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Author Topic: S4 max ambient temperature for max lamp life?  (Read 470 times)

Nathan Riddle

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S4 max ambient temperature for max lamp life?
« on: June 01, 2018, 11:15:07 am »

Cross posted here: https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/s4-max-ambient-temperature-for-max-lamp-life.43991/

ETC Source 4 (S4) 575w fixtures
Ceiling Cove = 6ft x 1.5ft x 2.5ft (L x W x H)
Air conditioned room year round.
The current coves have a grate that opens to the attic. Venue wants to close that off so that the attic heat doesn't get into the room.

Concerned that the increase in ambient temperature (can't escape to attic) will decrease the life of the lamp.

ETC says best practice is to have constant airflow to "increase the life of the lamp" though they have no study to support this claim.

My problem with thinking ambient temperature determines life of lamp is that the ambient temperature is so small compared to the temp of the lamp as to be inconsequential. https://what-if.xkcd.com/155/

http://www.calculator.net/btu-calculator.html

https://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovators-TC-3-Thermostatically-Controlled/dp/B000M4W2DM?th=1
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 03:11:28 pm by Nathan Riddle »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: S4 max ambient temperature for max lamp life?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2018, 11:49:41 am »

ETC Source 4 (S4) 575w fixtures
Ceiling Cove = 6ft x 1.5ft x 2.5ft (L x W x H)
Air conditioned room year round.
The current coves have a grate that opens to the attic. Venue wants to close that off so that the attic heat doesn't get into the room.

Concerned that the increase in ambient temperature (can't escape to attic) will decrease the life of the lamp.

ETC says best practice is to have constant airflow to "increase the life of the lamp" though they have no study to support this claim.

My problem with thinking ambient temperature determines life of lamp is that the ambient temperature is so small compared to the temp of the lamp as to be inconsequential. https://what-if.xkcd.com/155/

http://www.calculator.net/btu-calculator.html

https://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovators-TC-3-Thermostatically-Controlled/dp/B000M4W2DM?th=1
Unless you're sealing the S4s in a box, you'll be fine.  Skin temperature of an S4 body runs around 350į at full power; that's more than enough differential to the air around it to create good convection currents.  If you want to increase lamp life, program your dimmers to max out at 95% instead of 100% and you will see significant lifespan extension. 

The ambient temperature issue may be a slightly larger problem if you ever convert to the S4WRD LED modules as they're less heat-tolerant, however they produce less heat as well, so it may wash out.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: S4 max ambient temperature for max lamp life?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2018, 03:11:02 pm »

Unless you're sealing the S4s in a box, you'll be fine.  Skin temperature of an S4 body runs around 350į at full power; that's more than enough differential to the air around it to create good convection currents.  If you want to increase lamp life, program your dimmers to max out at 95% instead of 100% and you will see significant lifespan extension. 

The ambient temperature issue may be a slightly larger problem if you ever convert to the S4WRD LED modules as they're less heat-tolerant, however they produce less heat as well, so it may wash out.

Thanks Tom!

That's basically what I thought.

Good to have temp numbers on the fixture. I can't believe ETC doesn't have an ambient temp range for the fixture to achieve the rated lamp hours. They basically said, you don't want to catch things on fire and it's an indoor only fixture. Not a lot of help. Calculating BTU's for an enclosed space was fun though :P

Good tip on the S4WRD modules though.
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: S4 max ambient temperature for max lamp life?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 10:48:33 pm »

Thanks Tom!

That's basically what I thought.

Good to have temp numbers on the fixture. I can't believe ETC doesn't have an ambient temp range for the fixture to achieve the rated lamp hours. They basically said, you don't want to catch things on fire and it's an indoor only fixture. Not a lot of help. Calculating BTU's for an enclosed space was fun though :P

Good tip on the S4WRD modules though.

Etc doesnít make the lamps... ushio or philips or osram does - so they arenít going to get into lamp life issues...




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Nathan Riddle

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Re: S4 max ambient temperature for max lamp life?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2018, 12:03:39 am »

Etc doesnít make the lamps... ushio or philips or osram does - so they arenít going to get into lamp life issues...

I realize that, but that's like saying car manufactures don't make the fuel so they can't publish MPG.

They should do tests on the fixture to determine the max ambient temperature the fixture (as a system) can sustain and perform the same as their rated specs.

FMEng on the Control Booth forums stated the reflector life would be reduced.
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I'm just a guy trying to do the next right thing.

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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: S4 max ambient temperature for max lamp life?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2018, 07:43:18 am »

I realize that, but that's like saying car manufactures don't make the fuel so they can't publish MPG.

They should do tests on the fixture to determine the max ambient temperature the fixture (as a system) can sustain and perform the same as their rated specs.

FMEng on the Control Booth forums stated the reflector life would be reduced.
Your carís life is reduced every time you drive it, too.

The Source Four design is now 26 years old with only very minor changes in that time.  They are crammed together near the ceiling in thousands of venues around the world, and most of the original batch of fixtures from 26 years ago are still in use somewhere (my inventory spans several generations and the old ones work as well as the new ones other than some minor optical improvements in newer lens barrels).

Lamps, sockets, and very infrequently reflectors are consumables.  Lamps and sockets are very inexpensive.  If the areas are reasonably accessible for fixture maintenance, itís no big deal if your lamps last 1700 hours or 2000 hours.  If they are really difficult to access, I suggest that reducing max output to 90% or even 95% will significantly extend the life of your lamps - much more than any ambient temp change.

By the way, you are in the south, so I wonder how much cooler the attic air is than the heat generated by the light fixtures?

RE the skin temperature - I used to have a lot of Strand Century fixtures, and upon migrating to Source Fours, I noticed how much cooler the beam of the S4 was - a major feature they touted.  I used an IR thermometer on both fixtures after leaving them on for a while.  The Strand skin temperature was something like 225 degrees, while the S4 skin temperature was 350+.  This is due to the glass reflector in the S4 that doesnít reflect the IR of the lamp down the beam, and instead exits through the body of the fixture, which makes the fixture run hotter, but the talent illuminated by the fixture a lot more comfortable. 

Source Fours are amazing lights.  My only beef with them is the lens barrels - even the EDLT barrels - have such a curved focal plane that using them with gobos makes either the middle sharp and the edges fuzzy or vice versa, whereas mover optics generally have a flat focal plane.
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