Striking Lamps


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"Striking lamps" refers to igniting (Lamping ON) non-incandescent arc/discharge lamps used in most moving lights and high-powered followspots. The term comes from when light was produced with carbon-arcs, where the operator manually had to touch the two pencil-sized carbons together once power was applied, then back them away from each other about 1/4". Opposite would be "un-striking," extinguishing, or "Lamping Off."

Alternatively, "striking lamps" could refer to taking down fixtures and putting them away at the end of a show.
1. Striking Lamps. The act of removing lighting fixtures from their placement in a design, < Where they're hung> to a storage facility, or warehousing area. Typical usage; "We're going to strike the lamps as soon as the ****ed Carpenters get the set out of the way."

2. Striking lamps. The act of powering up Carbon arc, Xenon, HMI, HTI, and MSR/MSD arc lamps. Typically you want to give any type of arc light a time to "come up to temp." The striking of these lamps refers to actually striking the arc. With the xenon lamp the arc strike is controlled by the ballast and happens inside the quartz envelope of the lamp <Globe, Bulb, whatever you call it in your theatre.> In a Carbon Arc fixture, the act of striking the arc entails the physical touching of two electrodes, in the presence of high voltage, to start an electrical arc. The electrodes are then drawn apart to the maximum point of efficient production of light. If you pull them too far apart the arc goes out, too close together and the electrodes burn too fast. Either is referred to as being "out of trim."

3. Striking Lamps. The result of any outside force acting upon a lighting instrument, such as a moving piece of scenery (aka "carpenter focus") or a frustrated electrician with a Crescent™ wrench.

4. Striking Lamps. The act of having all your Source4™s refuse to turn on no matter what you do. Once they submit a list of demands including, but not limited to: Longer lunch breaks, Better bench focusing, Quicker turn around on requests for lamp replacement, you'll definitely know you have striking lamps. [And if they start standing on the sidewalk outside your theatre and holding signs, you're really in trouble.] Note: This behavior is not exclusive to the ETC Source4™ Line.
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