research
 Patents
 Books
 Literature
 Articles
 Timeline
 Auction Archive

about
 About this site
 Wanted to buy

bulb gallery

Incandescent:
C
carbon
WD
drawn tungsten
WC
coiled tungsten
WM
mini tungsten
WS
pressed tung.
FG
figural bulbs
XL
christmas
XS
christmas sets
T
tantalum

Discharge:
NE
neon lamps
AR
argon lamps
XE
xenon lamps
MA
mercury
MC
fluorescent
MS
special mercury

Hardware:
F
fuses
FX
fixtures
PF
plugs & fittings
SA
sockets
SW
switches

tube gallery

 X-ray
 Geissler
 Crookes
 Radio
 Box art

museum pics

 Dr. Hugh Hicks
 
Fort Myers, FL.
 S.Slabyhoudek

links

 Related links
 Submit a link

 

Author Topic: Neon flicker-flame lamps  (Read 14210 times)

Offline Justin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
Neon flicker-flame lamps
« on: September 08, 2011, 07:59:04 pm »
Does anyone else seem to find a high failure rate of these?  They seem to stop flickering, and then I flick them, they flicker for a second and go out again.  And one the other day got a hairline crack and all of the neon exchanged out.

Offline Christmas Lamp

  • Purple Bubble Light
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 252
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 06:09:43 am »
Hi Justin, Are You talking about Full Sized Flicker's or the kind You get in Christmas Welcome Arches?
Thanks
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 02:01:49 pm by Christmas Lamp »
I love Any Bulbs be They the Light up kind or the kind that Grows!!!

Offline Justin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2011, 12:49:40 am »
Quote
Hi Justin, Are You talking about Full Sized Flicker's or the kind You get in Christmas Welcome Arches?
Thanks
I think they're full size.  I have nevr seen a Christmas Welcome Arch.  They operate on 120V ac 60HZ. and have a candleabra base (E12 IIRC).
Thanks.

Offline Hemingray

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 136
  • Lightbulb Junkie
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2011, 11:04:45 pm »
I've seen em stop as well, just sit there glowing, but eventually they resume their merry flickering patterns.

Offline adam2

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 03:51:49 am »
IME, the voltage accross a neon lamp tends to increase as the lamp ages.
Here in the UK with 230/240 volt mains, this does not matter within reason. If the lamp voltage increases from say 85 volts to 125 volts, the lamp will still light, though slightly dimmer since there will be less voltage accross the internal dropper resistor.

In the USA with only 120 volt mains supply, the lamp voltage might increase to the point where the lamp wont strike reliably or at all.

Neon flicker lamps in the UK seem reliable, often lasting 10 years or more, suggesting this may be line voltage related.

Offline Justin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 07:52:49 pm »
Thanks for your replies.
Quote
IME, the voltage accross a neon lamp tends to increase as the lamp ages.
Here in the UK with 230/240 volt mains, this does not matter within reason. If the lamp voltage increases from say 85 volts to 125 volts, the lamp will still light, though slightly dimmer since there will be less voltage accross the internal dropper resistor.

In the USA with only 120 volt mains supply, the lamp voltage might increase to the point where the lamp wont strike reliably or at all.

Neon flicker lamps in the UK seem reliable, often lasting 10 years or more, suggesting this may be line voltage related.
This may be a line voltage issue as the lamps fail to strike and will only strike if I flick them when the electrodes are vibrating.

Perhaps I should try running one of thrse at 240V?

Offline adam2

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 07:46:12 am »
I would strongly advise against connecting a 120 volt lamp to a 240 volt supply.
What you could try is use of a 240 volt supply and a series resistor so as to limit the current to the normal running current.

Take a known good lamp and measure the current used at 120 volts.
Then select a suitable value resistance to drop 120 volts at this current, ensure that the wattage is sufficient.
The connect a suspect lamp in series with this resistor to a 240 volt supply.

Offline Justin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 10:16:37 pm »
I would strongly advise against connecting a 120 volt lamp to a 240 volt supply.
What you could try is use of a 240 volt supply and a series resistor so as to limit the current to the normal running current.

Take a known good lamp and measure the current used at 120 volts.
Then select a suitable value resistance to drop 120 volts at this current, ensure that the wattage is sufficient.
The connect a suspect lamp in series with this resistor to a 240 volt supply.
I'm also having a hard time finding a lamphoulder rated for use on 240.

Offline Justin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2011, 10:30:32 pm »
I was outside watching some of these tonight while it was getting dark and it appears they all light at once and once my lights(which are on different circuts and different legs btw) switched on,  some of the flicker lamps stopped flickering and went out.

As for running a lamp on 240V, I have a second resistor from a broken lamp I plan on putting in series. 
For all that don't know, Americans are fed from a Center-Tapped 240V supply.

Thanks all so-far for replies!

Offline peterbent

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 07:33:49 pm »
Hi

Have picked up in the past lamps from India they were in like a moulded base hooked up to what looked like telephone wire. Needless to say they would of not passed any safety checks and must of come in via the back door,however the bulbs worked fine and with a proper base es or bc they worked fine using the carbon resistor 20k or thereabouts. Picked up a light fitting made in Russia with 2 flicker candles good lamps useless resistors changed those and run ok. Lastly unlike normal Beehives these tend not to blacken with age. Hope this helps    Peter (migette) elsewhere
Peter Bent
London
U.K

Offline Nick D.

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
  • 60 watt carbon lamp, cobalt glass
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 11:08:23 pm »
I had a VERY weird experience with one of these bulbs just the other night. I had an 8-light candolier in a window that was on for the night and I was in the room.  suddenly noticed a 'hot plastic' smell and I looked around for a bit and finally noticed that one of the bulbs was dark on the candelabra. I unscrewed in and found the base very hot.  :-o  :-o  :-o I couldn't see any physical damage like burns or corrosion. The socket was clean as well. I put it back and it worked fine!!  :roll:

We'll never know...  :|

Offline Howard

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 12:45:34 am »
Nick D. wrote:
Quote
I had a VERY weird experience with one of these bulbs just the other night. I had an 8-light candolier in a window that was on for the night and I was in the room.  suddenly noticed a 'hot plastic' smell and I looked around for a bit and finally noticed that one of the bulbs was dark on the candelabra. I unscrewed in and found the base very hot.

Not so weird, really.  What's happened is that the two electrodes (very, very close together in flicker flame lamps) have short-circuited together (usually due to vibration), the excess current has spot-welded them together.  The full mains voltage is now across the ballast resistor in the cap, which overheats, and if left alone will eventually fail, either to open circuit (safe-ish) or more rarely short circuit (very dangerous - fire or other damage could result in an circuit with incorrectly rated fusing).

However, don't let this worry you undully, it's comparatively rare.  You caught this one in time, and vibration from handling the lamp broke the spot-weld, so restoring the lamp to normal working.
--
Regards, Howard.
"Is there any tea on this ship?" - Arthur Dent

Offline peterbent

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 09:59:28 am »
Overheating and burning,my advice is only use these when you are indoors, and if on at n.ight have a smoke alarm nearby. Funny enough I am not Joking as I have seen many products bearing all the relavent safety standards UL  BSI  DIN etc and quiet frankly would not feel safe with them in a garden shed let alone indoors. No prizes where all this c**p comes from they simply have the safety house labels for whatever country its bound for and stick on that one.
The old neon bulbs (beehives) had a wire wound resister in the base and the dissipated heat was minimal, they used an over size base to hold the resister spool. Also one last point use a very low fuse rating 500mA or less.  Peter (migette1)
Peter Bent
London
U.K

Offline Justin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2012, 07:48:09 pm »
I had a VERY weird experience with one of these bulbs just the other night. I had an 8-light candolier in a window that was on for the night and I was in the room.  suddenly noticed a 'hot plastic' smell and I looked around for a bit and finally noticed that one of the bulbs was dark on the candelabra. I unscrewed in and found the base very hot.  :-o  :-o  :-o I couldn't see any physical damage like burns or corrosion. The socket was clean as well. I put it back and it worked fine!!  :roll:

We'll never know...  :|
I have that same Candolier!  Anyway, I've had that issue with the electrodes shorting, too.  I guess it's normal.

Offline Christmas Lamp

  • Purple Bubble Light
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 252
Re: Neon flicker-flame lamps
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2016, 04:03:05 am »
This Is My Candle Arch Lit......
I love Any Bulbs be They the Light up kind or the kind that Grows!!!