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Thread: lights on machines

  1. #1
    Diamond Member
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    Apr 2010
    planet earth
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    lights on machines

    If you are a factory sparky or do maintenance on machines for small will know what i am talking about.

    Most machines come with a small mobile light attached to a flexible pipe...(a lathe for example) these lights always break and it is a challenge to find replacement lamps

    I decided to replace these lights with mini floods...the catch is they are 110/230 volt but the machine lights are generally 24 - 110 volt ac or dc.

    Something else i noted was when you use the 230 v connection on the machine transformer ...the light stays on very dim when they are switched either have to earth the 0 V or fit a diode.

    i would like to hear what your solution to this lighting problem and if fitting a mini flood is legal...the 110 volt machines lights are not an issue...but the 24 v ones are.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Port Elizabeth
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    Hi Ians

    The reason machine lights are generally 24v is to stop the strobe effect, especially on lathes.
    I once saw the strobe effect in play on a lathe from an overhead mercury vapour fitting and the machine light was not working.
    You need to be careful going with 220v lamps as it may come back to bite.I would think that LED will not pulse but with the changes in LED market who knows.

    We used to get the correct fitting from a machine shop supplier that were pretty robust , expensive and had already started with 24v LED. I have not been active in the machine repair market for a number of years.
    I generally found that it was best to use the purpose bought fittings for lathes etc because the vibration always destroyed everything else I tried.

  3. #3
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    The strobe effect is extremely dangerous, as a tired operator may not realise that the job is turning, and try and work on the rotating part. This strobe effect is predominant in movies where the wheels of a car seem to go slow or are turning backwards. I have seen this effect with my own eyes. If I am not mistaken, there is lighting regulations with respect to rotating machines.

    Any lights for this operation should be from a smooth DC source, as a rectified mains will still strobe at 100Hz as opposed to AC 50Hz. The increase in strobe frequency is that the rectification process cause a double positive cycles for every sine waves as opposed to the single cycle in a sine wave. So a 12V down lighter running from a rectified smoothed DC source would be acceptable.
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  4. #4
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Cape Town
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    RS Components sell a wide range of flexible, cantilevered and articulated machine lights which are decent quality and actually stay put when they're positioned unlike the cheaper versions.


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