Opinions - Incandescent "Marquee" Bulbs Clear vs White?

kjones9999

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I am working on a set design for Chicago which will outline key scenic elements in globe-type bulbs - approx 200. I really like Rochem's use of this in his/her design-- https://www.controlbooth.com/attachments/chic-1-jpg.4335/

These look frosted (does this look like 8" spacing?)

There will be a LOT of these... Any opinion on whether I should use white-frost or clear? Or will there be a significant difference from a design standpoint? Just looking for opinions here....

If anyone has photos of these in use for set design that would be very helpful...
 

derekleffew

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White is softer, and clear more glaring. Depending on the wattage, the clear may have to be run at a lower intensity than the white, which due to amber drift will change the color. Are you going to chase these also? I think either would work, but I suspect I'd choose clear for Chicago, to enhance the grittiness. That being said, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of marquee lamps on stage I've seen have been white. Outdoors, in real life, clear is much more prevalent.

Stand under the Union Plaza's porte cochere in the winter: 40° F outside and 70° underneath.

 

venuetech

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I would go with frosted white if the audience is looking directly at them to watch the show.
 

Amiers

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I feel like you are going to get a pretty split decision.

I like the steampunk clear look. If you can spring for the fancy lamps and the 30' rules doesn't hider view. I think it adds that authentic look of the era.
 
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MRW Lights

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I am working on a set design for Chicago which will outline key scenic elements in globe-type bulbs - approx 200. I really like Rochem's use of this in his/her design-- https://www.controlbooth.com/attachments/chic-1-jpg.4335/

These look frosted (does this look like 8" spacing?)

There will be a LOT of these... .
200? A lot? Count yourself lucky that you're doing Chicago and not The Producers. I actually took Producers off of my M.E. resume for a few years so that I wouldn't have to do those signs... though I do have quite a large collection of zip cord and those twist on lamp bases...

If you go with clear then be sure to check out the filament inside the bulb. Call me picky, but the shape of the filament is sometimes my design choice. There's also lots of options for "vintage" bulbs on the market today and they're making vintage style LED A Lamps that almost look like old time gas lamps.

and above all else... BUY EXTRA BULBS!
 

Van

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I echo what oters have stated. Clear has a bit more "old fashioned" feel I also think Carnival or State fair with the clear lights on Brew cord or marquee lights. Frosted classes it up a notch. Gritty Chicago=clear Classy Chicago=frosted.
 

RonHebbard

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200? A lot? Count yourself lucky that you're doing Chicago and not The Producers. I actually took Producers off of my M.E. resume for a few years so that I wouldn't have to do those signs... though I do have quite a large collection of zip cord and those twist on lamp bases...

If you go with clear then be sure to check out the filament inside the bulb. Call me picky, but the shape of the filament is sometimes my design choice. There's also lots of options for "vintage" bulbs on the market today and they're making vintage style LED A Lamps that almost look like old time gas lamps.

and above all else... BUY EXTRA BULBS!
Purchase your spares with the initial order as if you come back later the spares may not visually match the originals.
Don't ask me how I learned this.
Toodleoo!
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Van

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Purchase your spares with the initial order as if you come back later the spares may not visually match the originals.
Don't ask me how I learned this.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
Yeah, Same issue for "Assassins" ... Oy!
 

Les

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Did I ever tell you guys about the time I was stringing a 30-40' section of "festoons" as I call them, and accidentally dropped the free end 15' to the stage below - while they were on? Pop, pop, pop, bzzzt, pop.

That was a long morning. Then I had to explain to the director, who had removed them from his back yard...
 
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kjones9999

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Mar 5, 2016
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Did I ever tell you guys about the time I was stringing a 30-40' section "festoons" as I call them, and accidentally dropped the free end 15' to the stage below - while they were on? Pop, pop, pop, bzzzt, pop.

That was a long morning. Then I had to explain to the director, who had removed them from his back yard...

Thanks All!

Great advice.

These will be on a dimmer... I think my big conundrum is size and wattage now that I have decided on clear. I need these to read when stage is fully lit....

Here is what I am choosing between:

https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/63001/SIV-G405E12CL.html
https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/2885/DEC-103060.html


Price is the fundamental constraint here....
 

derekleffew

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... I think my big conundrum is size and wattage now that I have decided on clear. I need these to read when stage is fully lit....
Since you've decided on clear, in risk of being forever mocked...
size doesn't really matter.;)

The clear envelope will disappear on stage. As said above, filament shape is more important. I'd go with the 5w, as I suspect the 60w would be too much.
 
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RonHebbard

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Since you've decided on clear, in risk of being forever mocked...
size doesn't really matter.;)

The clear envelope will disappear on stage. As said above, filament shape is more important. I'd go with the 5w, as I suspect the 60w would be too much.
If you go with 60 Watt and dim them down, amber shift will take over and you probably won't like them much.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 

gafftapegreenia

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For sign bulbs, I have something of a love affair with 11 watt S14 bulbs. But like Derek said, it doesn't *really* matter.

And my favorite is neither clear nor white, but frosted.
 

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Amiers

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That Chicago sign looks like it was a straight PITA to build then put lights on. High five to the person that had to wire that all up.
 

RonHebbard

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That Chicago sign looks like it was a straight PITA to build then put lights on. High five to the person that had to wire that all up.
In the early 90's, the carps and props pixies in Hamilton's Theatre Aquarius were creating similar signs by cutting them from plywood, or their material of choice, then the designers would plan their layout and mark their lamp centres with a Sharpy. Now that they've chosen, and indelibly indicated, their preferred locations, I'd come along with a pilot drill followed by a core bit and carefully bore a precisely chosen hole size through their material.
Think back to the sockets designed, rated and approved for simply twisting and locking onto something in the area of 10 gauge stranded TW90 then being festooned around used car lots of the era. The sockets were not inexpensive but they were definitely adequately rated and approved for exterior use (Including birds and squirrels stopping by to visit and / or get warm in the winter). I managed to source these sockets in both medium screw and (eventually) candelabra bases. They weren't cheap but they were durable, quick to wire, readily re-useable and they were BLACK (like all good things in theatre ought to be) In the vast majority of cases, the 10 gauge wire was overkill ratings wise but it was the gauge the sockets were designed to work with so far as making their own reliable connections by simply 'self piercing' the insulation upon twisting them closed. Granted, it often took a little finessing of the mounting holes with a wood rasp to carefully chamfer the edges while still maintaining centreing accuracy but the savings in mounting and wiring time were HUGE and they were already black with VERY little of them remaining exposed on the sign's front side. I found there was zero requirement for gluing or similar to secure the sockets in place; the combination of their physical fit in the holes combined with the weight and rigidity of the black 10 gauge STRANDED wiring on the back, held things in place and accommodated any finessing & tweaking to keep globes and filaments aligned to everyone's satisfaction. Occasionally signage was affixed to a set piece but most often they were supported from overhead fly pipes whether they needed to fly within the production or hang static in situ. Most productions rehearsed in rehearsal rooms sans signage with the signs being added when the set moved into the theatre. Typically they'd be in use for three to four weeks with the sockets often remaining in place until they were required elsewhere when they could be quickly removed and set aside by practically anyone with functional hands.
I'm NOT suggesting this is fully code compliant or how the manufacturers intended the sockets to be used.
I can tell you it worked for Theatre Aquarius while I was with them and (as far as I'm concerned) that's how you wire those sorts of signs. [No stripping, soldering, crimping or wire-nutting] "Easy peezy" in our vernacular of the day.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 
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JonCarter

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Yes, Ron, "pin sockets." We used to use them for work lights - string a pair of #12TWs around the back of the set & put a socket & lamp wherever needed. Did the same thing in the houses I've built, until I had permanent power. Oh, the good old days!