Convert Light fitting for domestic use

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Dave R Smith
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An emigrating friend left me 2 lights which I believe were used in TV production in the 1960's.

They are very heavy and the bulbs are 2 prong pins, heavy duty (akin to a shaver plug), not like the petite halogen bulbs.

I have 2 bulbs for them: 240V 1000W G22

The lights are too bulky/heavy and I don't envisage using them for video production.

I thought they may look good for themed lighting if I reduced them to a 60W or 100W bulb, but haven't yet traced a compatible bulb with this fitting.

Does anyone know of a lower wattage bulb that would fit, or a convertor socket to accept another bulb type?

I am also checking out cost of chrome plating to see if it's a worthwhile exercise.
Possibly I'm wasting my time, but it's a shame to chuck them.

sleepytom
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i'd pull out the G22 fitting and rewire them with standard screw or bayonet domestic fittings if i were you. G22 bulbs start at about 500w afaik which is a bit bright for any kind of domestic usage.

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

DAVE M
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we're desingning a new building and the lighting company are suggesting a foyer display using Strand 743 lanterns that they powder coat / chrome and fit with LED fittings.

I'd fit some domestic low voltage kit inside as all the original cable will be shot and you'll need to start from scratch anyway. using halogen will cost a fortune

Dave R Smith
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DAVE M wrote:
we're desingning a new building and the lighting company are suggesting a foyer display using Strand 743 lanterns that they powder coat / chrome and fit with LED fittings.

Aha - found what you mean here:
http://www.strandarchive.co.uk/lanterns/p743.html

SleepyTom & Dave,
Thank-you for the practical suggestions.

Low voltage kits I've used tend to be halogen, but you say not halogen Dave?
Are you saying running costs are higher for halogen or bulb cost?

I see B&Q have low voltage LED's here:
http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav.jsp?isSearch=true&fh_search=low+voltage+lighting&x=0&y=0&fh_view_size=40&fh_start_index=0

So, thoughts on LED versus halogen please.
My lights have a front lens/door, which may reduce light to a degree for the revised fitting.

For coating, chrome plating etc will probably be too costly and will require it to be stripped apart, so a chrome/metallic aerosol may be the solution.

The light may 'smoke' the new paint with the heat, but it does have fluted vents and with reducing wattage should make it safe.

This sort of decor looks good on likes of 'Dragons Den'.
Just need £££ to plonk on a table.:D

DAVE M
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Halogen lights get hot, and the lamps cost a fair bit, also having a shortish life.If you're gutting the electrics then you may as well go for a cold light thta's economic

I'll ask the guy who's specing the lighting what he was going to use. It might not do for you, but it was LED and had some kind of colour changer so that it would cycle around several colours automatically. It's an effect rather than a light source.

what lights do you have?

I've sen a few lanterns in a Windsor interior decoration shop that are Patt 23s and 123s that have been chromed and they look pretty cool. They're small enough for a domestic setting

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Thank-you Dave.
They are Mole-Richardson type 406.
Googling round a bit more I've found this interesting website which has a picture of them.

http://www.reclaimedenjoyment.co.uk/index_files/Virtual_Shed.htm
Take a look round Dave -may give you ideas for yourself.

Mine are in good nick and I think cast aluminium, so not sure why picture has them rusty.
Also has slider knob for flood/spot settings.
I also spotted one last night on sky 'Rude Tube' in the presenters brick backed room - so it's not just me that messes with junk.:rolleyes:

I've dropped them an email.

This website:
http://www.designaddict.com/design_radar/index.cfm/fuseaction/design_radar_one/radar/1252/Pair_of_Sputnik_Stage_Spotlights_Mole_Richardson_1960s/
has chromed lights for euros 15,500!!

DAVE M
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they might be silver powred coat - it's diffficult to say.

Lots of lanterns were die cast, so can polish up with a bit of elbow grease and a drill/grinder - I do bike engine parts so have the stuff.

Nice to see some 49s - I still use them! 1000w "bulb" style cyc floods.

Dave R Smith
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Yes, it is mainly die-cast components, so could be a fun DIY project - thank-you for the suggestion on polishing.

I enjoy watching likes of 'Wheeler Dealers' and 'American Chopper' with mix of engineering skills, team work, and creativity.

I fancy a Porsche 944 S2 restoration project, but experts like 'Wheeler Dealers' are often lucky to break even on costs when selling, so that takes some of the fun out of it.

DAVE M
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if it is die cast, then I've found that painting with nitromors and chucking the whole thing in a can of boiling water works a treat! the water will neutralise the stripper but the heat gets there first and a very rapid reaction takes place

testing a small bit and polishing with Solvol Autosol is a start. maplin do a small polishing kit if you have a drill.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=217875

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Dave.
I've used Nitromors on painted wood before, but not metal - good tip.

I have drill etc, but not much in way of assorted grinders/buffers.

Funnily enough I was just looking at maplins for their small drill and accessory kits and my Sister was asking what I'd like for Xmas. She can't afford the Porsche 944, so a polishing kit may be more realistic.

After polishing, I assume it needs some sort of coating to maintain its sheen?

paulears
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If you pull out the original lampholder, you'll have plenty of space to put in an all plastic conventional lampholder. I'd use the original screw mounts and just bend a piece of aluminium to fit, then mount it like you would people who put a lampholder into an old champagne bottle - using the little plastic bung, stuck into a drilled hole in the aluminium. If you search around and can find a clear, old fashioned tungsten 40 or 60W lamp, it'll look quite good. Finish wise, those old Moles are a bit rough, so I'd probably explore the Hammerite range - there are some really good looking finishes available.

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Paul.

I follow your process and believe its easily do-able and hope to remove 2 pin fitting without damage in case of reverting back in future.

Co-incidentally one of 3 candle bulbs in the ceiling living room light went yesterday.
They have glass shades so doubt the new style will fit.:rolleyes:
No doubt markets etc still have old style bulbs.

The current finish is quite good, but it is bear metal in places.

Normally with old stuff it devalues to remove original finishes, but these aren't exactly the Mona Lisa.

I'm curious on Dave's multicolour LED and may have to make tripod legs.
Still haven't sussed where to use them, given the size.

Dave R Smith
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Time to pick-up on this project, now it's warmer in the garage.

I am converting old stage lights for aesthetic use (image attached).
.

Please confirm the base is scaffolding and not part of the original gear.

I'm going to make a wooden tripod, but looking for ideas what to cannibalise for the head, which needs to receive the 1 and 1/8 inch diameter shaft and a means of tightening it to stop swivelling (won't be used for adjusting height.)

paulears
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Alan Roberts
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The base bits are scaffolding, old style. Recent scaffolding is 2", or 50mm, not certain which these days. Only the blue bits belong to the lamp itself.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Alan and Paul.
I'm pleased it's scaffolding, so I've no need to feel guilty about junking it.
Paul, the link is just what I need, though I can see the cost of refurbishing and converting the 2 'retired' lights may well end up costing more than the end value - as is often the case.

Dave R Smith
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The lights strip down fairly easy - they were built in an age when things were made for taking apart - not sealed/riveted for life.

The ceramic light mount was easy to remove and I've made a domestic bulb housing.

Dave M - Thanks for the boiling water tip. That's one of the fun aspects.

For chroming I've had estimate in region of £300 each.:eek:
For chrome spray on powder coat I've been quoted £60 for the 2 light housing drums without the other bits. I also have some chrome spray paint to do a test.

DAVE M wrote:
we're desingning a new building and the lighting company are suggesting a foyer display using Strand 743 lanterns that they powder coat / chrome and fit with LED fittings.

I'd fit some domestic low voltage kit inside as all the original cable will be shot and you'll need to start from scratch anyway. using halogen will cost a fortune

Dave M - Are these lights now with you?

Any chance of a photo to see quality of chrome spray on powder coat please.:)

DAVE M
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looking again at the Sputnick lamps in the link, I think that they're powder coated.

this might be of interest. I have no connection but a hobby is bikes as in Motor and this lot get a mention in a fair few mags.
http://www.aerocoat.net/index.htm

Chroming is v expensive, but a different effect. The Moles might be a bit blingy to chrome as I'd guess they're about the size of a Strand 243 at maybe 18-24" cubed.

As a guide, a cheap deal that I found was a powder coater who'd do a bike frame (blast and coat) I assume in black for £80. It's often £100 or so

It'd be worth talking to the powder-coat people as they would want the lamp disassembled but would probably bead blast the metal first and plug any screw holes before spraying. also,the heat that the coating willtake

If you're not sure what powder coat is,the powder is sprayed on to a metal part and sticks because the gun and the metal are part of a circuit. Once on,it's baked in an oven for 30 mins or so to both bond and flow to a smooth surface.

The building is at the RSJ and flooring stage at the moment so it will be a fair few months till I see any lights (if they're still in budget) but I've emailed the guy for more info

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Dave.
I hadn't seen that website, but seen a few others, some american, that do chrome equivalents, for motoring/bike world.
I've seen powder coating in its done state on American chopper, so thanks for mentioning the bonding process - which means it is likely better than what I can do.

The lights are MR 406's and I think they are referred to as a mini solar, and have a 6 inch fresnel glass front inside an eight inch diameter drum casing.

I spotted one on 'They call me Mister Tibbs' a few nights ago.

Dave R Smith
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Well, the 'back burner' project is now complete.
It took more time than I would like to admit to strip the 2 lamps down.
I experimented with tomato ketchup, brown sauce, white vinegar to clean up nuts and screws and remainder was Nitromorse.

Lots of fun pouring on boiling water (Thanks to Dave M for the tip).

A local company did the powder coating 'chrome' colour.
I was lucky in that there rep introduced a new 'chrome' for powder coating that has a much higher reflective finish. I believe the paint is 3 * more expensive, but he didn't charge extra!:D

With the 2 lamps stripped down, I was able to convert the bulb to take 100W household bayonet.

I also had to make a conversion tube, to receive the Y yoke for mounting on a spigot.

Original plan was to make a wooden tripod, but can't justify more time, though wouldn't mind doing a refurb on say surveyors tripods if I come across them.




mooblie
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Nice job. I could do with one of those, as a present for my son...

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

paulears
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I have to say I'm rather impressed with the finish! Nice one.

Of course, you could stick it on ebay and make plenty! People buy things like that for daft money = easily £200 plus!

Alan Roberts
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Looks good, nice job.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you for the complimentary responses.
I've seen on other forums US film-makers paying good money for these lamps in original old battered but solid condition, for their intended purpose.

I spent around ?50 on chemicals/materials plus cost of powder coating.

If you calculate the profit margin, divided by man hours, the Dragons Den team wouldn't be impressed as it would be peanuts.
But then I like peanuts so this is what may be called a labour of love.
My garage is like a time machine. I go in, turn the radio on and upon leaving some minutes later, find that hours have passed!

I'll hang on to them as long as I can, it's safer than shares in a bank.:rolleyes:

Thank-you for the feedback during the course of this project.
Confuscious say 'Many hands make light work'.:D

DAVE M
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looks pretty good!

There's an antiques /interior design shop in Windsor that charges an arm and a leg for stuff like that.

You might find that ebay gives you a cheap wooden tripod from an overseas retailer.

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Dave.

I did look at e-bay, more for unwanted surveyors tripods.
For current use of the lights at home, the modern lighting stand is perhaps less intrusive in the physical space it takes up.
I'll keep your suggestion in mind, (which I could distress) in case something more apt doesn't come along.

I think varnished wood would bring out the 'antiquity', but I believe, even in the mid 1960's they had steel lighting stands as can be seen here:
http://www.golden-agetv.co.uk/equipment.php?TypeID=22
The stands aren't as pretty as the lights for a decorative item.

DAVE M
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a friend who's a tog had a Gandolfi made for him about 20 years ago and I went with him to the factory/works. The guy said that a lot of yanks were buying their tripods to use as telephone tables.

As sod's law would have it, I threw out a load of base heavy type lighting stands that are contemporary with your light about 12 months ago. These days, big butch tripods tend to be used but the heavy based stands took up far less space.

Dave R Smith
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DAVE M wrote:
Gandolfi

??
I've never heard of them, sound like a sci-fi character to me.
Found this, so I now understand:
http://www.gandolficameras.com/
Looks like Japan is a key sector for them.

That was a time when proper engineers had a brown coat, cardigan, pipe and beard.
No wonder women didn't join the industry?

I could probably make the wooden part of their tripods, but not the brass fittings.

If you have any other 'rubbish', like an old e-type in your barn, don't chuck it, just give me the nod.;)

Alan Roberts
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Gandolfi have been making wood and brass cameras for a lot of yonks. They've always been expensive, but good.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

manchester reader
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Re: Convert Light fitting for domestic use

Hi Dave
I have just found your post dated 2005.
I have bought some stage lights of ebay that unfortunately came with a fitting suitable for a1/244 bulb which is 500W. As it is too strong for domestic usage I would like to convert it to 100W. I understand you managed to do this not being an electrician. I wonder if you could give me some tips as I have no clue how to do this

many thanks in advance

manchester reader

paulears
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Re: Convert Light fitting for domestic use

If you can do basic DIY, then electrically there's nothing to it - buy from the local B&Q/wicks/Screwfix a table lamp kit - a plastic lamp holder with cable already attached. Make up a small bracket and just remove the real lamp holder parts. Plenty of suitable threaded holes, so just a case of bending a few bits of aluminium strip and it's done. The only 'electrical' work is removing the two core cable, and threading the cable through the existing cable inlet.

I guess nowadays we should do the usual H&S getout and say that if you have to ask, then perhaps you shouldn't do it. Using plastic fittings is simple, and with a low wattage 'real' lamp, not nasty CFL or LED, it will look nice.

If its a stage light from the 60s-late 70s, be aware there is usually a white soft disk under the lampholder - an insulating, heat resistant spacer. be careful - they are made from asbestos!

A proper electrician would probably use new rubber three core cable, earth bond the case and fit a sturdier metal lampholder, and the stick it on a tester - using a plastic ready made one just works better for people a little less proficient.