Re-wiring Strip Lights with Asbestos

ship

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Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
Totally on the fence in having worked many many Asbestos fixtures including fully restoring c.1928 strips and many, many other strips over the years in this medium screw and other lamp configurations.

12ga wiring the initial question is as standard if fed thru and even if not for vintage.

Asbestos outside is asbestos inside.

Describing a A-19 style household lamps used in the fixtures... or perhaps A-21 lamp strip (as also possible) - seperate fixtures in details for lamp type - one needs a lamp extender so as to work with A-19 lamp and important to know because of very different lighting fixture housings. Length and brand of fixtures as with photos also useful.

Osram having discontinued the 100A/HAL/F Osram #18970 makes optimum and compatable or better usage of either A-19 or A-21 fixture a moot point in not having a good option for a replacement lamp for the fixture. This is unless going with say a 100A21/CL/KR/RS Aero-Tech #ULA-98 with 20,000 hour lamp life (assuming still made - think it is), in being fairly cheap for upgrade and will last a long time, but to be sure less output.

Not mentioned on the scope and scale beyond replacing whips is lamp socket condition and internal wiring. This much less dependant on fixture, re-porcelain enamelling the reflector coatings (very messy if the case - but can be done.)

In such work, all lamp sockets wil have to come out and be re-surfaced and coated following protocols I presented over the years especially with the P-28s lamp socket as similar. This to get non corroded lamp contact surface area. Next the huge problem is mostly found is that the asbestos wiring will have been soldered in conductor to the lamp socket. So while the asbestos wiring between lamp sockets is within program to remove in cutting so as to remove it, you are still left with wiring that a propane torch will have to be used to carefully remove the also lead based solder from the terminals to the lamp sockets most often wiring is attached to.

One could replace all lamp sockets and even add lamp extenders if a A-21 type fixture, but this it dependant on the type of lamp socket in use and if still available on the market.

I don't collect strip or Cyc's or index lights for my museum. They just take up too much space. (Not even those purged from inventory - the Altman R-7s , MR-16 or even MR-11 based.) A shame, but the industry is LED.

The man/hours it takes per fixture to restore them also even if donated time, is also too much at this point. I have over the past about 25+ years restored dozens of strip lights - starting from the period in my learning from indeed wiring a set with THHN wire and vinyl butt splices no doubt, thru fully restored respectable and working.

Discontuned of the 100w A-19 halogen Osram lamp was a major factor in my stopping the saving of the fixtures. My arguement that such fixtures were viable and perhaps better once restored ended with the lamp. Too much work also on a strip, often they extended past my garage and or I had to break them apart.

They were something and well did.

A shame many theater students or store front theaters' don't even have them. Sorry, properly dispose of them. Anyone that says they can properly service call them back to factory spec. in safety has no idea of what they were saying or intending to do for what is needed.
 
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TimMc

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Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Hi Jon-

Both sides of my family were farmers and my grandparents raised their families in the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. The "fix it, or save it for parts" streak runs deep in me. The "save money in prudent ways" is also strong with this one, but for me, saving money by handling, in any shape or form, a know carcinogen seems like a really bad idea for a number of reasons.

I'm not trying to change your mind because I've got an idea of how you're wired (and it's not with asbestos!). Sometimes making theater is like making sausage or politics - if you know what goes in, you might wish you didn't know - but in today's world, absent some truly compelling reason, I'd let go of the asbestos. @ship treatise on restoration was informative and making legacy luminaries function well and safely is more a labor of love than savings of money, it seems.
 

MRW Lights

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Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
Don't mind me driving this thread off the tracks for a moment and asbestos issues aside- I would urge you to reconsider your feelings about strip lights. They can be amazingly versatile in a number of applications. One of my favorite uses for them is as a diagonal top light in black box spaces with lower grids, side lighting for dance, back lighting for scenery, bounce lights for cycs. So many limitless possibilities and they're always a performer from MR16's to R40's to LED. Give strip lights a chance! :p
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
No problem with striplights in general - I liked the punch of PAR56 strips especially - but not junk ones. I don't much care for crappy old lekos or fresnels either - though both served me well 50 years ago.
 
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RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
No problem with striplights in general - I liked the punch of PAR56 strips especially - but not junk ones. I don't much care for crappy old lekos or Fresnels either - though both served me well 50 years ago.
And then there was the high noise level due to filament vibration / rattle when their 60 Hz, dual SCR dimmers were set to 50% and were violently vibrating the PAR56's filaments located at essentially its acoustic focal point thus projecting the lamp sing along with its illumination.
PAR 46's and PAR 64's, not so much (in terms of lamp sing) but oh those PAR56's.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane to the wonder years of the sixties and early seventies.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
No problem with striplights in general - I liked the punch of PAR56 strips especially - but not junk ones. I don't much care for crappy old lekos or fresnels either - though both served me well 50 years ago.
Just recycled a bunch of then in sorry to see them go in perfect condition.
 

JonCarter

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Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Location
Meridian, Idaho, US
We're surrounded by known carcinogens and potential carcinogens and loads of substances that haven't yet been determined to be carcinogens. The answer is not to run & hide under the bed from the world but to realize that the world is not necessarily a nice place and that one must be careful with everything. Do what you need to do to get your job done. In the case of the asbestos wire in strip lights, wet it down to work on it and contain it so it doesn't bother anyone when you're done.

Asbestos pigtails on instruments and on internal wiring in such things as strip lights was the standard long before I got into the lighting biz. If working with asbestos wiring in instruments and asbestos pigtails 50 years ago IN THE AMOUNT THAT THEATRE ELECTRICIANS DO would have killed me I'd have been dead long ago. So far, I'm still alive and kickin'.
 
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BillConnerFASTC

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Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
And (very long ago) I drove my car after drinking and I'm here today. Because I'm alive doesn't mean drunk driving is safe or a good idea.

40,000 asbestos related deaths a year in US, and 20% are not occupation related. 8000 a year who don't work with it. 1 in 40,000. Sure wish lotto odds were that good.