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Cool Lighting Projects!

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Les, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    A while back, I made these cool uplights (Pic's 1,2,3&4) for my media room. They're just a 65Q housing with a 40w bathroom vanity light bulb. (I chose a GE Reveal and it looks nice and cool). Including the socket (plastic with inline screw switch on the back) and the price of the cord, plug and bulb this project cost me about $8. The Fresnel was free (dead with no lamp base/assy) and I already had the paint/makeshift floor base. (It doesn't get hot enough to catch anything on fire if knocked over but I still hope to improve it soon. As well as putting a strain relief on that cord).
    The second set of pic's shows my 360Q project. I recently overhauled a bunch of 360Q's (see my other thread) and since I cannibalized a bunch of parts I was left with enough material to make some "shells". I couldn't bring myself to taking them to the scrap metal yard so I assembled one and put in some spare lenses (6x12) and an unusable reflector. Someone had bored out the hole in the back to accommodate one of those 360 prefocus bases I'm guessing. Anyway it was a perfect fit for a household lamp so I put an Edison lamp base on an Altman cap and viola. I'm pretty impressed by the even field of the beam! I have enough parts to hopefully make 3-4 fixtures, my choice of 6x9 or 6x12's. This one pictured is just a prototype. I'm hoping to make a more proper one when time allows.
    Pic 5 shows the fixture in its assembled state. I plan on painting it black and adding shutters.
    Pic 6 (self explanatory)
    Pic 7 Medium screw base lamp in reflector
    Pic 8 Pretty good results!

    Edit: The wiring in Fresnel pic #2 isn't as close to the lamp as it appears but I am going to add a short length of fiberglass sleeving just as a precaution.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  2. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Cool stuff. Nicely done.
     
  3. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    There was a guy here in town that had some P64's with a regular 60w edison bulb in it.
     
  4. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I'd like 10 of the 360Q's so I can put patterns all over my walls at home!
     
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    While not inspecting lamps, buying stuff or supervising wiring in part make my living in doing such custom modifications to gear. Be it from making a 10Kw Studio Fresnel into a LED or even 1Kw fixture to in the coming week making a stereo speaker into combination audience blinder/Rope light/LED color back and front lit fixture. This in addition to taking stuff like 1920's surplus for museum box spot fixtures and changing them into MR-16 based fixtures that at 50w/12v has the same efficiency as the 400w incandescent lamps designed for them amongst other projects. Stuff like me from scratch making four light audience blinders to stuff like full walls or pods of hundreds of lamp per fixture walls of light done in the past.

    Overall gotta balance the antique and use with what is now. To totally destroy something that any number of other people lighting their stage with a bunch of par cans on sticks for your whim would be bad. On the other hand if doing something desired and really great, thats’ a science and cool concept. Just finished a project in mounting a bunch of Juno light PAR 36 track light fixtures to up to 8' long goose neck conduits. Yep, the goose necks after heavy modification and inner heavy tube copper tubing make the designers wishes come true in some black lighting fixtures that had up to six lengths of them per fixture come out of a splicing wireway with lamp heads come out in bending where ever desired a light source in a way that the lamp heads would stay where positioned as desired as if a beholder’s eyes. On the other hand, given the smoke, haze and lack of light I mad an observation tonight to the production manager. Yep, the goose neck fixtures have their black conduits artistically doing the design almost literal napkin drawing of what it would look like, but on the other hand for almost 1/4 the price of materials and time to do it, I could have mounted a bunch of single cell audience blinders to some side arms for what I was seeing in the overall partially in the dark design in not being a seen thing this black bent conduit. On the other hand already have another designer condidering such a custom fixture for their next design. Audience blinder as a concept - bygone era as localized lighting fixture... the new concept is audience blinders all over the place or tear dropped.

    Will have taken only a few minutes to have single cell audience blinders mounted to side arms at the same positions as these rain drop like mounted lamps were shining at in position on the truss and a lot less in labor/fixture cost. Couldn’t see the condut or scenic effect anyway so it was a lot of wasted effort even if cool looking when the lights were turned on and another designer in seeing what I had done is already considering me making another set of them for his next show. Still overall effect is the lights on a darkened stage - their location don’t matter and single cell lights on a side arm could have had the same location of position.

    Hmm, mentioned that observation to the crew chief while he was sitting in the wisiwig room next to the designer that requested the around 200 man hour and few thousand dollar fixtures. Got a interesting sort of dirty look from the designer following that observation. Possibly not the best of times to say such a thing that the scenic effect was lost in the dark... Hmm, me do wiring not deal with the customer is possibly a good thing. Yea, looks really cool these 650w DWE lamped audience blinder fixtures kind of stuck out in the middle of nowhere without a seeming means of support or localized to a truss mounted fixture. Kind of like blinding rain drops of blinding light sort of. On the other hand, end result is all it will have taken is a few side arms plus single cell fixtures and one will have gotten for the most part the same effect - even could have used small Pars or Lekos to do it given darkness and a light in the dark. Looks cool, for the other designer interested, I’ll recommend the other solution while not passing up loving the special projects in light fixture trade. They certainly are unique and look cool, transport of them for a tour is another question.

    Unfortunate for the project was the 50w/12v fixtures now running a 650w/120v lamp Halo fixtures prototyped for the project were not available on the as normal to special project end result of hemming and hawing/bidding normal to such projects. Seems they were suddenly between the prototype a few weeks ago and the production line with a weeks notice out of stock and with an expected lead time of at least a month which don’t even fit into this weeks project in also using them concept. Had to settle with the lesser Juno light - clip wise not so good and overall not the same fixture I designed around but was available and made it happen. Parts for it, given a missing lamp spring clip and even lamp housing suddenly discontinued a spare pars problem I deal with for the spare fixtures still in the project not complete. Hmm, my guys lost a spring clip and I cracked a housing. Normally from Juno you can get individual parts - this my distributer and Juno are not asking questions officially in me voiding warranty and UL listing, but really curious at to what the current project is and sending the parts anyway. This granted where I work has its own few million in liability insurance for what fixtures I create to the best of my ability. This given what I do is looked at by counter courtousy by the other ME for the shop always and while I have a overall NEC concept and a few understandings of concept he does not, he has over 30 years of doing lighting in the industry plus other training that is also just as valid. We support each other in doing quality and absolutly safe work.

    All important factors - got our own liability insurance for what I create and its based upon my experience as a sort of ME and me seeking out the other ME for advice about all my special projects we do. Between old school and me, while we differ often in technique as not our way but still admititally safe, we always agree in end result. Yep, the fixtures used were rated for 50w/12v we are now using them for 360w/120v and there is major fixture design issues such as even heat retained in the lamp cap we had to cut cooling vents for, but that’s all an experience and prototype testing thing. Will have preferred the Halo Laser fixture once its own cooling vents in the cap were cut but it was not an option. Made do and it works if even better though totally different than the prototype. Same concept with the 1920's box spots that are now low voltage MR-16 fixtures or even 5Kw Fresnels converted to 1 to 2Kw Fresnels in having different lamp seat heights.

    Good stuff to study and learn from, remember back in colllege a 360Q fixture with zoom our TD modified to make into a high angle follow spot. Always amazed by his ability to make something into something else and perhaps that was my start in a living in some way. On the other hand, just as with the Mac 250 fixtures I am to be adding tophats to next week... don’t ask, it takes study, science experience and past that the corporate do it in making it happen. Short of permission, I will not modify that fixture, and in noting all the potential problems and costs only after the project manager gave his choice did I start the proceedings of modifying the fixture. Also recommended what I would do and based on past experience with adding top hats to the very early version of the Mac 2K wash, other options, the production manager went with the option I didn’t want but would least destroy the gear. Fine, will be done on late notice and a one day turn around as requested.

    Cover your rear and protect you’re ***** at some point also, but only after all know what you are doing and give the green light. Give the idea, the study and the concept to be sure but don’t do it until the go is official.

    An A’ lamp inside a Leko... Think you are the first to have done so on this forum. On the other hand, concepts of liability, permission, necessity etc. might be doubtful. You are now liabable for that fixture and it had at best be safe to an extreme. That’s beyond how may schools would love to have someone else’s surplus fixture, it is now your fixture can be a problem if there is a problem. Experience and training to be specific in doing any such thing beyond specification. Past posts about me specifying a 575w lamp for a 3.5Q type fixture is very valid. Known and under study just as Martin knows about the MSR 200/2 lamp and had years and years ago the upgraded lamp under study. Up until a time the study is done and lamp or change approved you are liable even if common sense, tested and known about for such a modification of gear.

    On the other hand, modification of gear is part of my living - great stuff. But on the other hand also nothing leaves my shop unless I approve of it given I have study and experience to the best of my ability in how to do it. Just approved the bypassing of the high temperature barrier stip to some 2Kw Studio Fresnel fixtures. Lamp socket whip will be high temperature butt spliced directly to fixture whip in one less part to go bad. This given those doing the change will be following my directions in how to do that crimp/splice change. Short of them following my directions in bypassing the problematic high temperature barrier strip they don’t’ change what is factory. My responsibility and only allowed for those I trust will follow my directions in doing so in what I believe to be a better solution.

    Even with a few million representing me in liability, what ever I do still reflects on me professionally and proper personally. What ever I do or specify I only do with the up most in being assured it is safe, proper and better. If in question I ask, if in doubt I don’t until absolutely sure. If in assuming I study in being sure as an absolute. This all with study and experience in the industry. ‘

    Point being modification of gear, great stuff and fun and great field. On the other hand very unsafe and dangerous if wrong. Lots of ways to do stuff, until you can write the rule book on it and are so sure it is correct you would be willing to bet not your life but someone elses on it, possibly not something to go about doing in a serious way. I am liable for everything I have wired in the last 15 years. Don’t sit well with me for most of the first half of the gear I wired.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2008
  6. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I definitely see where you're coming from Ship. And I do think I am the first to put a 60w A lamp in a 360Q. Luckily these will never leave my house, and I wouldn't sell them or give them away in this condition.

    I also understand what you mean about liability. I used to be an Apprentice Electrician and it took me a while to be comfortable with the fact that I was responsible for the safety of all those plugs and switches and light fixtures that I installed into brand new $300,000.00 houses that families would soon be moving in to and sleeping in. Can't screw that up and the electrical inspector doesn't check every connection on every receptacle or light switch. Just something you gotta learn right and repeat it and double check it; then triple check it.

    As for the lights I have, the fresnels are still regularly used (I've actually got them set up on a wireless Home Control unit with dimming and timing capabilities). Every morning at 5:30 they turn on and remind me that it's time to go to work. I love and I hate those lights. I'm careful not to leave them on unattended because I'll admit, there are a few things that still need to be looked into before they could carry a UL label. As for the Leko, it's in the closet awaiting a time when I can buy all the proper cord, sockets and strain reliefs so that it can atleast be as safe as any UL listed table lamp. Who knows, one day maybe I'll have 3 or 4 of them doing cool patterns in a game room. For now, it's a project on hold while I buy 360Q lamp caps in attempting to get my real stage lights up and running again. Something sad about seeing something fairly modern yet at one time mistreated causing it to now be unusable. So I've made it my job and responsibility to get these stage lights back in the air in safe and by the book way.

    I don't know about anyone else here, but I do know that anytime I start working on a stage light, I think "Now, how would Ship do this?"
     

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