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MR 16 Coffee can lights

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Dustincoc, May 5, 2008.

  1. Dustincoc

    Dustincoc Active Member

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    Anyone ever use such a thing? They are half a coffee can with an MR16 lamp inside. They have a transformer mounted of the back to change the 120v to 12v for the lamp. They are a relick of the past that I have been told I can have because they want them gone and I've never seen them used.
     
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Dustin.........No!
    They belong in the dumpster, scavenge them for parts.
     
  3. Dustincoc

    Dustincoc Active Member

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    It could be worse, I could be keeping the homemade flashpots. THey are definately finding a dumpster.
     
  4. highschooltech

    highschooltech Active Member

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    Keep the lamps, transformers, and any good connectors. The rest of it goes in the trash.
     
  5. ReiRei

    ReiRei Active Member

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    I've seen those around our booth actually... none of them actually have lamps... I put stuff in them... they're useful for that...
     
  6. Dustincoc

    Dustincoc Active Member

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    I might strip the transformers off and make some lights for my car out of them...:p
     
  7. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the good ol days of real CAN lights. I have had people come up to me at shows and tell me stories about how when they were in highschool, they built lights out of coffee cans and bulbs. But back then they didnt have an NEC to go by, and lights werent where they are today. I'd keep one or two together to have as something humorous to laugh at.
     
  8. Dustincoc

    Dustincoc Active Member

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    to make them meet code, what would I have to do?
     
  9. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    send us some pics and maybe we can figure something out
     
  10. Dustincoc

    Dustincoc Active Member

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    I will in a couple weeks when I get back into the theatre. We just closed the last show of the season on Sunday and I start the repair job on the 19th(The day after GRADUATION:):):).
     
  11. VanJohnson112

    VanJohnson112 Member

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    I have seen these before with the 12v transformers and also clamp light lamp holders. I am not certain about the 12 volt ones but these kind of lights that have used the clamp light holders are up to code, all the can does is reflect the light.
     
  12. thatactorguy

    thatactorguy Active Member

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    We still have some old coffee cans from when the theatre first started back in 1977 :) They used 150w PAR38 lamps, then the theatre space itself was expanded in 1990. Some TD decided to use 3 lb cans and put 300w incandescents in them. About ten years ago, a bunch of them were rewired and I began using 100w halogen PAR38s. A few cans have been retired to backstage use, and while our main lighting is Source four jr, those cans still work nicely as PARs, especially given the 15' ceiling in our facility...

    They aren't completely useless, and when properly maintained can work well for small specials, ambient lighting, etc :)
     
  13. n1ist

    n1ist Well-Known Member

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    The big question is what sort of sockets are being used and how are they wired. If there is a proper octagon box inside with correct wire clamps and a keyless, it should be OK. If it is just a cleat socket or keyless without a box, and with the wires poked thru a hole in the side of the can, they are not safe. I have seen both types...
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    For parts sure if you have room to store and time to hold onto the parts until you find a use. Not sure why someone would make a coffee can into a MR-16 fixture or how they would go about such a thing, this much less how they approached gel frame clips. Certainly do photos so we could all learn about stuff like how they mounted the 2" Dia. lamps at the center of like an 8" dia. can, but overall, why would one do so is of question.

    Once made some R-30 "Powder Puff" fixtures out of the rear shells to some ancient pinspots in abundance for short throw purposes. Worked out well with the rock and roll style gel frame clips and even more advanced later on PAR 38 style surrounding the gel frame brackets way back when, them mounted to like 5" dia. soup cans or bent aluminum can snout housing I made as attached to the body of the pinspot. Still got them and they function, not pretty but safe and would fill their purpose.

    Can do such things, recently I was thinking about tamato paste cans for snouts on MR-16 lamps as a concept if the same size for a project. This for color changing LED MR-16 lamps but still the rear assembly would be difficult at very least to mount the base to and or change lamps on even if it worked out.

    Today I was working late with the rest of the shop and board so I started work on my Halco PAR 36 LED lamp as second lamp over my work table. Had this idea that a Halo Lazor PAR 36 lighting fixture I now stock in bulk for special audience blinder projects would work great for this project. Gotta see the Cooper / Halo Lazer fixture to understand how useful as a fixture it can be once cooling vents are cut into it's lamp cap. Other makers make similar products, similar but not the same. Didn't clip onto the lamp, nor did the lamp cap mount to the lamp short of being able to do so. This was in part a R&D project for some need for LED PAR 36 lamps unannounced. Nope, have to go with more standardized PAR 36 type track light or stage fixtures to mount a LED PAR 36 lamp to them - just so far from this brand different mounting clips and it was a shame.

    A shame but I think I have a few other types of PAR 36 fixtures in stock somewhere up on a shelf to try for my work table lamp with this LED fixture in mounting and wiring it. All good to know in often when designers get ideas such as mine for a fixture, I don't get free time to R&D them out in seeing if it will work before I get the theorized parts for them on order. X out Halo Lazer fixtures for working with LED PAR 36 lamps which is good to know, better yet to have a stock of other gear in never throwing nutting out to try when that don't work. This much less a bunch of samples to try from is of value not shelf space.

    Another concept learned is that at very least in how far the heat sink in this brand of light, the heat sink sticks out that it very possibly would not work with a stock PAR 36 Audience blinder fixture well. At least for me, doing the prep work on R&D for lighting fixture design and production often saves time later when under the gun to get it done.

    This said.. Been somewhere over ten years with the company as their primary conventional lighting fixture designer and fabricator and like ten years before that in doing so elsewhere. Screwing around with lighting fixtures or making my own is part of my career as with making E-Stop systems for 30 feet per minute hoist systems or buying lamps and supervising an electrical wiring department. This much less just finished my first lamp bars that are 208V with data feed thru. Yea, it's possible to hack together gear but often a question of experience and study both from book and what is out there to make quality and safe gear.

    In the case of the MR-16 cans, lots to learn from in seeing photos no doubt good and bad, it's tech and an open mind to new ideas but also not something most often to be tried at home by way of detail. Working on some Kabuki senoid fixtures tonight before getting free time and some of them were tripping the breaker upon being turned on. In one case it's possible that ground was substituted for hot, in another due to imporper crimps on the quick disconnects, the wiring was shorting to frame. Still it's a question of proper tech matched with such a design idea in safety and proper use. After a lot of reserach today just bought some Beldon SJTOW cable today with a 105C rating for use with some PAR 20 fixtures as the fixture whip. A lot of research into what best might work. This say in me years ago re-wiring up some fixtures in using store bought vinyl insulated ring terminals inside of 750w rated lights or THHN wire within six cell PAR 38 cycs. This all because I didn't in doing so realize potential problems yet in my craft and saw the immediate results in doing stuff without the experience to see what happened afterwards.

    See lots of after results, concept of this forum is to prevent others from re-living those of us been thru it from having to repeat it.

    On these fixtures, take study photos in how they were done and very possibly don't plan on using them. In other cases, great ideas take time, experience and research and proto typing. Short of that especially experience - not you but someone else that might get killed if you do something wrong which should be important in doing stuff not trained and experienced in doing absolutely correct. Wiring past replacing a ETC lamp socket ain't games and should not be played with by expert by way of circumstance or by those lacking supervision.
     
  15. NevilleLighting

    NevilleLighting Active Member

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    You can buy very useful MR-16 fixtures for around $20. Little mini-Pars nicknamed Birdies by Jules Fisher who first used them on his design for Grand Hotel because they are "one under Par". There are also many UL approved tracklight solutions if you're on a tight budget.
     

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