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Author Topic: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs  (Read 8845 times)

Offline Hemingray

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Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« on: December 26, 2006, 04:04:30 pm »
Total cost: $15 (tag marked $20, shop owner allowed me to have for $15)
Found in: Mammoth Springs, AR USA
Condition: One or two need regluing to their bases, Only four of the five lamps function. One green bulb shows no life at all.  Needs Cleaning
Came with: Two mangled up strings, five lamps (other sockets were empty)
Colors: 2 Green, 2 Yellow, 1 Orchid.

When I seen these in the box, along with some of those place-anywhere C7 sockets (I bought those too, complete with brown extension cord that someone has tacked a handful of sockets to), My jaw DROPPED. Price tag was $20. Just had to buy them! I was able to test the lights right at the shop,  4 of the 5 lit, with one green not showing any life at all. Probably the best find in xmas lights that I have ever come across myself.

EDIT: Added a picture of the other three lamps in the string, which oddly, was made by Paramount according to the end connector.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2006, 04:46:34 pm by Hemingray »

Offline Tim

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 10:07:52 pm »
Nice find and it sounds like a good deal.  I haven't checked prices for these on eBay lately but I know they are always in high demand, especially when you can find the blue versions.  I like the soft colors they emit and it looks like your bulbs still have a lot of life left in them.  Here?s a boxed set I picked up several years ago at a local estate sale.  I haven?t found anything comparable around here since  :-(

Offline Hemingray

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 11:49:46 pm »
Mine do come up nicely, Sad about the one green that didn't glow at all. Is there any way of bringing that one back to life?

Offline Tim

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2006, 08:29:25 am »
Your dud green bulb could have a bad ballast resistor (located in the black plastic base).  I haven't done surgery on one of these lamps but there's an old thread on this forum somewhere that I think discusses this issue in detail, or at least provides a picture.  I have saved all of my dud lamps with the hope that they can be revived some day.

Offline Hemingray

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 01:56:36 pm »
Update 11/14/07


The two yellow bulbs have failed completely. Possibly the ballast resistors? Provide me with some ideas please :(

Offline adam2

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2007, 02:26:40 pm »
I want some !
Does anyone make any modern equivalent? preferably for 230/240 volts, though transformers are cheap.

Offline Hemingray

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 12:56:00 am »
I want some !
Does anyone make any modern equivalent? preferably for 230/240 volts, though transformers are cheap.


Perhaps this is doable by replacing the ballast resistor with one of a higher value. These are neon discharge lamps.

Offline adam2

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2007, 08:28:16 am »
Thanks for the suggestion, but I was looking a modern decorative lamp that resembles the sylvania ones.

I would not wish to modify valuable vintage ones, need a modern alternative, anyone got any ideas?

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2007, 01:28:55 pm »
Last year I found some LED versions of the decorative "golf ball" G45 lamps sold by BELL, which are white when unlit and about the same size as the Sylvania lamps - indeed I was reminded of those when I first saw them. Colours are richer though, due to using LEDs. Only trouble is, they are 240 volt lamps with comparatively large B22D (regular bayonet) caps, intended for large-bulb outdoor light sets. I don`t know what you`d get if you tried to take the cap off one of those to try and exchange it for something smaller, likely just a broken lamp as the outer globes are made from glass.

The strings of bayonet lamp holders tend to be large and heavy since they are weatherproofed for use outside, though if you`re handy with a screwdriver and don`t mind working with mains voltages, you may be able to wire together a parallell string of bayonet pendant lamp holders using some 3 amp 2 core cable. Still be a bit on the large side but better than a big hunk of thick green cable hanging around the room.

I don`t know if these LED lamps are made with the smaller SBC or SES bayonet/screw caps, (as often used in decorative indoor light fixtures), but if they were, and you could find some suitable holders (I know brass SBC ones are made, but you`d need to use 3 core cable with an earth connection), that would be somewhat neater looking.

Still not the same as the genuine originals, but no-one has made lamps like that for many years, and as far as I know, nothing of a similar style was ever made for 240 volt operation. The original Sylvania lamps were expensive and unpopular in the US so got discontinued after only a short while. As a result, it is unlikely they tried to market them overseas.


:)

e-mail: bulbforums(at)NOSPAMbulbmuseum(dot)net.

Offline adam2

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Re: Amazing find: Sylvania Flourescent christmas bulbs
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2007, 04:00:21 am »
Thanks, I have some of the LED lamps made by BELL and they are indeed decorative, however as you point out the BC lampholders are bulky and ugly.

I wtitten to the manufacturers suggesting that these lamps also be produced in SES base which would be far more suitable for festive use.
I have seen series wired festoons of SES lamp holders for Christmas use, they look easy to modify for parrallel use.

Slightly OT but the BELL LED lamps work at almost full brightness on 12 volts! PROVIDED that this is high frequency from an electronic transformer, on 12 volts 50 cycles they light, but very dimmly.