What's the cause of this?


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LOl i had one like that the other day. I guessed that it has to do with the gases in side just over heating or something and being flung out to the walls of the envolope and since the metals and such in there are of differnt weights they fling at differnt trajectories or speeds thus the layering effect.

but i could be completly wrong. I am just an human.


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The camera was out of focus. That's what causes blurry images.

Seriously though, isn't that called a "leaker"? It's cause by the seal not being good and the xeon gas leaked out.
Symptoms are too high amperage and lower voltage.


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Now, if that was a seal failure, do you get your money back?


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I had one of those today and it was still running, but with almost no output


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Heh, actually I have a couple EGJ's with similar looking problems, and they all work fine.


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Dcdjdrew said:
if it was seal failure you should get your money back from the manufacturer.

As I remember it, Iodine is amber in color, what chemical or part of the lamp caused the purple color? We can expect what caused the silver/white color but what is that purple coloring of the lamp?

In return it depends for instance on if the pins on the lamp are toast - as in all arched up and pitted. Than it was probably overheating by way of a bad lamp base on the fixture that caused the pinch failure in the lamp. Such a end user’s equipment problem you would hopefully not get credit for. On the other hand, there is bad lots in lamp manufacturing and frequently it’s most lamps in a case of them going bad at once. Saving the bad lamps you get for at least a while becomes useful when otherwise you start to notice a trend in bad lamps and will have had a lot of them to return but threw the early ones out in not yet knowing your lamps were having a problem. Also lamps with bad pinch seals normally expire within the first hundred hours when not instant. Lots of reasons for a lamp failure on the other hand, learning the lamp and why they go bad is a good thing before wasting time on returns that went bad due to say age, shock or over voltaging. Again, a pinch seal could be a returnable defect, or it could be a bad lamp base - it’s easy to tell the difference by way of pins or contacts - if clean they were not overheated. If blue, blackened or arched - the lamp was probably not at fault.

Such, a coloring of the lamp when accompanied by way of the filament having shot out of the lamp’s globe as if a bullet hole in steel or a misshaped bulb by way of dirty lamp would not be returnable persay unless it was brand new and was not dirty in showing bubbles or other problems associated with a dirty or touched lamp. Could also be over voltaging or the lamp itself of a certain age just expiring in this case by way of filament shooting out of the lamp spectactularly. A good reason never to hold a lamp base cap in the palm of your hand while testing it and not within the fixture. Glass in one’s eyes - a bad thing. Such lamps where they just explode or due to seal failure by way of touching and the glass letting the gas out can in their final failure also at times show similar coloring - all depends at what point your lamp finally failed as to what it looks like. In the case of this lamp, it does not have any of the above problems, and it’s center coloring from the filament vaporizing can be a tell tale sign. Those that exploded can be purple but the filament won’t have the shown ring also.

Frequently you are able to get your money back on a manufacturer defect. On more expensive lamps such as a moving light lamps they need to be sent back to the factory by way of your supplier sending them there for the factory to analize what went wrong with them before you get your credit. This could take a while and it is not assured you will get a credit. The manufacturers have very specific guidelines in what they will give credit for - accurate note taking on your lamps including purchase date and purchase order number helps. The only good way to ensure return on your investment is to be organized in tracking your lamps and what’s in what fixture. Than be able to provide that proof to your supplier when attempting the return. Those dishonest or something for nothing people are bad for others in making it hard for those who know what they are doing harder to do a return. You bet if you return or have problems with a lamp, you have my intrest, on the other hand, short of me also looking at the lamp, you have at best my doubts on the return. Once worked at a home center - about 20 years ago granted. It was not uncommon to for instance find a table saw returned that upon opening was really a crapped up sewing machine in the box. Now how did that get there??? This much less attempts to return used toilets or end user miscuts in lumber. As lamp retailer, It's both trusted that I know best what lamps would be better for your fixture and in return of them what is defect in lamp verses that of fixture.

This HPL lamp was a pinch seal failure or perhaps some micro crack somewhere in letting the gas escape. Given this problem, it would be a lamp I could return if such lamps were worth my time in attempting to return them. For one lamp bought over a year ago, not worth my time of that of the supplier’s, they would as I would find it easier if I asked to just credit me a lamp. Such a thing is based upon volume of lamps bought of course. For the most part however given volume discounts for lamps, such a concept of returning a few lamps is eaten up in not worth either my supplier’s or my time. A few bad lamps are the cost of doing business. Unless I get a number of them at once, it’s not worth my pay rate to return a throw away lamp. Occasionally I will get credit for a bad case of lamps but there is by far too many incandescent (halogen) fixtures in stock to track what came from what purchase order much less what supplier I bought them from. For me that’s fine in just tossing out bad lamps, for others this lamp will have been worth a return of it. Train your people not to throw away such things.

On the normal halogen ones, hang onto the bad lamps that blow for reasons such as shown or if you think they are not living up to their expected life. Return them to your supplier and they can easily go thru your questionable lamps to see what’s worth a credit on. Remember also the lamps have an expected lamp life on them - this is an average lamp life and not a specific amount of hours they will work. The norm is a lamp should live up to 3/4's of it’s expected lamp life, after that no matter how accurately you track the lamp’s hours of operation, you probably won’t see a credit for the lamp. A lamp rated for 750 hours in many cases might just work fine at over 1,500 hours so it balances out. Only attempt a return on what reasonably is a lamp that died before it’s time and this includes especially lamps over a year old in age. This especially those lamps that can be verified to have been the lamp manufacturer’s fault. Otherwise doing lighting is not cheap, in some cases it’s the price of doing business.

Very important to know your lamps in how they work and what causes failure even over any money saved by returning bad lamps. Time permitting, examination of what caused a lamp to fail is even more cost effective than those few that can be returned for credit or exchange. You can catch or train those known to have installed a lamp who touched it in having caused it’s failure, you can note things about a fixture that by way of it’s a systemic problem with all fixtures of a type or to a specific fixture will save money in fixing rather than constantly going thru lamps in it due to a similar problem. Early on in my career, I did not now you could not touch the quartz glass to a lamp, or did not instruct those also doing so they should not touch the lamp. After a service call to the fixtures which is a good thing, suddenly we had a lot of lamps going bad. It was not the lamp, it was the installer.

What might be a wise idea is to number each fixture in the inventory and have those changing lamps put the fixture number and perhaps lighting circuit the replacement lamp is installed in on that box. Than they turn in the bad lamp to someone to inspect the bad lamp to for analysis. By way of record tracking one can track how often that fixture has had bad lamps installed into it, even how many times that dimmer pack potentially in need of trimming or other problems say with a voltage spike or bad wiring has also had to have lamps installed in it. There in the fixture and circuit is where one saves money over returning lamps - not a single lamp but all the lamps in it over a period of time.

Also by examining the lamps one can detect problems with lamp bases by way of what the pins to the bad lamp look like or other problems in pulling such fixtures from service. Just had some Power Cyc fixtures have bad exploded lamps come back to me last weekend. I started to notice a trend in it not exploded lamps but a few to certain fixtures that had cracks on the glass at a specific location by way of something in the fixture hitting the lamp. Sent an E-Mail off to both the chief of the moving lights department and head of moving light repair that they should pull all this type of fixture from service and figure out what in the fixture was hitting the lamps. Provided to them a sample lamp to see where it was being hit and I expect them to pull all fixtures from service and figure out what the problem is than solve it. Some screw somewhere is sticking up sufficient to hit the lamp globe is the assumption. Otherwise by way of examining bad lamps, I am often able to learn a lot about not just the lamp but the fixture and it allows one to save money by way of fixture maintenance over that of lamp cost.

Hmm, suddenly going thru a bunch of CYX and DPY lamps, perhaps it’s the lamp base itself if not the wiring to it. Altman did a major upgrade due to this heat problem in lamp bases not sufficient to what the operating needs are. Still working on the 5K upgrade. In the mean time while I play tested their upgrades than upgraded the inventory, I also learned lamp base resurfacing for such fixtures to save money in lamps no longer failing due to bad lamp bases. In both the moving lights department and Leko department, just looking at and tracking what lamp came from what pays off in maintaining one’s fixtures. Stuff like old style Altman aluminum heat sink high temperature lamp bases. Lots of history in their old style medium bi-pin lamp bases failing. Such a lamp base when not upgraded or at least ensured to be in good condition would be a cause of lamp failure. Over a number of shows one tends to forget what lamps in a fixture are most often changed. Short of both examining the bad lamp and tracking what fixture it came out of, one wastes money in doing the easy.

What I would recommend is each fixture has a number on it. Each lamp when changed gets both that fixture number and it’s circuit if in a theater setting for doing this, written on the bad lamp’s box. The bad lamp is than inserted into the replacement lamp’s box and later examined by the ME for the theater. Such lamps than are by way of computer tracking linked up with purchase order and lot number if not serial number of lamp, and saved if premature to be returned. Otherwise the history of the fixture and circuit location are looked up to see if there was a cause by way of fixture or location for this lamp changing problem. Also the lamp itself is looked at in tracking it’s cause of failure on the computer. A few records on the computer don’t mean much, more than a few lamps on the other hand and one can detect a trend. Hmm, these CF-7's seem to be going thru a lot of lamps, or gee these Panorama Cycs seem to also go thru a lot of lamps. In one case sheer volume of pinch seal problems returned by me and others probably in part at least forced Phillips and other companies to follow develop the P-3 pinch seal technology. This in addition to an upgrade to the CF-7 fixture so it cooled the lamp properly. On the Power Cyc, it forced the manufacturer to remove or upgrade all it provided in fixture to a completely different lamp system. Yep, the MSI 1800 is a bright lamp, did anyone on the engineering side of it note that detail about a +/- 15 degree angle to this lamp? Hmm, dynamic trusses for rock and roll concert’s don’t normally use the fixture in a horizontal position at all times. Forced the manufacturer to re-design the fixture in using different lamps.

Burning position of the lamp can also be a factor of why one does not get a refund on it. Again operator error. Most halogen and moving light lamps are universal burn position but there are a few still in use both halogen and other such as especially on cyc lights that are specific in by way of how a lamp’s filament is supported, how one can hang the fixture than expect the lamp to live out it’s life.

Another factor in lamp returns is that of lamp technology. A former mentor of mine would not use ____ fill in the blank brand of HX-600 lamp at all due to it being fragile. Touch it once and the lamp blew. Such brands were a no-sale for him. He had no records to support this design of the lamp defect and had thus no standing in returning them when they blew due to being rattled as it were. Had he kept better records he could as a concept at least as a theory have started to return for credit those lamps that died by way of focusing the lamp being sufficient to make it blow. Lamps should not be that fragile they can’t survive a knock to them when detected to be a systemic problem with a specific brand. In any case he went with another brand that was at least a little less likely to blow once touched. I than introduced him to the GLA line of lamps that are constructed a lot more rugged and for long life. Anyone still using HX-600/FLK or FLK/LL or HX-601 needs to get with the times in these lamps being obsolete. The HPR for less skilled labor in bench focusing but need for high output is one option, verses the GLC with it’s more refined filament a better option and the GLA the best option for long life. In any case, it was in the end not a brand of lamp that was the problem, it was the design of the lamp causing the problems for him spending money on lamps.

If attempting to return a moving light lamp, always check the lamp life counter on the moving light and write it on the replacement lamps' box. Insert the bad lamp into the packaging from the new lamp that now has the number of hours used, who is replacing the lamp for if there is further questions, what the fixture serial number is the lamp is going into and reason for removal. Than reset the moving light lamp counter to zero. In fact, in addition to fixture number, hours if able to pull off the fixture and reason for removal, signing who was changing the lamp is also very important by way of further questions or ensuring those doing so know what they are doing. This by way of computer tracking the problems with lamps no matter the type if one is organized enough to save money. When returning a moving light lamp, it's a really good thing to have noted the amount of hours that lamp was used before it went bad or dim. If within about 3/4's of it's expected life such a lamp could go back also. Short of sufficient tracking the lamp life on a moving light lamp, you are throwing money in the trash because even 5% of them which could be returned is saved money. This much less tracking that one in a thousand if even high priced fixture that seems to go thru a lot of lamps is something to look for in otherwise costing money. Takes time to track bad lamps and in general set up a system of lamp tracking but it does pay off in the end in that what I send back to the manufacturer has all info about that specific lamp included with it.

Had a customer today ask about getting credits for some lamps that were bad right out of the box and some others that didn't seem to live up to their expected life. My first question was if they saved the bad lamps? In general no lamps would mean no credit on my part because I than would have nothing to send back to my own supplier for credit. Much less as the supplier, I could not supervise the cause of the lamp failing. In this case they did not and thus could not expect much for credit other than in being fairly competent in what they do and a good customer. I did what I could for them in realizing past problems with this type of lamp once figured out what specific lamp it was, and asking specific questions as to the fixture condition. Were it also a bad lamp base, I will have given no credit and instead provided instruction. In this case it's a long standing customer and I'm throwing their way some lamps just on trusting that they probably had some bad lamps in as described good fixtures. In this case it’s DKZ lamps and I have been having problems with them of late in a specific lot of them. We will take a slight loss on the sale due to their not returning even the ones that did not work out of the box, but they are good customers. My own supplier in hearing of other problems with this lost number also gave me a credit for them sight unseen in the past and will again given I tell them how many did not work out of the box. Still if otherwise, I would need the lamp and it’s history back before attempting a credit.

This all in addition to me finding a Phillips EGE lamp broken at it’s lamp base/bulb junction. Cause of the problem was bad packaging on the lamp - but oh’ it’s so modern in being Broadway, too bad it did not support the lamp sufficiently. I often find this with lamps especially the higher wattage lamps or expensive moving light lamps that the packaging is insufficient to support the lamp or by far too crappy to continue using. I don’t buy CYX and DPY lamps from GE or Phillips due to this, by far too many of these lamps don’t survive a tour as a spare lamp due to insufficient support of the lamp within it’s protective shipping box. This as opposed to HTI 705w/SE lamps I also no longer buy by way of only rarely coming with lamps serial numbers these days and as very important factor, some of the worst packaging over a lamp I have ever seen. Even the stickers telling what the lamp is don’t stay on the box. This lamp costs somewhere over a hundred dollars, for that money at least the sticker of what the lamp is could be expected not to fall off it’s box. Such lamps one gets before even install or instantly after install that go bad are defiant returns given one has the time in the day and it’s worth one’s time in sending them back. Otherwise as with that past TD, as I do now, just take note of a problem and no longer specify that lamp. Vendor later asks why they don’t make market share in that lamp, tell them - it’s your crappy boxes.

An assistant and I each spend at least ten hours a week in just checking in moving light and other lamps removed from fixtures. We are talking about checking in and out hundreds upon hundreds of lamps a month for stuff like in this topic - this in question of what to send back to the manufacturer. Once the cause of the failure is tracked down or by way of computer tracking, those techie’s filling out the paperwork sticker on a lamp telling us what we need to know is done, perhaps 3% of lamps really can be returned to the manufacturer. Something as simple as filling in the line of a lamp box in lamp hours in a joke such as “Abe Lincoln” doesn’t help return the lamp. Similar someone making a joke about lamp hours in providing eight or more didgets also does not help in a lamp that by way of tracking must now be throw away. Not in a fixture it was originally reported to be in, again a lamp in the trash that might have gone back for credit. The techies changing lamps cost us many times more money per lamp than premature failures I can validate and hope for credit on. Yea ha ha funny, it’s dim now, it was dim than, for the love of God can we throw it out? Is a valid comment, yet if this lamp was assigned to one fixture and was removed from another, this lamp cannot be sent back and you will continue trying it again until I can be assured it’s the lamp and not the fixture. At that point it gets as a lamp thrown out given the tech people have screwed up that lamp’s history and it can no longer be returned due to our own paperwork and tracking of them. Hmm, one lamp at times costs as much as one person’s day rate, yet such people paid to change lamps can’t fill out four lines on a tag to the replacement lamp box. Who, What (fixture number), Hours on lamp, Reason for replacement, and Date of install. “Can I please have some new lamps...” Urr, no, try these I can no longer return a third time first in seeing if any will be fine due to your department’s screwing up, or especially those on the road being too cool while hanging up side down from a truss thirty feet in the air at the time to fill out the lamp tag afterwards.

Credit for bad lamps is a good thing but what one actually gets only follows knowing one’s lamp and tracking one’s lamps. Short of this, how does one know after three months say what lamp died premature verses one that died at about it’s expected life? Takes a little time to set up a lamp tracking system but such a concept pays off in the end by way of assuring your investement.

Each lamp gets examined as to it’s problem, logged in/out/trash or returned to the manufacturer in addition to the lamp’s entire history tracked on the computer. I look at the lamp, read the comments about why it was removed from the fixture, see how many hours it has been in use, than determine if it should be tried again in another fixture, thrown out or in some cases returned to the supplier. Unless one has a bad lot of lamps blowing instantly, it’s fairly rare that a lamp even if it looks brown in one fixture won’t when tried again in another fixture be fine in living up to at least 600 hours of lamp life if rated for 750. Sometimes it takes more than one try but each fixture ballast is different and a fresh chance that a seemingly dim lamp in one will work fine in another. To a point at least. Try a lamp that should not be brown or green by way of hours in a few fixtures before returning them. Than once tried in a few fixtures yet it’s under 600 hours, send it back to the manufacturer - you have good grounds for a credit for that lamp.

Otherwise for bad lamps - especially moving light lamps, put them in sealed containers such as a kitty litter container, collect them up to fill the container and return them to your lamp supplier. Your lamp supplier is the source for recycling of bad lamps. Might cost some money to recycle the lamps but it’s good for the environment.

By way of examining the lamp problem and computer tracking it, I can tell in the end when say a off shore brad of RSC lamp is not so good in higher wattages by way of lamp life, or in some cases the difference between a lamp that broke apart due to lamp bending verses that of a bad pinch seal. Weather that’s from a tech person breaking the lamp so as to assure they would never see it again in attempt to out think me, or a fixture problem, I can in examining the lamp tell the difference between a lamp with a clean break and that of a pinch seal break and thus track also people that either are breaking potentially good lamps which seem brown in one fixture or those fixtures that have a problem. Such computer tracking in examining the lamps and tracking the history of both fixture and lamp is more cost effective than the 5% return on vendor supplied bad lamps.

Especially for moving light lamps that cost a person’s daily salary or even bi-weekly salary, you bet I examine the lamps I’m looking at. Given this it’s also easy to track what in a lamp is someone’s hourly rate in saving money above what can be returned for credit.
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