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Lowell kit bulb life


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#1 Paul Brenno

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:33 PM

hello fella DP's/Videographers:

I'm currently working as staff DP/Cinematographer for a video production company. I am using Lowell light kits right now (having used mainly Arri kits)....I was wondering if anyone knows the " shelf life " (Bulb life) of these kits...I've had numerous bulbs burst one me on the last few weeks, the filament breaks too quicky, just wondering what type of affordable kit, even LED lights to use as our workhorse ????
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:38 PM

You're not touching the bulbs with your hands, and/or letting too much "stuff" get on them? I've never noticed Lowels lasting less than Arris, or other lights, as the bulbs themselves are often the same type.
You could check voltage @ the socket with a meter, if it's over 120, it'd be a problem, but that is unlikely.
Also hanging them in such a way so as not to properly dissipate heat, or banging them around considerably can also adversely effect bulb life. Also, perhaps you should try another brand of bulb.

For workhorse lights, Arri and Mole are the way to go if tungsten. Kino if anything else. LEDs aren't quite there in performance or price yet.
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#3 Paul Brenno

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:08 PM

I am NOT touching the bulbs with my hands, I know better than that.....the other crew might be, but am keeping a careful watch out....

How about turning the bulb off/on to check power then modeling, just wondering if that is good or not, since I did it with Arri.....
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:11 PM

Flicking on and off can put more stress on the bulb, yes. I'd honestly check voltage.
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#5 timHealy

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:40 PM

what brand are these bulbs and i would check voltage too.

best

Tim
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#6 Don Bachmeier

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:54 AM

Every lamp (bulb) manufacturer can have bad batches occassionally.
If you buy several at the same time it wouldn't be unusual for them to come from the same batch, so it can seem like a light is suddenly eating lamps.

Don Bachmeier
Lighting Applications Specialist
Lowel Light
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#7 Michael E Brown

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 10:33 PM

Which Lowel model is it? If it's the Omni - I had the same problem and came to three conclusions:

1. The 500w lamp is of a poor design. Single, unsupported filament for higher wattage. Any other lamp like 600w is 5x worse. Once this lamp is hot, it's very fragile.

2. The design of this light is poor. The focus mechanism can - and will - bang the lamp directly into the reflector. So weak, hot lamp that is banged into the reflector constantly = pop.

3. This light is not suitable for use in rental inventory. I know this really isn't the intended market, but I don't believe my customers were overly rough with these lights. The kind of people that rented these were the same guys that owned these back home, careful video types. I had the same experience anytime I used them. I sold all of these that I owned within a year because it literally cost me money to rent them. Every time they went out I had to put a $12 lamp in a $10 rental. Add in that the ridiculous barn doors are flat out dangerous and stupid, it's reflector is horribly inefficient at any position except one - I would advise anyone to simply buy a genuine Arri 650 fresnel instead. Aluminum, fairly lightweight, beautiful light, and strong lamp. I personally watched a fixture get dropped three feet onto concrete and it worked fine after. Multi-filament, wire supported lamp = rugged.
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