 750w.
dbldland said:
This is great. But which lamp do I use. I have a road house with top notch shows. I have seen all the lamps here. I am tempted to stock only LL lamps and sacrifice CT. It makes more economic sense. Will anyone complain?


Depends upon what the top notch shows demand and pay for. If you get a designer in there and he or she expects a certain color temperature for the price they are paying, than replacement lamp cost is factored into the price of doing shows there and you had at best be using the high output lamps. Buy them in bulk it will be slightly cheaper - you are going to need them anyway. Where I work I stock about every form including 240v on the market. (Except the dimmer duplexing version.) Absolutely can't get away with using the 120v or long life lamps for production use, but they are very valable and recommended to stock for resale. 300 hours at 115v means that should that lamp be at 118v at the fixture, it's even going to have less life than that, but will be brighter and have a higher color temperature - that which most are used to seeing.

On the other hand, if pricing is not sufficient to cover the replacement lamps, or you can't supply the labor in constantly changing lamps, than long life lamps would proably by wise. This especially for a school. At last count I bought slightly over 1,800 HPL lamps last year. This is a small part of the budget, much less even replacement lamp budget. As with more or less standard rental rates, just as 10% of fixture cost is factored into the rental, perhaps factoring in 10% of the cost of the lamp should be part of a premere rental. Otherwise if this is not possible, than those renting should not expect the higher output lamps. Be very specific that those in-bound know what to expect. Have the lamp used specified on the contract. Or perhaps to switch more than a few instruments over to high output, the renter provides labor to both install and replace afterwards any other type of lamp they either provide or can rent the use of in additiional rental cost.

Other than for specials, in a typical school I do not see a reason for a high output lamp where cost effectiveness on budget is considered important. You get used to the long life color temperature and lower output when it's not in comparison to brighter lamps, just as you get used to thinking a incandescent Altman 360 fixture is bright if it's your reference point. This, yes if long life lamps includes the 575w lamps. You don't have to compensate for long life by using 750w if possible to scale back your intensity dreams a little.

Check the specificataions, you drop slightly over 4,000 Lumens in output by going 575w/115v long life lamp (eXtended life). While in doing extended life 750w/115v long life lamps you retain almost the same output, your color temperature does drop, and you still have to deal with the costs of both higher electric bill and need for more dimmers to have the same effect of a 575w high output lamp. While you more closly match output, you have to balance this with energy cost and less fixtures per dimmer which can get very expensive if you don't have 1/4 more dimmers available. That limites the fixtures per channel and cost effectiveness where not otherwise needed in general.

The other option is a happy medium between long life and high output standard 115v lamps. Were you to instead start using 575w/120v high output lamp your life should be extended by almost 100 hours, 0.96%% more voltage rating on the lamp in comparison to the 115v lamp. ( For every 1% voltage change, 13% more life.) and be more voltage spike resist. Granted color temperature at full output will decrese by 0.4% and Luminous output by 3.1/2%. The other option in a theater with some new and some old lighting fixtures, given you are using what is normally - (unless also upgraded), were you to go with a 575w/120v long life lamp it would balance well with the more normal 500w/120v 2,000 hour lamps such as a EHD.

Note that milage varies due to dimming of the lamps. Also turn off your dimmer packs at the end of the day. Othewise that filament warming current as a part of the trim setting, while it is not sufficient to have much more than a nominal effect on the lamp, it still once added up does shorten lamp life.

Hope it helps. What should you use? The one that is most cost effective or is reimbersed for your use of them.
Some random thoughts on lamp choice if it's any help.

Remember that the high output lamp is an estimated 300 hours at 115v. Since most of the time the lamps will be on a dimmer, the actual life should be much more than this.

If possible, take an average sized show you have done in the past and work on an estimate of a typical run's time with a average say key light fixture that is on between hang and focus, cuing and production dimming so as to work out a rough figure of average lamp hours at full and at each approximate dimmed level for the duration of the dimming. Granted it's not very easy to do, but for every 11.5volts dimmed from 115v, the 300hr lamp life is extended by 13% with every hour of use at that percentage below full.

Another better option is to mark a fairly well average or often used test fixture and install a new lamp in it. See how many months it lasts along with an estimate of how many productions it has lasted with the high output 300hr lamp.

Than of course, since you were using FEL lamps, the average lamp life should be about the same with the high output 115v lamps. How bad on constantly changing lamps were they?

It might be just fine in lamp life to do the high output and at that point start with the HPL 575w/115v/C lamp. Always attempt to go with the least amount of wattage possible no matter the dimmer capacity, because short of this you have no head room. Different system and fixture, the 575w lamp might be just fine. Might also be a moot point of discussion in it depending upon the production's rider. Good chance they will want the high output lamps.

Otherwise given a liking of the higher color temperature, but assuming dimmed lamps, I would still tend to go with the lower wattage long life 575w/115v lamps if you were normally dimming your 1Kw lamps more than using them at full. If normal dimmer setting was say at even 80%, the 575w long life lamp might be just as intense in output and color temperature when at full. Should you need more light than that in output, while the color temperature won't be the same, you can always add a second fixture to boost the output. Perhaps the second fixture is marked and installed with a high output 575w lamp for those less used times when you need more punch.

You would get good cost effectiveness in having a base lamp be a long life, and the specials having high output lamps in them. You would also have a larger pallet of light beams to paint with given ten main types of lamp available for the specials.

Realizing that your inventory realistically would not be that large in selection but say four or five types of lamps to choose from given a base lamp would not be a lot. The 120v long life lamps for instance are useless in output and color temperature so you might exclude both of them. Perhaps give the 120v 750w high output lamp a shot, might be a good solution still to match up to a 575w lamp, but it's dimming curve would be fairly extreme if not exactally similar to that of the FEL. In fact, given the higher efficiency of the fixture, it should be the best match to the Colortran using the FEL.

On the other hand, going with a 750w lamp, while it's output is better, you have the same problem as with the 1Kw lamp that if it's normally dimmed, it's color temperature will be much lower than the lamp most closely matching the intended output when at full. Also a 750w lamp at 40% will have much more amber shift than a 575w lamp at 60%. Same with a 575w lamp, if you intend to dim it to say 60%, you would be by far better using a 375w lamp due to amber shift. This of course given lamp life is not as much a factor as fighting amber shift that you could also color correct for to some extent.

Given you can color correct, you can also color correct the long life lamps. Say a 1/8 CTB blue color correction gel would be about 3,2K color temperature or better.

While you might in the end wind up with the 750w long life lamp, I would still attempt to use the 575w long life lamp initially. Same base lamp price, but even if you have extra dimmer capacity now, you won't later.

Contact me off line for a chart showing not just all the lamp types ETC lists, but a list of the actual lamps and specifications. It's a little over two pages worth of lamps available that would allow you to match actual output and life to brand as they do differ brand to brand.
In my humble opinion the worst issue with old lights in the frequency of repairing chronic issues with them. My theater is roughtly 15 years old and our primary instrument are Altman 360's (Which were bought used 15 years ago). I am in the process of replacing the majority of them with ETC S4's. But the issue I have most with the lights is their lenses. Has anyone else found a segnificant amount of lense discoloration from their altmans? Now it may be an issue of disrepair (prior to my taking over the lighting, instruments were only repaired when they a) started sparking, b) started smoking or c) when a gobo got stuck in them and had to be removed) but I am wondering what you guys have to say about the old Altman 360's.

And in regard to the lamp question I use HP 575w/115v. For the longest time I didn't have a full dimmer rack so I had to two-fer the crap out of my space, I went with the 575w to take advantage of the least amount of dimmers. I have noticed that in the S4's you don't get a noticable difference from the 750W. But then again my house is only 60 ft. deep from the stage.
dbldland said:
Sorry avkid, our old fixtures are going into our little theatre to replace our 30 year old centuries...
thats was the american company similar to strand before strand bought them and became Strand-Century.
-What caused the fire?
-I have seen a few people write about some ambering as it were of the lens with age. This as opposed to green lenses that is a lower quality lens and not related to age. Cheap enough to replace lenses.
-Smoking fixures as with the fire given something that's metal has to be from something burning that should not be in the fixture. Or from the cleaning of the fixture by improper chemicals. You are just as likely to have smoke coming out of a S-4 as a Altman given this. Same basic materials are in use at least from the factory.
-HP 575w/115v, missing a few letters here.
-I don't mind Altman 360Q series fixtures. For years now that's been my position. Only thing I mind is misuse of them. Try a HPR 575/115v lamp in them in comparison to a ETC S-4 using a HPL 575w/C. The Altman is older and less efficient, but given a better lamp than the S-4, it's about going to balance out.

That's my opinion at least.

If this were more a question of a radial Altman 360 series, they can't be improved and while much more efficient than what else was on the market for their day, (most likely the above Centuries included.) By todays standards they are not a primary lighting instrument that can compete with anything on the market in the last 30 years.

On the other hand, if that is all your stage has, than there is nothing to comare them to in making them seem dim thus they work as designed and work decently. Otherwise, no sense in tossing them out, why not use them for supplemental lighting for those times you need fill, amber or run out of other fixtures? Othewise perhaps useful for the paint room or as work lights etc. Still useful, I would not just throw them out.

Better idea might be to supplement the inventory rather than replace it.
and or donate to a high school....

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