Intensity effects on Incandescent Edison vs. LED edison bulbs

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Taylor Blais, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Taylor Blais

    Taylor Blais Member

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    Rhode Island
    Recently, our next event was going to be based around stranger things. Loved the show and since it has become a smash hit, why not pull some ideas from them. We have a ton of incandescent Edison bulbs in our stage design and I am afraid to run any type of intensity effects on them in fear of popping those bulbs at any time. I would imagine that with the LED edison bulbs, you won't have that same issue. Is this true or have I been going at it the wrong way?
  2. Harrison Hohnholt

    Harrison Hohnholt Active Member

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    Sales Manager
    Carlstadt, NJ
  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    Anytime I've needed to run effects / chases on incandescents, I've tried to be gentle by using times slightly longer than 0 seconds, ramping them up AND down rather than snapping them. Not running them all the way up to full, maybe 85 - 90% and not taking them all the way down to zero. Only taking them down 'til they're visually out thus keeping them at least somewhat heated.
    Likely not the information you were seeking but my thoughts and comments none the less.
    If you're a visiting rock tour carrying your own lamps but using our board and dimmers, I'll shorten your lamp life anyway you say Ma'am / Sir! If you're a dance recital rental playing games with our house inventory, I'm not at all interested in drastically shortening the life expectancy of several hundred FEL's and 2 Kw fresnel lamps.
    Ron Hebbard.
    dvsDave likes this.
  4. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Theatre Consultant
    Clayton NY 13624
    Based on my experience, I don't think you have to worry. I did some chasing lights using the classic marquee chase device - a motor and contacts - dry or air gap or whatever but just a switch. It worked fine for a 5 week run plus rehearsals. I don't recall any burn outs.

    FWIW - IIRC over 2000 - 25 watt a lamps (all hand dipped for color - a lost tool) on two 3 circuit and two 4 circuit chasers - all with speed controls.
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Not aware of the show you mention. "I would imagine that with the LED edison bulbs, you won't have that same issue. Is this true or have I been going at it the wrong way?"

    Are we talking about long filament (LED) strand LED lamps that have strands of LED as per a long strand vintage lamp filament for decorative effect? Flashing thru incandescent lamps as with halogen lamps is normally ok given your dimmer trim settings of a warming current thru them. Flashing thru LED lamps can at times be a problem given a little lag time but should also work assuming a lot - but should work fine if strobing and not dimming smoothly down to the lower levels. Dimmable LED's can also be a problem on dimmers short of a dummy load in bringing them up in wattage to about 75 watts in load on the dimmer. Old lamps can blow, but the warming current thru them on the dimmers should prevent any "pop". As above but not as much a believer in it, setting the 90% upper threashold you could do, but not as important if a lamp is already warmend by the dimmers. In fact, a pre-warmend incandescent lamp I don't think will pop faster than a LED lamp given the conditions..

    When that filament goes... who knows, but the warming dimmer current helps. When that LED goes, who knows in also I would guess if chase lighting on a dimmer also not living up to 50,000 hours at some point. I would think for a LED the chopping current warmaing electricity of a normal dimmer would possibly become a problem to the electronics of the LED to produce a shorter life.

    If you have a stock of incandescent lamps, I don't think any good reason not to burn thru them and wait for the future on going LED for the effect. Saves money now and later the tech will be better in being ready for it.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  6. ptero

    ptero Active Member

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    THE Great Lakes State
    We've had great luck just doing it w/incandescents and not worrying about lamp failures. Truthfully there has not been much of a choice. Sometimes we would go a full run, 35 shows, w/o a failure. Losses have been very rare.

    Fortunately (or not!!!) we have done many shows with a False Proscenium ringed with chasers. There have been a variety of incandescents from 11w S, to 25w G and 40w G, to 150w A. Lamp counts were usually upwards of 80 lamps split across three or four circuits of control. The 150w A lamps added up to 200 plus on 30 dimmers for one show. They did their share of flashing and very few failed.

    We never tried easing the shock with pre-warming or by adjusting dimmer curves and timings. A few of these older setups were running on a mechanical motor and contacts box(as Bill Conner mentions above) with the lamps fed by Dimmers @FL. About as shocky to the lamps as you can get! Well, with vintage 6K dimmers that are always leaking about 5volts @Zero!

    We have not had any experience with LEDs in this application.

    Best of luck
  7. StradivariusBone

    StradivariusBone Custom Title Fight Leukemia

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    Facility Manager/TD
    Space Coast, FL
    We profile our incandescents to 90% of full to increase bulb life, I'm wondering if that would help prevent such burn outs as described? I've run chase FX like that and not had more than maybe 2 or 3 failures during a "cold start" over the course of 3 or 4 years.
  8. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    seattle, wa USA
    I would be suspicious of trying to use edison LED lamps. As far as I know ( and certainly with the Edison LED lamps I have in my house ) they take some time ( 1/4 to 1 second) to come on after I switch on the power. So if you want to do a chase effect or something with the naked light bulb effect, I would be surprised if LED lamps would give you what you want.
  9. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    Spokane, WA the great "Inland Northwest"
    These days there is only one rule with LED retrofits: TEST

    Some are/aren't instant on, most don't dim well, some are color consistent, some have good color, some look like filaments, some only glow on part of the globe, some look white when off...

    And don't expect to buy the exact same model next month. Even if it says it is the same minor electronics changes can cause problems. :(

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