Lowell Pro bulb life expectancy at DVinfo.net

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Old January 16th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #1
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Lowell Pro bulb life expectancy

What is the life expectancy of a Lowell Pro Light bulb? I've used my light maybe 3.5 hours since receiving in Dec 25th and it just burned out. Most recent used was about 2 hours straight this afternoon before it croaked.

The bulb looks like it melted from the inside out. It's definitely deformed compared to when I first installed it.

I remember reading somewhere that some people had issues with the Lowels shorting out. Is this what they are referring to?
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Old January 16th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #2
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Bob,
The bulbs in the Pro Light are delicate but I think there was a manufacturing problem and I can't remember whose it was. B+H did have a bunch of the bad ones at one point.
The problem with the Pro light is it is also sensitive to what direction you run them. They don't like to be pointed down in one direction as the heat goes back into the light and can melt the socket. They have a little diagram on them which you should try and pay attention to. This can effect your bulb life. They seem to work better pointing down from the side on an arm than if they a hung straight down with the bulb underneath the electronics.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #3
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This was angled down maybe 15 degrees from straight, being used as a hair light in an interview. I am aware of the warning not to run them facing down, but if just a slight tilt causes problems then I'm gonna have to ditch it!
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Old January 16th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #4
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Bob, If you touched the bulb with your bare hands then you are the culprit. The oils on your hands create a hot spot which burns out your bulbs and creates the melted look you've described. I've had Lowell bulbs that have lasted for years. Be sure to use a clean cloth or gloves when installing lamps in a fixture.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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I am pretty careful about that too, but being a "newbie" to lighting it certainly possible I inadvertently touched it.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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Further to Rick's excellent advice, I use the foam that the bulb comes packed in to remove the old lamp and grab the new lamp when replacing. Quite convenient and doesn't require you to have grip gloves handy.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #7
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Yes, always use a paper towel or the box that the light came in to grab the lamp, never use your bare fingers. Otherwise you'll see the quartz globe puff up like a marshmallow and melt. I speak from experience :)
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Old January 17th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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The deformed shell is almost certainly from touching the lamp...but another reason for short lamp life is that the filaments are fairly fragile when the lamp is on....in the photo studio at the paper I used to work for, we were always having to re-lamp hot lights because people would slam the stands around when the lights were on and the filaments would blow out...I always have made it a habit to turn the fixture off when moving a stand...and had a good Lowell set for more than three years, used extensively, and never had to replace a lamp in that time....ymmv. But -- if the shell is melted, somebody's oily fingerprint was on it..../Battle Vaughan
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Old January 18th, 2010, 08:40 AM   #9
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Yup, I'm the culprit. I replaced it yesterday and the salesperson at B&H said "Looks like you touched this."

Live and learn.....need to be disciplined about using a cloth when inserting the lamps.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 05:47 PM   #10
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The Lowel Pro lights used to ship with the 250W GCA bulb, which is rated for 100 hours. However, the GCA's are prone to premature failure when bumped or jarred.

The recommend globe for the Lowel Pro is now the 200W FVL, which is 50Watts less, yet rated for twice the life at 200 hours.

More info on the Lowel site under lamp beam and performance data
Lowel Pro-light

Myself, I actually tend to use the FSH lamp which is 125W, then I'm not having to close the barn doors so much or add a dimmer.
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