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Old August 3rd, 2004, 11:27 PM   #1
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Tota lamp smoked bad

Hi folks,
Today I put a 750W lamp in a Lowel Tota and the lamp started smoking real bad. The lamp blackened and started to curve a bit.

This is the first time that I had ever put a lamp in the Tota...it was brand new, and so was the lamp.

Is this normal? Are Tungsten lamps really that flaky?

Also, Can I put anything larger than a 750W in Totas? I noticed that 750 was not that much light...I need more for digital video.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 11:57 PM   #2
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I'm not all that certain but I think 750 is too much for a Tota. DV doesn't need that much light unless you are going to light a very large area or using some sort of reflector or softlight.
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Old August 4th, 2004, 12:01 AM   #3
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Yes, I was trying to light interiors of condos and small rooms. Here's a sample: http://www.7thcode.com/inertiatours/bed1.jpg

I had 2 Totas (500w/each) and 1 Omni (600w) and I don't think it was enough light. But, I think I had my ISO screwed up in the camera.....
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Old August 4th, 2004, 12:18 AM   #4
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A 750w lamp is fine for the Tota. But nothing higher. Some folks try to put 1K lamps into it, which can be dangerous.

Some smelly smoke coming off of a new tungsten instrument is normal. It's basically residual manufacturing grease burning off and should subside within a few minutes.

Lamps "blackening" and starting to "curve a bit" is not, however, normal. Make sure the lamp ("bulb") is seated properly and is completely clean. Use an alcohol wipe to clean the glass if necessary to make sure that the glass is absolutely clean. Don't even touch it with your bare fingers, as skin oils can shorten lamp life. And ALWAYS make sure that screen is on the instrument during operation.
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Old August 4th, 2004, 01:05 AM   #5
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Sounds like you (or someone else)touched the bulb. That has nothing to do with the Tota. The surface temp of the glass envelope gets so hot that any oils from your finger will burn black and create hotspots. Turf the bulb, it'll blow on you.

Two 500 watt lamped bounced on the ceiling will light that room evenly. If you want more light use an HIR 650 watt bulb. The HIR 650 will give the same light as a 1000 watt standard. The max listed is 750, that's what I'm using right now.

ISO? This isn't video then. If it's a still camera it should have metering.
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Old August 5th, 2004, 08:21 AM   #6
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Agreed that 750 is fine for the tota.
The only adverse problems I had heat wise was a blackening of the protective mesh screen, but big deal. It did little if anything to the light.

The smoking/bending you're talking about almost sounds like the globe itself is shorting out or something. You should be able to run that 750 globe for a long time (relative term) safely.

I'm surprised that 750 wasn't enough light. In my experience they throw a tremedous amount of light for their size, mostly uncontrolled of course. I used one as fill in a fairly large courtroom succesfully. Something just doesn't seem right with your set up.

I just looked at the link for the room and now I'm really puzzled. I'd be surprised if you could run a 750 tota in there without washing everything out. And if I read your post correctly that you were running 1600 watts in there and still didn't have enuf light, I'm really confused.

I would go Bryan's suggestions about the dual 500w bounced. That should do it for you.
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