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Have you ever witnessed a PAR lamp shatter?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by derekleffew, May 11, 2008.

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Have you ever WITNESSED a PAR lamp shatter...

  1. Yes, I've personally seen a lamp shatter/break/separate.

    26.5%
  2. Sort of: I've found a lens that has separated, but didn't see it happen.

    29.4%
  3. No, all my PAR lamps have always stayed in one piece.

    42.6%
  4. Other, please specify.

    1.5%
  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Have you ever, personally, witnessed a PAR lamp shatter or separate not due to an external impact?
     
  2. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    really hot lamp...really cold water....
     
  3. Radiant

    Radiant Active Member

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    Yup, several low-bid ADJ PAR 56s had the glass separate from the reflector. I personally witnessed two or three when they went, out of 10 or 12 total failures. Not a "shatter" I suppose, but only because the lens was stopped by the safety screen and diffusion.

    Edit: Not sure which way to vote in the poll. The failure wasn't "catastrophic", but I did see it personally.
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Never thought I'd be defending ADJ, but...The manufacturer of the fixture should not be a contributing factor to lamp failure, unless there's a ventilation issue. Do you recall what Brand the lamps were?
     
  5. Radiant

    Radiant Active Member

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    The lamps came included in the package from ADJ, which we purchased new. We had them installed three or so years ago. Four or five of the lamps failed on the day they were installed, and the remaining ones that failed did so within a dozen hours use.

    There certainly is a ventilation issue with the design. ADJ calls it a "short PAR 56". The lamp loads into the can through the front and is retained by the lamp ring. The lamp is further retained by the can's out-of-roundness. (Seriously, some lamps have to be beaten into place.) Besides the lamp failures, the wiring insulation flakes off far too soon. The back end of the can is not removable, though it has three or four ventilation slots.

    Our solution has been three-fold, soon to be four. We've taken to ripping open all the ventilation slots, expanding them open an inch or so to allow more airflow. We've wrapped all the wiring with whatever that glass insulation tape is (not rubber electric tape). We now purchase name brand lamps. And I just got my first batch of PAR sockets, so I'll begin rewiring all the PAR 56s and 64s.
     
  6. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    It wasn't a PAR lamp, but back in my uneducated days, I was ever so curious as to what would happen if I dropped some water onto an A lamp in the green room. Would it boil? Bubble? Make a really loud crack and shatter the bulb into itself, scaring the crap out of me? Oh...that one, apparently.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I've never seen a true theater PAR go but I have seen an "Indoor Floodlight" type PAR lamps used for house lights have the glass envelope loosen from the base and fall. I've seen that happen 3 times actually.

    Which leads to a question probably for Ship. I'm told that you should only use "outdoor floodlight" lamps in house lights because the base is sealed better to the glass envelope preventing failure and falling glass. Is that true?
     
  8. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Reminds me of the Macgyver black-out trick. Mythbusters replicated it during one of their MacG "minimyth" clips - drain cleaner flung up at a bare bulb...bulb breaks giving MacG the advantage of the cover of darkness.
     
  9. superdoo

    superdoo Member

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    I didn't know they made "indoor" floods.
     
  10. tweetersaway

    tweetersaway Member

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    For a long time, until this past summer, we didn't have any PARs in our theater. The ones we have are just for worklights and we haven't had any problems with them so far. I have, seen a standard lamp shatter at work. We thought it would be fun to aim at the lights with our spray bottles. I guess hot lamps don't like cold liquid.
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    If you go to the hardware store you will find "indoor" and "outdoor" flood lamps. These are a form of PAR lamp. The indoor one have a very smooth frosted glass look that resembles a standard household lamp in a PAR shape. The "outdoor" ones are much heavier with a thick glass envelope. There is a much stronger "lens like" look to the front of the glass (more like an S4 PAR lens with those little squares). The indoor flood lamps have been used for years as houselights in theaters, churches, and school auditoriums.

    I was told long ago that they shouldn't be used for any sort of overhead lighting as the glass envelope is not properly fused to the base. It's just some sort of a simple fold and crimp so in time they can work their way loose and the glass will fall away from the base. I was told the "outdoor" lamps are sealed with a much better connection to prevent water from getting in and therefore are much stronger and safer.

    Hey Ship do you know if this is true?
     
  12. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Yep, I know it’s not true one lamp to another being better. Not sure if I follow the concept of an indoor verses outdoor specific PAR type lamp anyway. Far as I know no lamps are really designed for out door verses indoor and especially the lamp base connection is the same. There are some with brass bases marketed as outdoors verses those with aluminum or brass base but not so much these days if even than in difference in quality. Thinking that this is more than just a PAR question and more a sort of BR type PAR lamp in quesition.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2008
  13. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Sounds more like "R" as opposed to "PAR" The indoor floods are usually R30 or R40 in size, as compared to the PAR38 outdoor flood.
     
  14. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Now, which is better (and why) in a striplight? Par or R? I've been curious about that. Personally I'd choose par but the only reason is durability.
     
  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    both have advantages and disadvantages in being different lamps. Think of a R-lamp as a powder puff in soft, the PAR almost like a Leko but kind of Fresnel in hard beam that's dispersed and sort of soft but still more intense than a R. Get into BR, ER and etc. other types of R-lamp you more or less have R-lamps with different reflectors but the same powder puff lens. This more or less unless the one with the blown thus softer PAR lens but the R reflector.

    R- lamps as with PAR lamps have long histories in cyc lights both equally valid. As proposed basic concept see the above concept for description of difference.
     
  16. Radiant

    Radiant Active Member

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    Went up the scissor lift today to replace what I thought was a burnt-out house lamp in a PAR 56. I found the lens had separated from the reflector. Sorry for the lousy pics, my phone camera is quite lame.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Snap those lenses into a Source Four par! Just kidding.

    It's funny seeing that destroyed lamp and your quote underneath: Tougher Than Hell
    Apparently the lamp wasn't.
     
  18. Radiant

    Radiant Active Member

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    At least the safety screen was tougher than, well, cheap glass lenses. I'm needing to do some tweaking to the Lekos this week anyway, I think I'll make sure everything has safety screens.
     
  19. LDTom

    LDTom Member

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    Can't say that I have seen a par lamp shatter by itself, without any human interaction. Dropped one or two in my days and had to pick up the pieces when I was done.

    I have had the lamp for a shakespeare I believe exploded in to a million pieces during a show once. One second it was fine then I walked away, and was probably at the lip of the stage when I hear a loud bang and then sound of glass shattering . There was shatterd glass in the lens barrel and through out the fixture.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  20. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    A full-out lamp shatter happened to me as well... however, it was on the second electric... in a CYC light... raining glass... that'll teach those actors to hit their spike. :twisted:
     

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