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240V lamps increasingly widespread - why?

Marc Roessler

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Hi guys,


while browsing through the catalogs of European (German, to be precise) light equipment suppliers I noticed that professional 230V halogen lamps are increasingly hard to find... it almost seems like 240V lamps are the new standard?


Does anyone know why?


Mains voltage (single phase/phase to neutral) in Europe is still 230V +/-10%, so why are vendors increasingly introducing 240V bulbs? (Or is the manufacturers?) 240V lamps in a 230V (+/-23V) grid are very inconvenient... It's easy to dim down a 230V lamp if voltage is too high. Boosting voltage to 240V is not so simple in comparison... Even assuming mains may be (if we're lucky) at 240V (well within the tolerance range): when pulling a few amps (as is typical at a film set), voltage typically will go down quite a bit due to line losses, moving away from 240 Volts (and making the lamps warmer)...


Am I missing anything here?




Edited by Marc Roessler
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I think it has a lot to do with many manufacturers rationalizing their product lines as demand reduces for tungsten lamps.


I contend that using a 240v lamp at 230v is somewhat advantageous. Assuming the perfect supply, running a 240v lamp at 230v renders a theoretical drop in output of only about 4%, or less than 1/8th of a stop, and very little in terms of mired shift. What you gain is an improvement in lamp life, which is handy if you have a couple hundred lamps hung in a studio.


Add to this the fact that despite having a nominal voltage of 230v, many countries, like here in Australia have a historic voltage of 240v, and our actual supply voltage usually sits much closer to 240v(metering 245v isnt uncommon if close to a substation or transformer). As a result 230v lamps have a rather limited lifespan.

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