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CFL Output?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So I've been talking to the Maintenance Dept Head recently. He is a cool guy, that aside I talked with him concerning his thoughts on the houselight situation. I can get into it for those interested, but essentially it's not well thought out. I'd like to repatch the Architectural controls (Any ideas how? I'm hoping that's something from the rack: CD80sv.) to include the sconce fluros, as well as the overhead balcony fluros for general day-to-day illumination. We can then save our PAR56s as houselighting, just for shows/assemblies/events/etc.. It makes sense to me. We have the circuiting/distribution in place to do this.

    However, I do have some specific issues I'd like to research first:

    For fluros, is there any advantage to running them at full vs running at a decreased intensity? While I'm sure we payed a lot of money for Mk10 ballasts, I'd like to reorganize the arch control presets (Currently: FL, 75, 50, 25). It might be nice to keep two PAR64s on a stage wash / work light preset for work on stage, or classes. So, I need to know about dimming fluros, any advantages or disadvantages?

    When reassigning dimmer curves for fluros, one can assign that as dimmer specific, not module specific? Correct?

    What is the output gonna look like? I'd like to hang as few CFLs as possible because they'll be fixed, and on my friggin' lighting positions! (It really is the best option.) My original thought called for two (what the Maintenance Dept Head referred to as) 40W CFLs in each AP slot. The light is needed solely on the first level, the main area of seating. Will eight be sufficient? Should I bump the suggested number up to sixteen? I feel like I have to, but am wary of hanging so much stuff up there.

    Will I be able to get "patch-happy" and rearrange things the way that best fits a new setup? Strand CD80sv, and Outlook.

    How do you guys feel about the proposed setup of fluros running at any time, except when we have shows? My issue is that I think the Theatre Dept Head might be confused, or take offense, at running the proposed "show houselights" off of the board! What a travesty! :mrgreen:

    If you had 4 presets to work with, what would you do? I really wish these presets weren't in a radio button configuration, so one could mix and match with highest takes precedence. So, as it stands, I have ideas for 3/4 presets: 1. All fluros at full. 2. Fluros dimmed as low as possible, probably just the CFLs, (I know that's not low, but the idea is for note taking when classes use the space, or during rehearsal. 3. Worklight, All fluros at full, two (more?) PAR64s at full, providing a stage wash for basic work or classes. 4. ???. Thoughts here? I know the master stations provide another 4 presets, but other people don't remember or realize...

    So maybe you guys think I'm crazy for trying to work with Maintenance on getting a better fluro solution in the theatre... it seems like a good idea to me though. The Maintenance Dept Head approached me with some questions and asked for some input, but he, like I, has to get it by the Theatre Dept Head first.

    Anything else I'm missing here (I feel like I forgot something.)? Any other ideas, guys?
     
  2. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I go to bed every night :pray: praying that the theater will burn down so that we can build a new one without CFL's. They are an abomination, they don't work, they are ugly, I hate them. YOU DO NOT WANT THEM!

    As for how many... I think there are about 35-40 cans covering my 60x60 space. Each can has two CFLs in it. I'll try to remember to count the cans when I go in tomorrow.
    If they want to add in a second system that's fine but don't let them take out the incandescents. Unless you like your house lights blinking when they turn off and looking purple and taking a minute to warm up when you turn them on. Also be careful what brand you buy. At this point we think the latest problem with my CFLs is that they are a brand/model that doesn't like to be dimmed so we will be replacing them with another brand. I have to hang S4PARs everywhere to get a decent looking house light for shows. RUN! :wall:

    How can I make this more clear...
    CFLs SUCK!
     
  3. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Yep, Gaff. That's the plan. Two separate systems. "Show Houselights" on the board (Channel 96, if you wondered), and Everyday light on the architectural controls. What a lot of you guys forget is that my theatre is also a hallway for a few english classes, the bathroom/water fountain, etc, in the building.
     
  4. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Regarding dimming and life, from what I understand, CLF lifespan goes down if they are dimmed! This is due to the fact that the mercury collects at the ends of the arc tube. The little filaments that serve as electrodes must be allowed to get hot enough to keep this collection from taking place. It happens anyway, which is one of the reasons that older conventional tubes get black at the ends. (The other being filament vaporization, and the fact that mercury likes to form amalgams.)

    I just love the fact that in our rush to "save the earth", we are spreading mercury all over our institutions of learning! In no time at all we will have a full generation of "Mad Hatters." The Romans poisoned their civilization with lead, I guess our metal of choice will be Mercury!

    </soap box>
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2008
  5. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So, from the lack of input I'll take it this is a good idea? Ha.

    Well, in that case, I'll start writing a draft of some plans...

    I think the "magic number" here may be 16 Cans of 2x40W CFL each. I'd like to get a demo unit though, if that's possible in the architectural world.
     
  6. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    AS I understand it we have actually run out of metallic mercury and are now having to use major recycling efforts to obtain any. I don't know if this is true but if it is it sort of puts a limit on the creation of CFL's don't it.
     
  7. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Just retro fit the fixtures with LED's. Problem solved.
     
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  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Bill is a genius. Probably save you a lot of money over switching to CFL's and it's a product that actually dims!
     
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  9. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Really? Hey, anybody want to buy the 5 pounds I have rolling around in this jar since I was a kid? (Not to mention the stuff stuck in my teeth!) Use to play with it all the time, which is probably why I'm a major nut case these days! Should be able to make a few bulbs with it.

    Actually, the sad truth is that we have tons of it still in the form of ore (cinnabar) it's just harder and harder to find companies crazy enough to mine it. The problem is that where it was once found concentrated in rocks buried in the ground, we have managed as a civilization to disburse it all about so we each can absorb a little into our blood! CFL's are just the latest attempt to bring it into a table lamp near you! (You know, the kind you knock over and the bulb breaks.)

    In conclusion, Have you ever heard of someone dying or going crazy from Tungsten poisoning? Neither have I!

    I am already preparing to hoard a lifetime supply of light bulbs before the crazy legislation kicks in! I will personally offset any extra carbon footprint I may leave by improving my diet and thus reduce the amount of methane I produce! ;)
     
    Logos likes this.
  10. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Just run all your 60 watt lamps at 95% and they should run forever. Or just a long time.
     
  11. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    ... Thanks for the replies...? :rolleyes:

    I'll call Strand sometime soon, I guess.
     
  12. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    We are now stocking LED retro fit kits to replace flourescent tubes. Its only a matter of time until LED's take over the world HAHAHA....... They also draw lower wattage than CFL's and they dim, and you really cant break them, they actually last longer, NO MERCURY so they are kid safe and adult safe.


    NEW IDEA!!!!!!!
    LETS ALL TALK ABOUT HOW CFLs ARE NOT SAFE FOR USE AROUND KIDS due to the mercury and whatever that toxic dust is. I cant tell you how many times by dad has knocked over the box of flourescent tubes spilling that toxic dust and crap all over the place. Someone really needs to do a news report on the real dangers of flourescent lights, and how LED technolgy is improving to replace all forms of lamps. There now is LED replacements for vertually all forms of lamps.
     
  13. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    A fluorescent lamp is much like a metal hallide lamp unless very special in design (see below on types and conditions of operation.) To some degree the smaller size of the compact fluorescent lamp the better it might react to dimming and even have more of a dimming curve if specialized design in lamp over that of a HMI lamp, this as with compact fluorescent lamps specifically designed for use with dimming, but overall the concept will be the same as below.


    Dimming of HMI Metal Halide Lamps: Dimming = operation of the lamp at less than rated power with reduced light output. In this age of flexibility, there is an increasing demand for light which can be individually dosed according to the particular application. The ideal solution would be the “rubber lamp” which could “stretch” across a wide range of wattages with no loss of photometric quality. It is this loss of quality which is the prime concern when we consider dimming metal halide lamps. You may recall the rule of thumb from tungsten-halogen lamps that a 5% drop in voltage will double the life and reduce the color temper as power decreases: discharge lamps behave in a similar way, initially at least.
    As you would expect, dimming causes a drop in luminous flux - as is the case with tungsten halogen lamps. The color temperature however, increases (i.e. the lamp appears more “blueish”), while color rendering (CRI) deteriorates as power input decreases. The metals, which are responsible for the red component in the spectrum, are the last of the filter components to vaporize during startup and the first to condense out again when the lamp is dimmed. They are therefore no longer available for generating light. The result is that the light appears more “blueish.” The loss of the red component also means poorer color rendering. The reason why the filter components start to condense again is the drop of the bulb temperature at lower wattages.
    These effects can be avoided by regulating the amount of light which grey scale filters or mechanical shutters. The lamp continues to operate at full load, so its photometric properties remain more or less unaffected at every stage. If the lamp is dimmed by electric means it will not reach its optimum operating state and, unlike tungsten-halogen lamps, will not last longer. The best possible operating mode for a metal halide lamp is when it is operated at rated wattage.
    Dimming is certainly useful for mobile news reporting teams who are reliant on batteries and will want to operate the lamps at full load only for actual shoots and otherwise stay in standby mode to save energy and reduce the startup time to a minimum.
    The temperature of the bulb wall falls more rapidly on a lamp without an outer bulb than on a lamp with an outer in which the discharge tube can only be influenced by the temperature surrounding the lamp indirectly or at least with a long lag time. In terms of dimming, outer bulb lamps are therefore not as sensitive and react more favorably to reductions in wattage with respect to changes in their color quality.
    Forced cooling can attenuate temperature-related problems but it cannot eliminate them.
    (Osram Photo-Optic Lighting Products Catalog - 1999)

    From past experience, I would say lamp life will be down. What's not heated up enough or energized enough will collect itself up on the cooler ends of the lamp and stay there. Enough of those materials collect up on the ends of the lamp in even eating away at the various pinches and the lamp life will go down. This much less overall full output given these materials are no longer availble will be lessened with time. So (and without a lot of study into it) I would say lamp life will go down and output will also fall with time.
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I have worked a lot over the ears with Encapsulite Stick Light fixtures which use 96w magnetic ballasts and are dimmable. Unfortunately due to a overall amount of use of them that is not to a huge extent have never been able to track expected lamp life verses actual lamp life. Still my thoughts are the lamps will dim but won’t live up to an efficient lamp life for other than tax refund purposes.

    As for intensity and how many per area, that’s photometrics which is both a question of the lamp and the fixture it is installed in and add to that throw angle and distance plus expected coverage. None specifically were specified thus it would be impossible to say how many fixtures were required for an area even if a average foot candle level at say 3' above the ground could be specified according to norms of audience area light levels. Any architectural lighting designer can easily do the math and will have the desired fc level known. Amazing how many people cannot do this even if paid to know. More a rough guess far too often.

    If you specify the fixture type, the above three dimensions and the specific lamp, I will look up the fc level you need and get further into how many fixtures on center for ya, but short of the specifics it would be hard to rough guess.
     
  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Better option for lamp life but I don't think it's dimmable yet, much less the CRI normally sucks. (Color Rendering Index - how close to daylight, candle or tungsten in natural full spectrum light the output is doing.) On the other hand you wouldn't have to change lamps often unless near a power station, have phase harmonic issues or a good old surge or brown out. As similar in semi-solution would be to go fiber optic so as only to have to change a few projector lamps. Don't think they are efficient enough yet but it would be a curious thing to look into. Got these cool mirror / fixture projectors for spreading the light from the fiber, always a fun thing to keep up on in where fiber optic science is going.
     
  16. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    We've had two brownouts this year. We lost a leg of power to the school, I was told. Fried a few projectors, e-lights came on everywhere, fans spun very slowly, and fluros looked wonky. Silly me, I didn't put two-and-two together, and didn't equate the lights, fans, and e-lights with a power issue... I couldn't figure out why the projector wouldn't work! :rolleyes:
     
  17. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Mercury is still out there, just harder to find which means manufacturing costs go up. Unfortunately also the amount of mercury verses other materials in a compact fluorescent or even energy efficient fluorescent lamp is these days minute so recycling while short of it will destroy the environment, re-use of it will take lots of energy and work to re-use. Fluorescent lamps, not sure they are the way, other types out there, lots of other stuff like cold cathode I believe it is or was it other types out there. Lots of other types of lamp out there.

    This all said, I already have 2x 55gal drums of metal hallide lamp and three full of fluorescent lamps ready to go back to the recycler as with two halogen/incandescent lamp drums ready to go. Gonna cost me like $1K per drum to recycle them but hopefully doing so at least will prevent such stuff from going into the ground.
     
  18. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Inside modern fluorescent tubes there is minute amounts of mercury. I have been thru a mercury spill in the past at my parents house where the gas meter at some point was changed in the past and those changing it spilled all kinds of it in my parents basement. Years later, the guys in the white suites show up to clean up the mess. This location nearest just happened to be next to the room in the basement that I stored all the stuff I didn't immediately need but wanted to keep. Stuff like tax records, various music I didn't have room for amongst a at the time huge collection, all the models and drawings I made in college other than the best of them in the portfolio, rotery dimmers etc. of all the stuff in this storage room I had. Lost everything - the guys in the white suites took a very legal and thorough list of what was there and gave back a few $$ in cash for what I lost. Didn't really even fight my $100.00 per page for each blue print drawing/design they had to special waste haul away. That's mercury spill to the micron level and the parents basement than had to be cleaned, walls ripped out and areas painted with special paint to contain it.

    Break a fluorescent lamp these days and it's microns of it inside the lamp. Better before writing up some warning to read the warnings cautions and concerns by the manufacturers on the lamps concerned about in understanding them. Yes wash your hands, yes if possible put on the mask and vaccume up the area, yes properly dispose of such things etc. No get upset, what is within a moving light lamp is 100x as bad.

    Link me off line on the dimmable LED's, thought that was all still being worked on but I am probably wrong. LED's often have a much lower CRI than fluorescent lamps which are lower than incandescent lamps in not being much of an advantage.
     
  19. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Wow...$1000 per drum to recycle! From what I understand, recycling works pretty much like when the ore is first refined: They take all the old bulbs, thermometers, thermostats and other stuff and put them in a big oven and melt the mess. All the mercury vaporizes and is then collected and condensed. Not sure what they do with the rest of the big molten blob, but it is pretty free of mercury by then. Price seams steep, but I guess its the law of supply and demand (only kind of reversed!) The problem lies in all the ones that don't make it back to recycling or make it there but not in one piece! Here in the states we have really "trained" people to throw everything out and buy new. :( Some townships do recycling of paper etc., but few (if any) have any program for recycling lamps. The idea that people are going to drive, then pay to get rid of something they could throw in the trash is a recipe for poisoning the environment!
    My "day gig" is as the financial and technologies administrator of a large church. For some reason, PECO (our local electric co) loves to loose phase legs! I'll get a call that the lights are out in another part of the building, look up and see my lights are on and roll my eyes. Each case requires that I crawl through some ungodly (for a church) locations to reset tripped motor protectors! Two weeks ago, I had just got done my crawl (there are about 12 locations), made it back to my desk, only to see the lights in the hall go out!

    EDIT: Oh! And regarding the official thing to do when a bulb breaks.... (Hold on to your hat, my mad hatter friends!)

    http://www.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm#flourescent
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2008
  20. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    the $1K price was based off a 55gal drum full of moving light lamps for recycling based on mercury and other material content of them and given the small size how many were estimated to be within as compred do the fluorescent lamp drum. It no doubt is a lot cheaper to recycle the fluorescent lamp drums, but don't remember the price other than it not cheap. This granted a confusing type of thing. The standard 48" lamp will stick out well outside of the drum, why put it in a drum if part of the lamp will stick out and in transport no doubt break and in theory break thru the drum liner plastic bag? This as opposed to me buying the $3.5K fluorescent lamp crusher which would make the lamps into fine particles and get like five drums of lamps into one once crushed. This granted having to change EPA filters every few times worth of use so as not to make the area and users of the crusher contaminated. As opposed to filling up a fourth drum, thinking that even if the management hemm and haws about me buying it I will do so anway - that is the way including recycling how it normally works anyway. Nobody gives permission, they just don't question when the bill comes once reminded a few times. That way it's all about me in respoinsibility. Amazing the amount of recycling drums one can fill up per year.

    None the less at $1K per drum, that's what it looks like. Anything from what's left of xenon lamps to all sorts of arc lamp types. Posted the photo before but it's still amazing to me that I now just about have two full drums of just this type in two years.
     

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