Making a Cigarette flame and ash


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Color on the photo is not completely accurate, it has not been color corrected. - There was little to no amber or yellow light, it was more in the red/orange range and a little more dim. Was the same though in looks cool, this if more into the red tones.
This was a prototype I made which didn’t get used, (thus safe to post about.) Goal was to make a large cigarette end 12" dia. which would have smoke machine smoke blown thru it and be dimmable to reveal the ash between puff’s.
Parameters were, it had to travel and be easily set up. Wanted a dimmable 100w equivalent LED lamp but was to be used during the day. End result, nice looking and would love it, but not bright enough in the end. They went with a different brighter but less realistic method - literally red cellophane stuck on the end. Totally fine with that, invented something, and even if not used might be at some point which I have advanced the R&D on. Don’t need to go to work during my vacation on making this project on-time, and in general I don’t take personal what I design/invent. I really don’t take this stuff personal - nobody should. That is part of I think being a "Pro." Yes... this was the better design (in this case by the LD said but often not said or in only mine), but for the situation, it was not the best solution chosen. I am perfectly fine with that and always in such things. Gained experience and it’s in my book for later designs further developed. I often cannot understand how people can take work type stuff personal. Especially if not your "vision" for the project or cost effective to do... what you did goes into your book of stuff you can do, and a step further into something perhaps will find a time to be amazing or not as long as you don’t get stuck on any one method appropriate. Even tried bendable 0.20" polycarbinate and other materials in the R&D phase.
How I did it if of interest:
The ash end was a octagon of RoscoLux [HASHTAG]#105[/HASHTAG] silk gel. It was mounted to a stretch frame and a full bottle of Modge Poge decoupage was applied to in coats. Used the entire bottle. Initially un-thinned to one side, than thinned on the reverse. Another thinned coat to both, than finally a spray bottle with the about last 1/3 of the believe it was 8oz bottle. Right before the last coat I added clouds of two colors of light and medium gray spray paint to one side - the exposed side.
Let it get just about dry, than I shoved it folded in a round " \/\/\/ " shape into a 12" standard metal trash can for shaping. After dry, I cut out the center of the long’ W shape. This trash can shape would fit well into the sonic tube or for the prototype, the core of a wire spool.
Based on past prototypes before this one, I prefer actual Decoupage brand decoupage product over, seems to be a little less flexible... for either I would I think in production add a little white glue. Not Sobo’ or Flex Glue’, more like an Elmer’s glue to make it crinkle and retain shape better. After my decupage RX 105 ash was installed, our seamstress/fabric’s designer added some stretched out padding/wadding to it which really helped. Close up it looked like a bad hair day atop the ash, but as you walked up on it, it added the 3D effect which I think is what is shown in the photo in part from ambient light. Added spray starch to her effect to make it a little more stable.
The Lamp socket assembly was a 1.1/4" thick donut of plywood to match the I.D. of the tube O.D. The plywood was two layers of 3/4" plywood thick. Inside edges of the plywood were rounded over to help the smoke get out and allow for plenty of screw surface to mount to the tubing with. To that was mounted a equipment cooling fan protection screen of about 11.25" dia. A porcelain Leviton [HASHTAG]#9880[/HASHTAG] E-26 lampholder was than shock mounted to the center of the screen by way of adhesive backed high-temp. silicone foam. Padding between the lamp base and metal wire screen. Add to that, [HASHTAG]#8[/HASHTAG] nylon flanged standoffs between the mounting screws for the lamp socket and screw mounting it. Small fender washers and nylock nuts to the screen. Grounding to the screen with lock washers to grip and grab, and more fender washers and a 3/8" NPT cord grip cut into it to fit.
For the lamp, I initially tried a PAR 38 LED lamp with a Rx 26 gel tapped to it’s center. On testing the lamp, the gel didn’t quite burn thru at the center but came close to doing so = needed a gel extender. I have a stack of old Leko gate reflectors both steel and aluminum so I mounted one on a Osram PAR 38 100w LED equivolent. I’m using the 3000K lamps for the project given it’s closer to the red range. Than to the gate reflector, I riveted on a 7.1/2" stock 6" Leko gel frame to the reflector. Add a cut of RX 26 to the gel frame than paper brad it closed. Found about 11" down from the edge of the tube with the lamp base mounted was about beam spread seat height.
For option two, I tied a Osram A-21 LED lamp which I was to coat with a red. Tried Liquid Electrical Tape, Dip-It’ and a very wide tip Markel ink marker. The marker after two coats was the best solution for coloring a LED lamp of that brand. Worked really well in approximating Rx26. This was mounted in a base screen mount of the lamp base about 4" down from the edge of the tubing. Wanted the bottom part of the lamp to be about at the edge of the Sonic tube. This would allow the as it were... filament center to be more into the burning area.
The LED A-21 LED lamp once colored was way more effective as shown than the projected PAR 38.
The hole in the center of the gel allowed for the lamp to be inserted within the gel. Tried this concept by the way before, in decoupage of Rx 105 with incandescent 100w lamps, no problems with the heat and in this case on pendant lights in a leaf shape about the lamp. Was not a problem in 100w A-Lamps close to the modified gel.
Production wanted Cree lamps, but they have a silicone coating over them and a little wiggle about the base/heat sink in the one I looked at. The silicone coating wouldn’t take marker coloring so it was either the red colored Osram/Sylvania lamp for the gel version, or the Cree lamp for the red cellophane version in the end. Lots of R&D amongst many projects and it was a good choice between two end products.
Designer wanted the cellophane and got their Cree lamps. Good R&D project overall:
I learned that LED PAR 38 lamps still need a gel frame extender and how to do it if not within a PAR can, and it not as bright in shining up into the flame as a A-lamp in the center of the flame.
Also, LED lamps still get hot even hot to the touch.
Which of at least two vendors in lamp (amongst many) will work for the best coloring of a A-Lamp LED by way of ink in seemingly working best to color the LED lamp. Really you can color a LED A-lamp for a project and it will work.
On a further project for a church pendant today, I am figuring that the 100w PAR 38 LED would possibly work to somewhat replace the 300w PS-25 down light pendants, but I would safety cable the LED PAR thru the flutes of the cooling fins of the lamp given the extra weight. Also about to play test LED PAR 38's for dock lights, though will be doing more 5K color temp. for fake more light with them over the 3K versions.


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Looking for a dimmable 100w PAR38 LED. Can you divulge what you are using?
Most modern LED's in PAR 38 are dimmable now, or at least say that on the specifications. Don't think it hard to find, more to dial in what color temperature you are looking for. Cree and Sylvania I saw for starters in dimmable but there are many more. For the project, a 3,000K lamp was what I wanted and bought it at Menards (a home center.) For the dock lights, I'm thinking I would want something around 5,000K but it wasn't available at least at the store. Probably is made, have not looked into it from either or any brand yet.

Of the Sylvania lamp, I wasn't very impressed with the output. That for the project at least, minds eye told me it should seem brighter, but it could in part be because I'm used to a larger bubble of a lamp in that wattage - larger source of light. In the case of most LED PAR 38 lamps, it's more like a PAR 16 lamp stuck inside a heat sink. 10' or 20' up in the air, I would assume the same output.
our director wants a similar effect for a show in the spring where a character pokes at some coals from his dying fire and they start to glow. i'll be using some of this for the effect. great build!

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