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Why would this bulb instantly blow?

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brad hebert
Why would this bulb instantly blow?
on Mar 27, 2012 at 6:27:32 pm

I am very new to lighting, and recently started a job involving video production. There is a Lowel light kit with 3 lights. I'm pretty sure this is one of them and it had a blown (or at least broken) bulb when I started. On the amazon page, it was paired with this bulb, so we purchased one. After turning it on for about 20 seconds, it blew out, turned black and a little cloud of smoke rose from it.

Why would that happen? and what kind of bulb do I need?

The bulb that was in it when I started has these markings: "OSRAM FVL 200W 120V J988"

Any help is appreciated.


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john sharaf
Re: Why would this bulb instantly blow?
on Mar 27, 2012 at 6:31:42 pm

Hi Brad,

First rule of motion picture globes is never touch them with your bare fingers, always use pice of paper or clean gloves, otherwise the grease on your skin will remain on the globe and cause a failure such as the one you describe. I'm not accusing you per se, but someone must have mishandled the globe. They're cheap, just buy another (and a few spares too).

Good luck,

JS



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Craig Seeman
Re: Why would this bulb instantly blow?
on Mar 27, 2012 at 6:46:54 pm

Looks like a standard Lowel Pro light with standard bulb.
http://www.lowel.com/prolight/prolight_b.html#info

As per John's comment, did you or someone recently replace it (possibly touching in the process)?



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brad hebert
Re: Why would this bulb instantly blow?
on Mar 27, 2012 at 6:48:37 pm

Yes, I replaced it, touching it the whole time with my fingers. There was no warning on the bulb box or anything, but now I know. Thank you!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Why would this bulb instantly blow?
on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:01:17 pm

[brad hebert] "Yes, I replaced it, touching it the whole time with my fingers. There was no warning on the bulb box or anything, but now I know."

You'd have to dig deeply into their site to find the warning.
http://www.lowel.com/safety.html
Do not touch lamp glass with bare hands even when cold. If touched, clean promptly as body oils shorten lamp-life.
They usually include an insert when you buy the fixtures and I believe the safety instruction are buried in the small print.

Also on the OSRAM bulb box I have in front of me (I have a bunch of Lowel lights myself) there's a side with symbols on it and one of those looks like a triangle with two fingers touching a bulb with an X through it.





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Todd Terry
Re: Why would this bulb instantly blow?
on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:14:00 pm

[Craig Seeman] "...clean promptly..."

And you can do that with alcohol on a cotton ball or paper towel. It's a good practice to do that even if you just think the globe has been touched.

It's probably not a prominent warning since not touching the bulb pretty much falls into the "common knowledge" department with people who do motion picture lighting for a living. But what the manufacturers fail to realize, I guess, is that everybody has to start somewhere and do it for the first time without knowing that key tidbit.

Just make sure you don't touch them in the future, and you should be gold. At least it wasn't a very expensive lesson, like some things are!

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Why would this bulb instantly blow?
on Mar 27, 2012 at 8:14:49 pm

The packages of replacements bulbs we get look the same, they also contain a repeat warning on a slip of paper that wraps the bulb inside the sleeve. We often use that paper and/or the piece of foam it comes rolled up in to handle the cold bulb and put it in, if we don't have a cotton glove handy. These are not fragile bulbs; if you give them a couple minutes to cool before bumping or moving them, they'll continue to run for years of use sometimes.


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Craig Alan
Re: Why would this bulb instantly blow?
on Apr 1, 2012 at 6:30:24 pm

I've never had to do that, but in case, will rubbing alcohol do the trick?

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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