Camera, Light, Projector and Sound Rental in Milwaukee & Chicago

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Bad Batches of Lamps – FVL, FTK

bad-ftk-fvlWe’d been having a lot of issues with our Lowel DV44 kits lately, especially with the Lowel Omni and the Lowel Pro lights.  It took a lot of troubleshooting, and in one case we had a failing socket on our Omni fixture. But the real surprise was when we tested all of our lamps on the shelf.  More than half of our FTK and FVL lamps were non-functioning, even though they are new in the box.

Our most recent batch of FTK lamps was “Divine Lighting” brand, made in China.  We think about 75% of them were DOA and the remaining 25% had shortened life (some of them just a few minutes).  And no, this isn’t thumbprint-on-the-glass issues, but some kind of internal wiring problem.  The filaments appear fine, the bulb looks perfect, but the lamp fails a basic continuity test.

All of our bad FVL lamps are made by Osram in Mexico.  The three we still had on the shelf were all dead in the box.  They also look brand new, but fail the continuity test.

In the interest of being scientific, we also tested our lamps for our Arri lights and other stage fixtures, and they all passed the test just fine.

Our theory is that it’s just a bad batch, or maybe someone has been returning used lamps in new boxes.  We’ve sent a message to our vendors and we’ll update you here if we hear more.

The upshot is, starting today, all our customers will get lamps that are fully tested in-house with their Lowel kits, even when they’re new.  And if you own a Lowel Omni or Lowel Pro and you’re wondering why you’re having problems, double-check the lamp before you blame the fixture!  We suggest that any grip or set electrician have one in their bag all the time.

Have you experienced multiple bad lamps in a single order?  Sound off in the comments!

Posted by Jon Kline