Incandescent Lamps

lamp, candle-power, life, mean, filament, light, carbon and voltage

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Relation of Life to Efficiency.

Ordinary Carbon Lamp. By the useful life of a lamp is meant the length of time a lamp will burn before its candle-power has decreased to such a value that it would be more economical to replace the lamp with a new one than to con tinue to use it at its decreased value. A decrease to 80% of the initial candle-power of carbon lamps is now taken as the point at which a lamp should. be replaced, and the normal life of a lamp is in the neighborhood of 800 hours. To obtain the most economical results, such lamps should always be replaced at the end of their useful life.

In Table I are given values of efficiency and life of a 3.5-watt, 110-volt carbon lamp for various voltages impressed on the lamp. These values are plotted in Fig. 5. The curves show that a 3% increase of voltage on the lamp reduces the life by one-half, while an increase of 6% causes the useful life to fall to one-third its normal value. The effect is even greater when 3.1-watt lamps are used, but not so great with 4-watt lamps. From this we see that the regulation of the voltage used on the system must be very good if high efficiency lamps are to be used, and this regulation will determine the efficiency of the lamp to be installed.

Selection of Lamps.

Ordinary Carbon Type. Lamps taking 3.1 watts per candle-power will give satisfaction only when the regulation of voltage is the best—practically a constant voltage maintained at the normal voltage of the lamp.

Lamps of 3.5 watts per candle-power should he used when the regulation is fair, say with a maximum variation of 2% from the normal voltage.

Lamps of 4 watts per candle-power should be installed when the regulation is poor. These values are for 110-volt lamps. A 220-volt lamp should have a lower efficiency to give a long life. This is on account of the fact that, for the same candle-power, the 220-volt lamp must be constructed with a filament which is long and slender com pared to that of the 110-volt lamp, and if such a filament is run at a high temperature its life is short. The 220-volt lamp is used to some considerable extent abroad but it is not employed extensively in the United States. It is customary to operate such lamps at an efficiency of about 4 watts per candle-power.

Lamps should always be renewed at the end of their useful life, this point being termed the smashing-point, as it is cheaper to replace the lamp than to run it at the reduced candle-power. Some recom mend running these lamps at a higher voltage, but that means at a reduced life, and it is not good practice to do this.

Fig. 6 shows the life curves of a series of incandescent lamps. These curves show that there is an increase in the candle-power of some of the lamps during the first 100 hours, followed by a period during which the value is fairly constant, after which the light given by the lamp is gradually reduced to about 80% of the initial candle power.

Distribution of Light.

In Fig. 1 are shown various forms of filaments used in incandescent lamps, and Figs. 7 and 8 show the dis tribution of light from a single-loop filament of cylindrical cross section. Fig. 7 shows the distribution of light in a horizontal plane, the lamp being mounted in a vertical position, and Fig. 8 shows the dis tribution in a vertical plane. By changing the shape of the filament, the light distribution is varied. A mean of the readings taken in the horizontal plane forms the mean horizontal candle-power, and this candle-power rating is the one generally assumed for the ordinary incandescent lamp. A mean of the readings taken in a vertical plane gives us the mean vertical candle-power, but this value is of little use.

Mean Spherical Candle-Power. When comparing lamps which give an entirely different light distribution, the mean horizontal candle-power does not form a proper basis for such comparison, and the mean spherical or the mean hemispherical candle-power is used instead. By mean spherical candle-power is meant a mean value of the light taken in all directions. The methods for determining this will be taken up under photometry. The mean hemispherical candle power has reference, usually, to the light given out below the horizon tal plane.

The Gem Metallized Filament Lamp.

When the incandescent lamp was first well established commercially, the useful life of a unit, when operated at 3.1 watts per candle, was about 200 hours. The improvements in the process of manufacture have been continuous from that time until now, and the useful life of a lamp operated at that efficiency to-day is in the neighborhood of 500 hours. Experi ments in the treatment of the carbon filament have led to the intro duction of the gem metallized filament lamp. This lamp should not be confused with the metallic filament lamps, to be described later, because the material used is carbon, not a metal. As a result of special treatment the carbon filament assumes many of the character istics of a metallic conductor, hence the term metallized filament. The word graphitized has been proposed in place of metallized.

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