Anyone else have issues with their Lowel Omni lights? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:45 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jack Walker View Post
There must be a special issue, either with the lights or the power in your case.

I think it would be worth using a power strip with a surge protector to eliminate that possibility. You can also check the voltage of the power of a volt meter.
I have a volt meter, but I never really learned how to use it (silly, isn't it?). There are so many different settings and guages, i have no idea what I am looking at. ;-}p
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:09 AM   #17
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Also, look up 600W Impact dimmers. They're 25USD. They'll help you with lifespan, and you can get away from stopping out your lights with gels.
I looked them up, however they only have 2 prongs? Is that right?
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:26 AM   #18
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Alex is right about never moving the things lit. FWIW, ProLIghts are the same way, or should I say the bulbs are. One little tap on the light stand will kill the bulb. great little light with a 125W bulb, but not reliable. I've run a couple of DP lights for years with 500 and 1K bulbs and have yet to burn a bulb out, even when adjust the light when lit. sounds like nothing more the the wrong bulbs.

when I was talking about voltage, I meant get a voltmeter and carefully plug it into the the wall at the appropriate setting and see whats coming out. usually its around 117V here, and in summer it may drop to 110. I was thinking maybe you where getting 125 or something, and the bulbs you had gotten where 110 rated. always better to run a bulb 10% under then over ! read the specs for the bulbs you got, which may account for the difference in design. there are 130V consumer bulbs out there, mainly for use in places where changing a bulb is a PITA. in pro bulbs, there can be differences too. 110V bulb run at 120V puts out more light then a 120V bulb of the same wattage. the trade off is shorter life and more sensitivity to vibration failure.
FWIW the omni's I've used have have the spherical bulbs and have not been a problem.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:36 AM   #19
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I've had an Omni for many years and never had any problems with bulbs dying early. You might take a close look and make sure the bulb isn't touching the reflector when it's zoomed in or out. I remember one time after an airplane trip where the lights were checked in cases, I noticed the reflector seemed to be touching or almost touching the bulb, and I applied some force to get things back to normal. You might also take it apart and make sure there's not something loose.

One other thing, a long time ago I bought some cheaper brand of bulbs for my DP lights, and I liked them at first because they were so easy to insert and pull out. Turns out that was a bad thing. The posts were too thin, and that was causing arcing and burning out not only the bulbs but frying the sockets too. I had to replace all the sockets. I went back to Sylvania and never had a problem again. Take a look at the socket and see if you see any evidence of charring; that could indicate arcing.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
when I was talking about voltage, I meant get a voltmeter and carefully plug it into the the wall at the appropriate setting and see whats coming out.
That's what I'm trying ti figure out. Amongst ACV I have three settings: 15, 150, 500 up. I would guess 150 is the right setting?
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:50 AM   #21
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Big fat round ones.

I can't seem to find them, but the big fat round ones, are in my remembrance, the Ushio ones.

Good luck man.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
That's what I'm trying ti figure out. Amongst ACV I have three settings: 15, 150, 500 up. I would guess 150 is the right setting?
Yes, that's the correct setting. You could also put it on 500 but it won't be as accurate. Just use a setting that's higher than the voltage you expect to be reading. The best accuracy with voltmeters is when they are operated in the upper 1/3 of their measurement scale.

It's highly unlikely that the voltage being supplied from the wall outlet is excessive. Under peak demand, the voltage can and does sag a few volts, but I've never seen a steady over voltage condition from the power company.

-gb-
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
That's what I'm trying ti figure out. Amongst ACV I have three settings: 15, 150, 500 up. I would guess 150 is the right setting?
OK, it appears that -- if I measured correctly -- I am getting between 125 and 130 volts.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:21 PM   #24
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It's highly unlikely that the voltage being supplied from the wall outlet is excessive. Under peak demand, the voltage can and does sag a few volts, but I've never seen a steady over voltage condition from the power company.
Well, the location (my loft) is in what used to be a boot and shoe factory. It's fairly old and the electrical work in the place looks like it was done by HR Giger himself. I don't know if that's a factor or not.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:41 PM   #25
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I should mention that all the lamps I have for Totas are the round ones, not the cylindrical. As I said above, I haven't had any go out.

Some of the round ones are:
EKB 420 watt OSRAM & GE have the round bulb
DYS 600 watt (obviously above the 500 watt omni, but the same base)

In the FTK the OSRAM brand is "more round" than the other brands, but not fully round like the ones I list above.

I don't know if this shape makes a difference or not.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:10 PM   #26
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the voltage should be constant unless you know there is some big gear switching on/off, summer cooling loads, ect. if you are getting different readings at different outlets, its cruddy wiring, or a transformer not putting out the same voltage on the same legs. in either event, you should not be going over 120V. getting 125, certainly 130V is grounds to call the power company and complain. in an industrial space, where heavy loads where expected, but no longer there, this is almost to be expected the voltage is a little up to compensate when loads are placed on the line.

barring the power company doing some work, the simple fix is get some dimmers and run the bulbs at 120 or 115V. minor change in color temp, but your bulbs will last, especially if you have gotten 110V-ish rate bulbs. 20V over won't do them well.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
OK, it appears that -- if I measured correctly -- I am getting between 125 and 130 volts.
Rehi,

Assuming your meter is reading correctly (hopefully on the 150VAC scale which is more accurate), then indeed you've found the smoking gun!

Next take your voltmeter and validate its accuracy at your home, in a commercial building, etc. The RMS voltage in the U.S. should not exceed 117VAC. As we've stated, a hotter voltage will greatly diminsh the life of your bulbs.

Many of us use Harbor Freight Router speed controllers to vary down voltage to our lights (good for up to 1500 watts):

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=43060

Good luck, Michael
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Old February 24th, 2008, 02:03 AM   #28
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Assuming your meter is reading correctly (hopefully on the 150VAC scale which is more accurate), then indeed you've found the smoking gun!
Indeed, it was using the 150VAC scale. It stays at a constant voltage, just in between the 125 and 130 hash mark.

AFAIK, Canada and the US use the same voltage standards. The building my loft (which is both my living space and my studio) is in used to be a boot and shoe factory. It hasn't undergone any really renovation... it isn't one of those trendy upscale lofts, it is very stripped down, former industrial space that had some walls thrown up and minor plumbing to add a toilet, sink and shower. I should upload a picture of the electrical breaker box in my space... you'd see what I mean by the Giger reference!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nistler View Post
Many of us use Harbor Freight Router speed controllers to vary down voltage to our lights
Interesting. Much cheaper than the Impact dimmer from B&H. I like the fact that it has a grounded plug. Thanks for the tip!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #29
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Another dimmer tip for those in cold weather

Mike,

For those living in cold weather climates (under 50 degrees), using a dimmer has another benefit. Rather than blasting a cold tungsten filament with instant heat, instead bring each cold bulb to temperature by slowly turning up the dimmer (20 percent - pause, 40 percent - pause, etc). Luckily, living here in California and working inside this hasn't been much of a problem for me but I suspect some of our cold weather friends out East has some war stories to tell.

Regards, Michael
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Old February 26th, 2008, 10:23 PM   #30
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Omni lights burning out

I found this thread interesting...

I travel with a Lowel Omni/Tota kit all the time - it's probably 10 years old by now - buy bulbs wherever I find them cheap - move the lights while on, and I very, very rarely have bulbs burn out prematurely.

The one time I had a bulb burn out in an Omni it was due to a short when I adjusted the throw of the beam - and for some reason that shorted out the bulb. I replaced the reflector and hadn't had the same thing happen for maybe 4 years now...

The one thing that broke was the lock on the right side - TSA must have been a little hard on it as the case was OK when checked at the airport and when I picked it up the lever was broken off..

If anyone know where I can get a replacement, let me know, please...=*^)

Getting back to your problems - I think you must have some fluctuating current in your building - try to run it thru a "clean power" thingamajingy...

Christer
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