Death rattle of the PAR64, continued.

ACTseattle

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Jan 24, 2019
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Hey friends, I am sure you have heard of the death of the PAR64 lamp by now. I've told my development department to find me several hundred thousand dollars to replace all my PAR64s with LED fixtures but that's gonna take a while. Another company has popped up selling replacement lamps made in China:

https://www.techni-lux.com/Default.aspx?tabid=13&id=8742&canonical=/Products/Pars/AbsoluteLumens/Q1000PAR64NSP/L1000PAR64N-AL

Has anyone used these lamps from Absolute Lumens? Do they explode like the ADJ versions also from China?
 

DaveySimps

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Macomb, MI
I have not used them, and you are right to be a bit skeptical. I have had colleagues use them for other lamps, and they were pleased. Lori at All Bulbs got me a lot last month. They just got a shipping container in. I have been testing 2 lamps at 100% for long periods, and no issues so far. An exact match to our existing lamps.


~Dave
 

TimMc

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Feb 15, 2017
Order now, kids! Don't tell mom you're using her credit card.

Like the other thread in the education forum about teaching color, the transition to non-tungsten illumination is moving faster than is being recognized. Stir in a big dose of denial "but there are soooo many PAR users out there..." and you're in for a major disappointment in <5 years. That light at the end of the tunnel IS a train, but it's an LED head light and the train is moving faster than it appears.

We sold off >240 empty aluminum PAR cans, stripped of wiring, as flower pots or sent to recycle (the really bent up ugly ones). That was the best extraction of value we could find.

The PAR is dead, long live the PAR.

edit ps: we kept the trussing and the lamps we stripped, out, too. Our PAR can rigs don't go out much; in fact I don't think a full 120kw rig has gone out this year. We have ONE client that insists on tungsten for part of their rig, but even that is now limited to about 2 shows a year. The most dispatched conventional fixture remains the Source 4.
 
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StradivariusBone

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There is one company I know of that is marketing a PAR64 drop in LED replacements. It doesn't seem to be economically better than replacing the fixture with either an S4 PAR or an LED fixture in most cases. I doubt there'll be much competition in that market so I can't see the price getting lower.
 
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ship

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Hey friends, I am sure you have heard of the death of the PAR64 lamp by now. I've told my development department to find me several hundred thousand dollars to replace all my PAR64s with LED fixtures but that's gonna take a while. Another company has popped up selling replacement lamps made in China:

https://www.techni-lux.com/Default.aspx?tabid=13&id=8742&canonical=/Products/Pars/AbsoluteLumens/Q1000PAR64NSP/L1000PAR64N-AL

Has anyone used these lamps from Absolute Lumens? Do they explode like the ADJ versions also from China?
Still testing TMB version on shows without any good or bad other than not a lot of failures replaced I know of but already stocked up on GE and pre-recall Osram lamps. It's really good there is a lot of PAR lamp suppliers out there now. I also hear Creative Stage Lighting has the lamp. At this point it would seem anyone that makes a PAR can fixture has the lamps now. Including from E-Mail today saying TechniLux making filament PARs at least thru PAR 46 in size. Not sure on other brands and or the status of ACL or sealed beam lamps from pinspot thru #4596 but probably on the first part.

Not just the lamp full on, but it bumped about in the back of a semi, cold starts from load in at negative temperatures, dynamic truss bumping etc. after lamps in use for a few stops on the tour is needed for reliability.

It took years to fairly well master the premium brands of PAR 64 etc. lamps. Remember the stories of PAR bulbs breaking etc.? Assuming Mexico was making most of these premium Corning glass lamps of late, the supply of them now moving to China is troubling but I'm sure there is a back story as to how it got done so quick. Or if not it's of caution we are all hoping will work out fine but suspect of.


Overall (not having heard of other than the Osram recall), it would so far seem like all suppliers have a so far decent but temporary lamp. One should plan on replacing them for longitivity, tax rebate, air conditioning loads and the RGBW LED's are getting better every year. Soon the cost of three cans gelled say RGB will be about the same price. But we already have the cans or can get them used for like $25.00 each. For the cost of 300 hour lamps, the LED will pay for themselves in a few years.

Also for the most part LED fixtures are a little more rugged than the standard rock and roll can - so less maintenance. Remember how much work cans are?

On Aluminum cans:
-Lamp sockets going bad and taking out the lamp.
-New lamp socket installed, but the bad lamp put back into it or another fixture.
-Wiring melting down especially on factory thermoplastic whips if they touch the can. Short?
-Bad ground terminals or rivets.
-Tape with what lamp is in it burnt into the yoke.
-Yoke mount and clutch cam rivets coming loose & especially on cheaper cans it ovaling out the hole making it impossible to replace or re-mount the hardware.
-Yoke clutch cam problems in general & the yoke knob rusting/stripped. If not pivot plate mounts stripping.
-Gel frame mounts loose / bent. Gel Frame latches fouled up.
-Yokes easily bent especially if on a lamp bar. (Not often solved by the new fixtures.)
-Paint chipping/steel parts rusting.
-The dings
-Dependant on wattage only two or three per circuit
-Always having to spin the bottle.
-Always having to change the bottle.

On steel cans:
-Mostly the same as above except dings and dents harder to fix especially in a heat baffle.
-Not just paint gone but rust to deal with going under the paint.
-Gel Frame brackets and retainer clips welded in harder to replace/repair but just as easy to bend up.
-Lamp cap hoods not fitting well short of slapping shut at best at times.
-Latches for the hood getting weak.
-Ibid especially on stripped yoke mounts, gel frame assembly problems, wiring/base issues etc.

On the fence about LED PAR's having installed some recently. More about the approach to their use in replacing normal design = stuff like Leko's, Fresnels, Scoops etc. My schooling is for at least normal as if old school theater. A PAR can is not any of the above, it is another type of light that can be very useful. It can be used for design and for intended purpose, It is not a replacement unless you have to use it to fill in for in lacking other gear. Been there, done that a lot when I was designing. Also though times when a PAR was the perfect light for it's use in design.

My fear is the LED PAR is in a few fixtures replacing the multitude of lighting paint brushes in fewer fixtures and positions sold in doing so. As if back to the 1920's in a few RGB PAR fixtures from the front of house - at least color changing and variable focus in exchange for perhaps less fixtures from different angles, and let's replace your current strip lights with some LED strip lights... Just get rid of the dimmers all together and say in a good budget... 8 LED PAR's and say 8 LED strips to do it all. My fear in also spending more time on the light board learning it than in learning the lights.

If I'm up on your FOH catwalk measuring out 48" on center to munt your six LED PAR's, and move what I need to between some DJ sources and Leko's or Fresnels... this so as to get poer and data jumper's to the lights installed... It does not say anything about lighting design, just in focus says wash. Luckily in the last instance they had normal lights pre-hung and I didn't screw up the plot much. Granted the lights they had were 40 years old at best.. and probably have never really been serviced, but most still work in the intended rep. plot for the stage. In other locations, they didn't have lights before, so what we did was useful, just not thatrical.

PAR can is not a Leko or Fresnel, scoop or other light. Plan to replace the PAR can, but not for replacement of normal fixtures. The PAR can is a paint brush and one of many fixtures to use. At times it can be useful to upgrade or continue using them in limited use, but by far better perhaps is to take care of or replace the primary lights used. If in theater it's the Leko's and Fresnels, if in say a venue' perhaps the movers. Take care of what you have in budget, and or first budget to replace them while mainting.

Overall for me, the PAR 64 and in general PAR lamp has become very small in subject - bairly above my notice. I have enough lamps to sustain until we go LED and the shows using them are looking towards doing that. Onto care of other more important fixtures until we change for those shows still using them.

Only one thing I got yelled at by Management! Lower Management agreed... was the whips for the LED supplied fixtures. And fixture suppliers have gotten a little better in providing proper gauge of cable feeding LED fixtures. In the past, LED fixture suppliers would supply 16 - 14 gauge whips of thermoplastic cable to power up their fixtures.

That was a problem with me in that the breaker on such fixtures was 20 Amp. In idiot proofing a system with feed thru power but specified maximum fixtures in-line with each other... As long as the same fixture in line. I was disposing of all whips and making them out of 12/3 SJOOW cable. 12/3 SJOOW cable doesn't have problems with heat or how cold it is, and is rated for the maximum circuit breaker loading. This in the case as normal that someone might plug in too many fixtures for a circuit - the weak link before the breaker blew. All my fixture to fixture jumpers were also 12/3. So... given reports of thermal plastic cable plugs un-latching by lower management and concerns about wire gauge agreed on... but upper management upset... back to the factory cable for now. Fall guy for lack of back bone - but 20+ years in playing the game, it will roll back to what I specified. This even if more expensive, or the suppliers will change what they supply as happens also, to match what I specify. Nothing big until the weak link happens and changes happen.
 
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FMEng

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The cable doesn't need to very big because it only sees 20 Amps for a fraction of a second at power up. The long term, RMS current is much lower. The manufacturers know what they are doing.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
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Lynnwood, WA 98036
Hey friends, I am sure you have heard of the death of the PAR64 lamp by now. I've told my development department to find me several hundred thousand dollars to replace all my PAR64s with LED fixtures but that's gonna take a while. Another company has popped up selling replacement lamps made in China:

https://www.techni-lux.com/Default.aspx?tabid=13&id=8742&canonical=/Products/Pars/AbsoluteLumens/Q1000PAR64NSP/L1000PAR64N-AL

Has anyone used these lamps from Absolute Lumens? Do they explode like the ADJ versions also from China?
I'm not familiar with the "Absoute Lumens" lamps, but agree that replacement incandescent and quartz-halogen lamps from ADJ have been generally substandard and very unreliable. (Many of their other products like the COB Cannon Wash lights are great, however!) I've got several cases of brand-new high-quality Ushio FFP-1000PAR64/NSP lamps if anyone is interested. The F-Series 1000 watt PAR64 lamps that are the high output version of the Q1000 series lamps that you mention above. Ushio (a Japanese company) has gained a reputation for having top-notch design and quality control, and over the years we've used their lamps interchangeably with GE, Osram, Sylvania, and Phillips, while at the same time avoiding the cheaper generic Chinese lamps. I also have several American-made, UL-Listed, black-painted steel, L&E PAR64, PAR56, and PAR46 cans in new, like-new, and lightly-used condition, if anyone is interested.
 
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ship

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Ushio from my communications with them once the problem started, had before this discontinued all of the PAR 64 line of lamps.
 

ship

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Sorry in being mis-clear. There was no problem with Ushio other than being more expensive. Once the problem started in GE/Corning discontinuing the bulb. Ushio had already by than stopped making the lamp. Bet they wish they waited a few months to stop production or at least could have started back up production. Ushio could have cornered the market for PAR 64 lamps from a "Premium Brand" they spent years in becoming a member of. Will have switched to them instantly. This as with Eiko also having stopped making the lamp which these days I consider the #5 Premium brand.
 

rsmentele

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Ushio still makes PAR lamps, but only offers them for sale in Japan currently. They are looking at making them available in the states, but with all fees included, sales prices might range in the $75-85 area.
 

ship

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So the status of the #4552, #4596, DWE and FCX? Been avoiding this question.