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Author Topic: Bubble Light Night Light {Pic Added 17/01/05}  (Read 14040 times)

Offline Christmas Lamp

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Bubble Light Night Light {Pic Added 17/01/05}
« on: January 03, 2005, 09:11:28 am »
My Friend in Florida Sent Me a Bubble Light For Christmas, as I Live in the UK I've been Using a Voltage Converter....... {Another Friend in the US Sent me the Converter} And Wold Love to get my Hands on a Full Set of Bubble Lights at some Point.....

« Last Edit: January 17, 2005, 02:07:36 pm by Christmas Lamp »
I love Any Bulbs be They the Light up kind or the kind that Grows!!!

Offline Tim

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Re: Bubble Light Night Light
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2005, 09:48:00 am »
Paul Schofield here in the US sells repro bubble lights.  You may want to check his website out for more information:

http://www.illumibrite.com/virtualight/products.php?cat=8

If you are interested in the vintage stuff then of course check out eBay but expect to pay big prices since vintage bubble lights are hot collectibles now.  Maybe Chris can give you some suggestions on where to find bubble lights in the UK?

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: Bubble Light Night Light
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2005, 10:13:34 am »
Bubble-lights are essentially unobtanium here in the UK. They were introduced after WW2 in the early 50s but were very expensive and not big sellers, unlike in the States where they were extremely popular. Though there are modern versions made and sold Stateside, I am not aware of any being sold here probably due to their original lack of popularity. British vintage bubblers are *very* hard to find today and attract *very* large prices as a result. They usually differ from American ones by having a different tube fill comprising two different liquids - clear on top and coloured in the bottom.

I have been lucky enough to find a few British bubble-light sets on Ebay but they turn up very infrequently and as mentioned, usually sell for big ???. Buying on-line from places like illumibrite.com (Paul Schofield`s site) is probably your best bet. Also Ebay overseas, some sets and bulbs are more common than others and ~1949 Noma 9-lite sets turn up quite often for fairly sensible prices.

Just be aware that an average paralell-wired 7 lamp bubble light set consumes about 30-35 watts worth of power, 9-bulb series wired sets are something like 27-30 watts. Often the small "travel converter" type stepdown transformers can only provide 20-30 watts of power continuously so check the rating label just to make sure. It might be rated in VA instead of Watts, the two ratings are not identical but are close, I think VA ratings are about 25% higher than the continuous maximum wattage load but don`t hold me to that. Larger transformer units can be found at maplin.co.uk and while they get pricey for the biggest ones, a decent 100-200 watt unit shouldn`t be impossibly expensive. One that size should be enough to power a couple of box-sets nicely.

:)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 10:17:49 am by Chris Millinship »

Offline Christmas Lamp

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Re: Bubble Light Night Light
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2005, 10:22:25 am »
Thanks For The info Tim and Chris.....
Maybe I'll look into getting a bigger Converter at some Point....
But I'm Just happy to be able to have a Working Bubble Light at all......
I love Any Bulbs be They the Light up kind or the kind that Grows!!!

Offline Alan Franzman

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Re: Bubble Light Night Light
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2005, 10:45:48 pm »
{...} I think VA ratings are about 25% higher than the continuous maximum wattage load but don`t hold me to that. {...}

When the load is (nearly) purely resistive, as with incandescent bulbs, VA (volts X amps) ratings are exactly the same as Watts ratings. Where they differ is when reactive (inductive or capacitive) or nonlinear (gas-discharge, switching power supplies, etc.) loads are encountered. Capacitive loads are rarely encountered but inductive loads like motors and transformers, as well as nonlinear loads, are very common. With an inductive load, the voltage and current are out-of-phase, so some of the current flowing in the circuit is returned to the source and does not represent power being used or wasted, therefore actual power usage is less than the volts X amps figure. However, these small voltage converters have a limited current capacity, so it's possible that a small motor which uses 25 watts of real power, may require over 30 VA of converter capacity. More complex but similar conditions apply with nonlinear loads - harmonic currents and supply inefficiency to name just two. I can just about guarantee that you won't get rated output from a 15VDC, 2A switchmode supply if operated through a 30VA transformer voltage converter. Things get even worse when using switching converters - they should really ONLY be used with resistive loads like light bulbs and heaters.
A.J.

Offline Alan Franzman

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Re: Bubble Light Night Light
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2005, 11:14:56 pm »
BTW, vintage UK bubble light sets do occasionally show up on eBay.? Here's one:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6503968418

Try including tubelite* in your searches to catch more of them.
A.J.

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: Bubble Light Night Light
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2005, 12:14:18 pm »
Yep, that`s one of the few I have managed to find over the past few years. Another is branded "Kingston Crystalites" and is actually otherwise identical to that one, right down to the design of the box. The artwork is different but that`s all.

Surprisingly low bid on that one right now considering it is for two sets. I have seen British sets sell for over ?500 in the past though. I believe it was the Telsen company who first brought bubblers to this country and manufactured the two-colour tubes. Original Telsen branded sets, compising 10 bulbs, are worth loads. I have attached a couple of photos snagged from Ebay the last time I saw one of those for sale. Couldn`t afford the high bid though.....

 :-o

Offline Alan Franzman

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Re: Bubble Light Night Light
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2005, 09:26:41 pm »
Interesting... I see the box says "British Made", but the artwork is a very American-looking Santa Claus rather than your typical Father Christmas.  The Coca-Cola advertisements must have travelled!
A.J.

Offline Christmas Lamp

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Re: Bubble Light Night Light
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2005, 06:24:05 am »
Nice Looking Light Sets Chris.....  :-D :-D :-D
I love Any Bulbs be They the Light up kind or the kind that Grows!!!