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 Post subject: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:40 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:40 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Minersville, PA
Does anyone know of a source of 32 volt LED bulbs that can be used on a steam locomotive? I saw them advertised somewhere but cannot remember where.

Bernie


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 11:24 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 4:49 pm
Posts: 401
Why in the world would anyone use an LED bulb on a steam engine? It's a Steam Engine! It's supposed to be more or less a restoration, right? I don't get the obsession people have with LED bulbs, especially on antique machinery. Why not do it right and use good, old fashioned, correct incandescent bulbs?


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 12:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 333
Location: Oroville, CA
Because, in spite of their relative simplicity in construction, it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain correct incandescent bulbs. Alternatives must be considered, and LED bulbs can be custom built to closely replicate focused filament light bulbs. We know have them for use in antique car headlights that actually provide more accurate beam focus. Two other advantages; lower operating temperatures, and lower amperage demands. Color of the light can be made to closely approximate the incandescent filaments' color too.

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Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 1:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 238
A friend has been running what I believe was Home Depot brand (HDX?) LED bulbs in the cab and number boards on their GP38s. Said they work just fine. I never tried it though.


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 805
Location: MA
Jersey steam wrote:
Does anyone know of a source of 32 volt LED bulbs that can be used on a steam locomotive? I saw them advertised somewhere but cannot remember where.

Bernie

You build or modify one.


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 2:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 9:21 pm
Posts: 100
I've seen LED railway step lighting:
https://www.ledtronics.com/Products/ProductsDetails.aspx?WP=26
Other applications are more problematic. The traditional sources for 32/36V lights are:
https://www.aamsco.com/light-bulbs/railway/ and
https://www.go2marine.com/
but these are incandescent. One work-around that I used to move the focal point of the Aamsco water glass lamp to a more favorable point was to place the lamp into a screw-base female to two-prong adapter and place that adapter into a female two-prong to male screw-base adapter. The contraption did nothing more than raise the entire bulb. A similar arrangement could be used to raise one of the bayonet bulbs from the LEDtronics catalog. Finding a suitable replacement for the 32/36V 250 Watt headlamp is a bigger problem. Bernie Watts at http://backshopenterprises.com might have some advice.


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 6:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:13 am
Posts: 44
Would any of these work https://store.marinebeam.com/edison-screw-type/? They'd be fine for the cab lighting and probably marker lights. A headlight will probably work with an automotive HID type LED, but you'll have to do some modifying for voltage and physical fit. Or try three 12V headlamp bulbs in series, a loco's headlamp housing would have enough room.

We've been experimenting with 24V versions of LED's like those in the link in a display carriage to light all the compartments. The warm white ones work well for colour, and the whole carriage can be run off a small "wall-wart" power supply; the LED's only need a fifth of the current. Saves all that messing around charging big lead-acid batteries.


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 6:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:40 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Minersville, PA
Thanx everyone for responding especially you, Dave, who gave more reasons than I would have. I have also searched the archives here and found some stuff.

Bernie


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 7:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 314
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Cut and pasted from our invoice for bulbs we bought about a year ago. Note the voltage range. We don't have the locomotive in service yet, but they look good in tests on our "shore power" 32 volt source. They won't withstand 110v. Don't ask how we know.

Why LEDs? The capacity of our turbo-generator is 500 watts, the headlamp takes about half of that. LEDs give ua a bit more electrical power to play with. Hopefully the LEDs will also last longer than incandescents.


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:16 pm
Posts: 93
The class one's use LED's in everything but the headlights... even lineside signals!!!

These LED bulbs they buy will run on anything from about 90 volts down to 24 volts... ac or dc, with hardly any loss of intensity at the lower voltage. You can put 115vac to them, but they'll just blink and go out. It doesn't fry them... or at least I haven't ruined one yet.

They've got built in diode protection.. that's why they'll run off AC. I've got ahold of 5 of those bulbs and use a 24volt doorbell (AC) transformer to light them up inside a sandblast cabinet I built.

You guys wanting LED illumination should screw one of these bulbs into a socket and see if it won't run on 32vdc. I'm betting you'll be pleasantly surprised. The class one's use two different types of these LED's... one type resembles a regular light bulb, and the other is what they refer to as a "corncob" bulb. It's what they use in number board and other interior lighting on the engines. The corncob bulbs won't light up on low voltage like the normal shaped bulbs, for some reason.

And a little more general info about LED's. I put up 24 regular mogul base light bulb receptacles on the ceiling of my 30x50 machine shop and bought 24 Walmart brand (Great Value) LED spotlight bulbs... the kind you'd put up out on your outdoor motion detector fixtures at home... and with all 24 going at the same time, it draws 2 amps. They stock multiple "lumen" strengths, and I picked out the brightest ones they had in stock at the store. It lights it up in there like daylight, compared to what I used to have in there.


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 12:56 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 75
I was working in Alaska a few years ago on the cruise train. We had around 18 cars. I would replace an average of 12 light bulbs every day. We ordered some LED bulbs and they were a God send. Cool to the touch and they give off a nice bright light. We did have change out some of the electrical ballast transformers to something lower current since the LED's hardly used any electricity. But after that was done changing out light bulbs was a rarity. I do think you should keep a old fashioned light bulb in the headlight.


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 Post subject: Re: LED bulbs
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 10:48 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 274
We have been using LED 32 volt DC lamps for quite awhile as interior car display lighting. Using a 32 volt AC transformer rectified to about 34 V. DC (RMS reading). Much better option than 120 volt conversion as we worry about the ability of the old wiring to be safe at that voltage. The Chinese made 32 volt incandescent 25 watt bulbs (Damar) were only lasting a month or two. We were also able to reduce fuse rating from 15 amps back to 8 for additional safety.
We purchased the Marine Beam 60 watt equal LED for the large fixtures with milk glass globes.

https://store.marinebeam.com/32v-edison ... c-systems/

They have been on whenever the barns are open to the public, about 9 hours a day Memorial day to Labor day. Still working fine for 4 years now.
The only caution I have is from over voltage from the reduced load on a locomotive generator. I would keep at least a few incandescents on the circuit. Or possibly a load resistor to draw a couple amps as the electronic ballasts in thees seem to be sensitive to voltage spikes.

Buzz Morisette at The IRM.


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