School Light Bar Colored Lens Replacement?

DannyDepac

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Location
Long Island, New York
Hi Everyone,


I work at a HS and our Stage lighting is not exactly "New"

We have three LARGE light bars above our stage that have red white (clear) and blue glass lenses. Over the years a decent amount of those lenses have disappeared. I don't even know the correct name of the light bars let alone those lenses....

Can you educate me on the names I am missing and perhaps where (if) I can get replacements? I have attached a picture of one of the lenses I removed. They say Major Chicago Illinois

Also they seem to have 150 watt Sylvania bulbs in them - I need to replace around 90 of them. Any particular recommends of type and maybe cheap places to get them?


Thanks in advance and Happy Thanksgiving!
 

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Les

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Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Your best/cheapest option for roundels would probably be eBay. Might take a while to collect the amount you'll need, and expect to pay $4-8 each. Watch the size - they are/were made in various diameters: 4.5", 5 5/8", 8" and in different finishes (smooth, stippled, stripped/lenticular).

I put "colored glass stage lens" in to eBay's search box and got several results just now. Using the term "Roundel" gets mixed results since most sellers have no idea what they're called.

LED retrofit lamps can give various results... It depends mostly on how picky you are about dimming and intensity. What type of borderlights are these? Do they have an aluminum reflector and "A-lamp", or do they use Par or R shaped lamps with the roundels in metal frames?
 
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derekleffew

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Your best/cheapest option for roundels would probably be eBay. Might take a while to collect the amount you'll need, and expect to pay $4-8 each. Watch the size - they are/were made in various diameters: 4.5", 5 5/8", 8" and in different finishes (smooth, stippled, stripped/lenticular).
Second all of this. If your hand is similar to mine, looks like you have the 5-5/8" variety--the most common size. Also, you PROBABLY can substitute HUB Electric Company for Major; Kopp Glass made them for both. I'd be more leary of unmarked ones, as the colors may not match exactly.

As for the finish: generally, if you use clear lamps, you use Stippled rondels (like those you pictured); if frosted lamps, use smooth rondels. This "rule" may have been broken over the years by unknowing/uncaring custodians.

Also they seem to have 150 watt Sylvania bulbs in them - I need to replace around 90 of them. Any particular recommends of type and maybe cheap places to get them?
You probably need 150W A21 lamps [edit: see below*], in either clear or frosted, readily available on Amazon for $5-7 each. Don't have to be Sylvania brand. What most people do is keep moving the burnouts to the ends until there's nothing left, or until they can afford to replace all of them, or at least all of the same color.

*If it's these, whether from 1931 or later,

you need 150W PS25 lamps. PS=Pear Shaped, 25=25/8=3-1/8" diameter at widest point.
https://normanlamps.com/150ps25-cl.html $2.45 each. Such a deal!

I'd try to find the purchasing agent for the school district and punt the task to them. Their regular bulb supplier can probably get a better deal. And you might get lucky and they'll come out of a general maintenance budget rather than "theater money."

So they look like this, except longer?


This?


If there is even the remotest possibility of a lighting upgrade in the future, I'd spend the least amount possible on keeping these fixtures active. Don't get me wrong, I love them, they're a great down and dirty way of getting colored light on the stage, but $30K of LED striplights are orders of magnitude better.

BTW, the proper term is compartmentalized striplight, borderlight, or (used only by olde-phartes) X-rays. (The CB wiki has issues with Xray, X-ray, Xrays, X-Rays.)

One more thing: aside from dimming issues, you're probably not going to find LED replacements that will fit in your reflectors (designed for PS or "long-neck" bulbs) and without the reflector, there's no rondel holder. Also, I don't think there's an LED that's as bright as a 150W incandescent.
 
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JD

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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Wow you nailed that quick. Thank you!


Would LEDs works ? My experience is LEDs delay when dimming but maybe there has been improvements?
LEDs are not a good option on this style of fixture as a direct replacement. One quirk of LEDs is that they don't last too long in an enclosed environment. Basically, the electronics and the emitters cook because there is no airflow, despite the fact that they don't throw much heat.
 
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JohnD

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I wonder if the OP's borderlights are the new in 1931 Major patented Slip Rings? It was an interesting design, no retaining rings to lose but they didn't age well. They would eventually start binding up so brute force was required to slip them.
Here is an older post about rondels:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/rondel-colors.28848/
 
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DannyDepac

Member
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Jan 11, 2013
Location
Long Island, New York
Your best/cheapest option for roundels would probably be eBay. Might take a while to collect the amount you'll need, and expect to pay $4-8 each. Watch the size - they are/were made in various diameters: 4.5", 5 5/8", 8" and in different finishes (smooth, stippled, stripped/lenticular).

I put "colored glass stage lens" in to eBay's search box and got several results just now. Using the term "Roundel" gets mixed results since most sellers have no idea what they're called.

LED retrofit lamps can give various results... It depends mostly on how picky you are about dimming and intensity. What type of borderlights are these? Do they have an aluminum reflector and "A-lamp", or do they use Par or R shaped lamps with the roundels in metal frames?

Thank you - I have been checking and found a few options. They have what looks like the A Lamp. We have some with Gel films taped over them and they seem to work decently so if all else fails I'll try that. Thanks again
 

DannyDepac

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Location
Long Island, New York
I wonder if the OP's borderlights are the new in 1931 Major patented Slip Rings? It was an interesting design, no retaining rings to lose but they didn't age well. They would eventually start binding up so brute force was required to slip them.
Here is an older post about rondels:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/rondel-colors.28848/
My school was built in 52 so I'm guessing they are a "slightly" updated version however they look the same as the catalog. They are DEFINITELY tough to open. I had never done it so it took me a good ten minutes to figure out how to remove the lens lol.
 

DannyDepac

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Location
Long Island, New York
Second all of this. If your hand is similar to mine, looks like you have the 5-5/8" variety--the most common size. Also, you PROBABLY can substitute HUB Electric Company for Major; Kopp Glass made them for both. I'd be more leary of unmarked ones, as the colors may not match exactly.

As for the finish: generally, if you use clear lamps, you use Stippled rondels (like those you pictured); if frosted lamps, use smooth rondels. This "rule" may have been broken over the years by unknowing/uncaring custodians.

You probably need 150W A21 lamps [edit: see below*], in either clear or frosted, readily available on Amazon for $5-7 each. Don't have to be Sylvania brand. What most people do is keep moving the burnouts to the ends until there's nothing left, or until they can afford to replace all of them, or at least all of the same color.

*If it's these, whether from 1931 or later,

you need 150W PS25 lamps. PS=Pear Shaped, 25=25/8=3-1/8" diameter at widest point.
https://normanlamps.com/150ps25-cl.html $2.45 each. Such a deal!

I'd try to find the purchasing agent for the school district and punt the task to them. Their regular bulb supplier can probably get a better deal. And you might get lucky and they'll come out of a general maintenance budget rather than "theater money."

So they look like this, except longer?


This?


If there is even the remotest possibility of a lighting upgrade in the future, I'd spend the least amount possible on keeping these fixtures active. Don't get me wrong, I love them, they're a great down and dirty way of getting colored light on the stage, but $30K of LED striplights are orders of magnitude better.

BTW, the proper term is compartmentalized striplight, borderlight, or (used only by olde-phartes) X-rays. (The CB wiki has issues with Xray, X-ray, Xrays, X-Rays.)

One more thing: aside from dimming issues, you're probably not going to find LED replacements that will fit in your reflectors (designed for PS or "long-neck" bulbs) and without the reflector, there's no rondel holder. Also, I don't think there's an LED that's as bright as a 150W incandescent.


So we are slated for upgrades through a Bond that was passed however I'm not sure replacing these will make the cut. I don't want them to break butttttttt I wouldn't be upset if they did.
 

Chris Pflieger

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Aug 26, 2016
Location
Indiana
So we are slated for upgrades through a Bond that was passed however I'm not sure replacing these will make the cut. I don't want them to break butttttttt I wouldn't be upset if they did.
Them are some nice nice lights - it'd be a shame if someones was break them so dat you'd have to get new led strips...

The best, not the cheapest, solution would be to replace the complete fixtures with new LED strips, which run the range from cheap Chauvet DJ ones up to premo ChromaQ or ETC models.
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
You wouldn't have to replace with strips. You could replace them with wash fixtures. My guess is an ETC ColorSource Par every 8' or so would do it. Around $1000 each all in. No rondels, no lamps to change, much lowered energy use (doesn't really amount to a lot but sounds good), less fire danger.
 
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PaulP514

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Location
Montreal
Danny, let me know if you need more information on the Chroma-Q Color Force II. It would definitely do a great job for that purpose with nice bright saturated colors and perfect blend.
 

JohnD

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As @BillConnerFASTC points out you don't have to replace with strips. Strip lights are batten hogs, not leaving space for other fixtures. Since the OP may have an upgrade in the near future there are several possibilities to consider. There are fixed beam spread LED pars like the ColorSource Par. There are also zoomable LED pars. Then there is the option for moving wash lights. There are several reasons to consider moving lights. They are moving lights you can use for flash and trash for a band concert. They can be easily refocused remotely without ladders, scaffolding or bringing in a batten (assuming a fly loft). You can even call it in, if you have the right app. ;)
 

JohnD

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