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OK, granted, I am a sound guy and I don't try to cover it up, but I do have a question for all you throwing up lights on a more regular basis.

I've been lucky. I still have all my original bulbs except for my Projector 150, and that bulb was BOA(Broken on arrival). Not placing blame, but got a great story of a guy at the San Jose Guitar Center rifling through the entire store to get a replacement bulb for this HOURS before an event. I bought 4 just to ensure this never happens again!

My Sunray III and Electra were bought in either December 2001 or January 2002, and I still am on the original bulbs, despite some fairly heavy usage. Still have the replacement for the Sunray III as well.

As strange as this may seem, I have not blown a bulb due to age. The only time I've replaced a bulb in anything is due to breakage. I've replaced 6 Par38 bulbs, again due to breakage issues. I have a Chauvet Intimidator color(I think that is what it is, I forget) and 2 of the 4 shipped with broken bulbs, and I've replaced 2 bulbs due to breakage as well.

How do you guys fare? Burning more out or breaking?

This isn't a quality assurance survey, just wondering how I'm faring against others.

I've since moved ALL my fixtures into Arriba cases. Seems to help.
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well on my performance scan i bought two bulbs from a friend and in the past two years have used all my spares. and if the one i have in there now goes our i got to get mote. the first time i had to change it the hours were definetly up. came on a faded majorly! lol. so the second time i replaced it it really just came out of nowhere and i believe was no where near the max hours for it. just kinda went out suddenly. i was using a phillips broadway 24v 250 watt halogen bulb. is my two watts on this subject! HA! sincerely,
Well, knock on wood, my Mighty Scans never seem to go through lamps at all. I think out of all 8, I've only ever had to replace one lamp because it was getting a little too dim for my liking. This is over a 3 year span or so.

Chris, I recently worked with some of those color changers that you mention, and I've seen two lamps crack inside of the fixture within only 10-20 hours of use. I think there is far more going on with those things than I care to get into on here, but I'll put it this way: I've got one sitting on the bench that no longer fires the lamp.

I think the key for lamps is the quality of lamp that you put in there. Sometimes we get lucky and get factory lamps that just seem to last forever, but it seems that a lot of factory lamps are just not comparable to domestic lamps that seem to last even longer and are more reliable. Even fixture manufacturers have told me to not use their factory lamps anymore because of quality issues. Go figure.

I'd rather spend the few extra bucks on a lamp that is going to run its useful life, rather than having to run a ladder or repeatedly bench a unit to change out cheap lamps.

As far as pars go, I think I only ever had to change out a par 56 lamp once or twice. Those sealed beam lamps never seem to fail, regardless of how much they are bounced around on the road. But when they did burn out, they did just that, burn out. Didn't blow out or shatter.
Yeah, I suspect something funky happening with the Intimidator Colors. As I said, two arrived to me with broken bulbs. They ship the bulbs inside the package but not pre-installed. Doing a show, 3 out of 4 are fine, but a crack appeared in the 4th, or rather in a row of 4 going left to right, #2 was out. I had to take it down during the "family intros", swap out bulbs fast and get it back up. Thank goodness DMX daisy chain!

I definately agree that it's worth the money to spend a bit more for a quality bulb for all the reasons you describe. Many factory bulbs are designed to get you up and running fast, not for the long term. I've gotten lucky.

With bulbs, one problem is that you don't know if you got a good one or a bad one until it's too late. Just the nature of the product. Quality control can easily let a dud slip through, even in the best circumstances.

One thing I don't like about Par38's is that the fixture is basically a glorified holder for the bulb because the bulb is right there, exposed at the edge. I didn't store/transport my Par38's with gel frames because otherwise I'd have to re-gel at each show. I'd just remove the gel frames with the gels inserted inside, and then just store them sorted by color. It's not a matter of placing blame or figure out exactly why or when the bulb was broken. This is one thing I like about the Par 46's, 56's and 64's is the bulb is recessed.

One thing I do like about the Par38's is that being so inexpensive, bulbs are also readily available. There are three hardware stores nearby and one of the three carries 150-watt bulbs. I suppose I could drop back to 100's to run more per circuit, but I don't like how it looks.

I also concur with the sealed beam bulbs as opposed to those round-type bulbs. Doing an event and the par 56 was bumped into, and it being a wrestling event, some sweat or spit or something got to the bulb and BAM, it blew and some glass ended up in the ring. I won't talk about all the details but let's put it this way, the guys switched sides of the ring real fast while others did their best to clean it up. Thank goodness it was the last match.

Are there any brands of bulbs that ADJ recommends for replacements? Or any brands we can discuss here that come recommended?

I guess once we all go all LED, this will never be an issue anymore.
I've been having really good luck with Phillips Broadway ELC3 or ELC5 250W lamps. They just seem to stand up to being on the road and taking a beating from being switched on/off a lot. Eventually they fade, but I can live with that when balanced with their durability. And hey, I'd rather have a lamp dim and still work rather than fail completely (let alone shatter in the case!).
I'm going to scrounge around all my spares and see what I've got. I don't count the Par38's, I think my latest batch are Sylvania's. I don't get a wide selection when shopping at a hardware store for replacement bulbs!

I agree. I would rather take some dim than a flat out blow out. I can make it through a show on dim if I had to.

I wonder what the rating vs. actuality is on bulbs. I think for the Sunray III, they said 100 hours. Can't say I've used it that long. I am not going to track minutes of usage. Now, if the fixtures themselves had a usage monitor, that would be cool. To reset it, you have to get inside and push a reset button. Might as well, you have to take the fixture apart anyways to some extent to replace the bulb in the firt place.
hey guys. The feature tour talking about is available on some of the accuheads or in some cases anything with a discharge lamp. This feature is also available on most elation moving heads. It helps the techs know if it us close to changing the bulb. Dint want the high hour bulbs to go out in the middle if a show now do ya? LOL my two watts on it. Sincerely,
I keep going to the Electra as my example fixture, and for what I paid and for what the nifty new Electra 250 retails for, they are not gonna stuff a usage timer in there. It doesn't make good economic sense and R&D dollars to put that feature in to a "lower-end" type fixture.

But sure, if they wanted to do that for other higher end fixtures, sure. Once you get above a certain price point, clients that are at those levels don't mind or care that those features did add to cost. Why? The are already spending a lot for the features that they need, so the rest is just trivial.

This is not like adding the new circuit breakers onto the fixtures, as opposed to fuses(thank goodness!). The cost addition is trivial. Personally, I'd rather reset a breaker than have to replace a fuse. No spare fuse: you be dead in the water.

Now that I think of it, my movers have a timer on them as well. Only bad thing about them(as with many other similar type fixtures) is that the bulb is ON while the fixture is ON, using a shutter to block it out. But understanding why the fixture operates that way is essential to its proper operation.

I think the best advice is to buy a set of spare bulbs and spare fuses and keep them handy in your show workbox. I have to evaluate and figure out how to stock up for this season.

Thank goodness my ADJ fixtures, as well as most of my fixtures in general, are easy to get into for bulb replacement and basic maintenance.

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