The life Span of a 12 Volt Lamp

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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#1
I still use 12 volt incandescent lamps on my CM&NR and run them at usually 9 volts. I have not seen a lamp life expectancy table for running quality 12 volt lamps at various voltages.

At work, the lighting crews used to install 240 volt lamps in hard to access spots like older elevators and exit lights and operated the 240 volt lamps at 130 volts which increased their life by untold years. I been gone over six years and I'm sure the 240 volt lamps that were installed when I was working are still operating. A 100 watt 240 volt lamp operating at 130 volts provides the light output of a 50 watt lamp.

Now LED's are taking over incandescent lighting in commercial applications.

As anyone seen or have a chart like this for 12 volt lamps?

Thanks.

Greg
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#2
I still use 12 volt incandescent lamps on my CM&NR and run them at usually 9 volts. I have not seen a lamp life expectancy table for running quality 12 volt lamps at various voltages.

As anyone seen or have a chart like this for 12 volt lamps?
No I have not, but I would think at 3 volts less than specification they would last a very long time.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#3
In my locomotives I've been using LEDs for 20-25 years and although I have screwed a couple up by hooking power to the wrong lead all my LEDs are still burning. With the incandescents I have used for lighting buildings, I'd like to know how to drop voltage from 12 to 9 volts. In other words what size resister do you use?
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#4
Mark: I found a 12 volt power supply from a security system in a retail store that was being remodeled. I installed a rheostat on the power pack from a MRC power pack to control the voltage output. I run the power leads through a volt meter on a control panel so I know exactly what voltage I'm delivering to the lamps.

This setup eliminates the need for any resistors for the incandescent lamps.

Greg

IMG_0236.JPG

This is the main "Brains" for my five sources of electrical power for the signals, incandescent lamps, DCC, LED's and switch machines. Some power supplies are hidden behind the black panel.

The lighting power is the light tan box on the right with the rheostat.
 
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NP2626

Well-Known Member
#5
Mark: I found a 12 volt power supply from a security system in a retail store that was being remodeled. I installed a rheostat on the power pack from a MRC power pack to control the voltage output. I run the power leads through a volt meter on a control panel so I know exactly what voltage I'm delivering to the lamps.

This setup eliminates the need for any resistors for the incandescent lamps.

Greg

View attachment 32687

This is the main "Brains" for my five sources of electrical power for the signals, incandescent lamps, DCC, LED's and switch machines. Some power supplies are hidden behind the black panel.

The lighting power is the light tan box on the right with the rheostat.
Greg, wouldn't a simple resistor have been easier?
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#6
Mark: Using a rheostat connected to the power supply output I can adjust the voltage at any time for all the incandescent lamps on the layout.

Actually, isn't the rheostat a resistor in nature?
 
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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#7
I have a number of 12 volt incandescent bulbs around the layout and have not had to replace any yet. Some have been in place for over 20 years. I use an old MRC tansformer and run them at about 9 volts.
 
#8
The usual life expectancy for miniature incandescent lamps is 5000 hr. This is at their rated voltage. You opereate them at 3/4 of that, this will give them a near indefinite lifespan (at the 'cost' of a lower lumen output).
 
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trailrider

Well-Known Member
#9
I use 12-16v incandescent bulbs (Grain-O-Wheat) on most of my kitbashed steam locomotives. These are powered through the decoder, and I really haven't checked the output, but they are nowhere as bright as possible. In fact, having tested them at 9v with a battery, the brightness is about the same. And, yes, a rheostat is a variable resistor.
 





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