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Longevity of lights

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Lights and Sound
Forum Discription: Technical discussion
Printed Date: 6/25/24 at 3:13pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 -

Topic: Longevity of lights
Posted By: GoldCanyonLady
Subject: Longevity of lights
Date Posted: 2/26/13 at 9:50am
We are a senior community and produce one play a year in the big auditorium that serves as the place for dinners, dances and much more.

The man who runs the light board insists that if we use full power, the lights won't last as long. Is he right?

Don't ask me what kind of lights we have, I am only the director.

Barb Hofmeister
director/producer and president
Mountainbrook Village Players

Barb Hofmeister,
MountainBrook Village Players, Gold Canyon, Arizona.

Posted By: David McCall
Date Posted: 3/04/13 at 7:38pm
With conventional tungsten lights that is definitely true. However we use halogen lamps in typical theatrical lighting. I think the filament still contains tungsten, but the envelope is quartz and much smaller. The gas inside is different too.
Conventional tungsten filaments loose tungsten atoms that stick to the inside of the envelope and eventually darken the lamp. My understanding is that a halogen lamp looses tungsten as well but the envelope is so hot that it doesn't stick and winds up redeposited on the filament extending the brightness and longevity.
This replenishing cycle only works well if the envelope is hot enough. As the intensity is reduced, the efficiency is also reduced and the lamp could fail earlier. You would have to do some research to get good numbers, but I think there is a intensity where the the lamp's life is shortened. Running the lamps a little lower probably does increase life expectancy as does running it very low.

David M

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