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Pub Lighting Circuits

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by Mark Wilson, Jan 6, 2005.

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  1. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Guest

    I own a pub and am currently spending a fortune on replacing blown bulbs
    varying from 40W spots to normal 60W bulbs and also energy savers too. They
    seem to blow at random thoughout the pub (which has 3 separate circuit
    boards) and the wiring seems old. Any ideas as to why they blow so often?

  2. B J Conner

    B J Conner Guest

    Your beer is to warm.
  3. nospam

    nospam Guest

    Use 130 Volt lightbulbs, they will last longer.
    filiment is a little stronger
    130 Volt, not watt
  4. Beachcomber

    Beachcomber Guest

    Could the bulbs possibly be brands of inferior quality?

    If not, check the supply voltage at the lamp location to see if it too
    high (I believe you have 240 V. in the UK). If it's close to 250
    volts or greater, it may be the major contribution to short bulb life.

    In the USA, the nominal voltage has been creeping up over the past few
    decades because the electric companies like it that way. ( 110, 115,
    120, 125 volts) Anything over 125 volts is going to shorten the life
    of standard incandescents.

    If high voltage is your problem and the electrical authorities won't
    do anything for you (like changing the taps on your transfomer or
    providing better regulation), you might consider putting some dimmers
    in for your incandescent bulb circuits. A small reduction in
    brightness is likely to have a dramatic extension of the bulb's

    You can't dim the standard compact fluoruescents unless you have a
    special ballast however.

  5. You could be particularly close to the lv transformer on a leg which has
    a lot of recent load increases further out - and they have put your
    voltage to the upper limit to compensate. Or large loads have gone and
    they haven't reduced the voltage to compensate. You can ask the local
    distribution company if this is the case - I have found them very honest
    and reasonable to deal with.

    You could be buying the cheapest imported lamps. Like with anything
    else, you get what you pay for. Energy saver types usually come with
    some form of minimum life warranty and the supplier should "happily"
    take them back and provide replacements.

    Old wiring should not affect lamp life - but may shorten yours.

    Lamps normally fail on switch on - so, if you must switch them on and
    off, use a dimmer switch.

    Vibration will kill cheap lamps to - so, try to minimise it. If you
    can't, fit the lamps intended for it - they cost more but will last a
    lot longer.

    Really dangerous and probably not applying is if the springs on the
    light fightings have got tired and the telescopic connectors are not
    making a good enough contact with the lamps. This can be very bad for

    You can get long-life incandescent lamps which will indeed last a long
    time. However, they give out less light and/or use more power and the
    extra cost in electrickery is usually more than the cost of the extra
    numbers of replacements needed.
  6. I dont think so, at 240v I wouldnt imagine they would last 5 min.
    Take a look at the msg header, Its from a UK poster.
  7. Work out how many hours per day they are switched on.
    Work out how many days it takes for one bulb to run for 1000 hours.
    Divide this by the number of bulbs you have.
    This is the expected number of days between each bulb change on average.

    I suspect it will be close to what you get in practice. The large number
    of bulbs and the long running time will give you quite frequent bulb
    replacements in that sort of environment. It would be interesting
    to know what all your figures are above.

    If you are replacing bulbs, say, twice as often as the calculation
    would indicate you should, then it would be worth starting to worry
    about the cause.

    There are a few bulbs in the UK rated less than 1000 hours. These
    are the tubular filament lamps with two end caps, which are rated
    750 hours as they are single coil filaments in vacuum rather than
    gas fill (and they're horribly inefficient and very susceptable to
    vibration too).
  8. bushbadee

    bushbadee Guest

    By the way, I have a patent on that special ballast.

    But as I remember it a 10% or 20% over voltage will cut the life of a
    incandescent bulb by about 50%.
    The cheapest way to control the voltage is to get a voltage regulator.
    I use one in my recording studio.
    I do not use it to control the voltage.
    The studio is on a busy street and there was a 6 story building down the
    block whose elevator motor put a lot of transients on the line . This
    caused a lot of line noise..

    The Sola regulator cleared the problem up.
    I forgot which it is a 5 or 10 KW unit.

    Actually the tennent put it in and because it was wired into the circuit,
    when he moved he could not take it with him so now it is mine.

    It helps rent the building and the new tennents all seem to like it.
    It was particularly useful when they recorded with a big AMPEX recorder.
    Now of course they all use computers to do their recording.
  9. bushbadee

    bushbadee Guest

    Old wiring should not affect lamp life - but may shorten yours.

    :) ;-(
  10. bushbadee

    bushbadee Guest

    Very often Sue the cost of replacing bulbs far exceed the cost of the bulbs.
  11. Absolutely right! My fault in equating his description of his pub with
    most of the ones around here - where the owner will be doing the
    replacements as part of his normal 25 hour day...or sending his wife up
    the step ladder to do it.
  12. Roy Q.T.

    Roy Q.T. Guest

    I'm not so sure about this problem, could be anything

    Serve me up a whiskey sour while i ponder it.

    if your using flourescents you've got to make sure the wires are right
    on your lamp sockets, black to black & white wire to white wire { or to
    the less darkend wire in old wiring.

    i think he's buying bulbs from the 99ç store I'd buy 1 of the real
    expensive Long Life bulbs and 2 of the regular bulbs and place one of
    those Bulb Life Extenders in the socket of the cheapies you've been
    buying, mark the date, and see how long each of the last ... and save.

    Low voltage condtions, current spikes from when the guys at the pinball
    or one arm bandit hit a Special or Jackpot may open up a Gate for
    overly excited current to pass through the neutral or return., the
    greedy bulbs maybe trying to suck off more than they can work off of and
    burn before their time.

    it's such a shame what 1) 100 watt bulb does to your budget., three 60w
    bulbs equals 180w; I'd change them all with the little curly
    flourescents. asap.

  13. Guest

    That is a great idea!
  14. Filamant lamps in Europe are still made for the local voltage, 240V in UK.
  15. Well, they're just about all made in eastern Europe, but they are still
    made for the target country's supply voltage and expected lamp life
    (1000 hours in UK).
    Use your regularly available lamps, and bump up the voltage to them
    by 20%. Easily done with a 24V transformer rewired into auto-
    transformer mode. Should achieve much the same effect.
  16. Define 'often'.

    Also, what sort of service does your pub have? Not being familiar with
    UK wiring, its possible with a 3 phase service to have a poor neutral
    connection in your service and, as a result high voltages on one or two

    Before hiring an electrician, just make sure that you don't have an
    overly optimistic view of how long bulbs should last.
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