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Eric Andresen

Lighting question for David Mullen or others regarding xenon

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I've watched several of David Mullen's interviews etc and he mentioned xenon daylight fixtures. Does anyone have a schematic or breakdown of making one of these?

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It has been done - you can sort of run them from a welder, but the complexities are huge and I wouldn't go near it as a homebrew project in hopes of actually making it work reliably enough to go out on jobs. The difficulties attending stopping the high voltage start pulse going back into the DC power part of it are a nightmarish world of impedances and inductors (similar concerns attend building HMI ballasts.) Xenon lamps maintain high internal pressures even when cold and failures are very dangerous, much more so when hot. Projectionists changing XBO lamps in projectors wear armoured gloves, aprons and face shields. Even when running correctly they are a prodigious source of extremely hazardous shortwave UV and the high currents and voltages involved are not things to toy with.

 

Also, xenon short-arc lamps are not particularly efficient light sources in the first place.

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My actual intention was a xenon (HDI) lamp made from the xenon brand automotive headlights. Something with 110 volt to 12 volt type steup. I've used xenon arc before in a projection booth years ago and I am not implying their use at all.

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My actual intention was a xenon (HDI) lamp made from the xenon brand automotive headlights. Something with 110 volt to 12 volt type steup. I've used xenon arc before in a projection booth years ago and I am not implying their use at all.

 

I tested that some years ago with 35w Chinese "xenon" 12v replacement kits... attached one inside a handheld 12v searchlight and another inside a poor quality 300w Chinese fresnel light. It kinda worked OK but the burning angles were very limited (the light started to flicker when the bulb was tilted to certain angles) and the light output was not enough for any real movie use. interesting test but I did not find much practical use for them back then.

 

A self designed LED unit would be much easier to construct, much more reliable, cheaper and have higher output than a car xenon bulb diy light.

 

If you specifically need a cheap self made discharge lamp with interesting characteristics and high output you could try to construct a carbon arc lamp from an arc welder and some graphite electrodes and scrap metal and other stuff. Would be pretty scary device and a real fire and UV hazard and pretty challenging to use but could work quite well for a special look for old style studio films :lol:

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My actual intention was a xenon (HDI) lamp made from the xenon brand automotive headlights. Something with 110 volt to 12 volt type steup. I've used xenon arc before in a projection booth years ago and I am not implying their use at all.

I believe the 'Xenon' headlights are actually metal halide, and the xenon is only used on initial strike. That being the case, you may want to chat to Phil Rhodes about his homebrewed Ceramic Metal Halide lamps.

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