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Old 05-11-13, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Gutted Halogen = Retrofit LED fixture Franken-lamp is born.

We've all seen them: Those white or black floor standing halogen lamps that were all the rage 10+ years ago. You know the ones... They typically used a 300W bulb, and doubled as a mini-space heater.

Well, after several months of looking at mine running almost every night when my wife sat on the couch to read, I began to wonder what I could do to produce light more efficiently and at lower expense. Your local bright orange big box hardware store has recently started selling a Cree 60W equivalent (800 lumen) LED bulb that draws just 9W when running. They look almost exactly like a normal incandesent bulb, except in price. They come in both Warm White, and Daylight varieties. I pondered that for a few days and came up with a DIY renovation to the old halogen lamp. I bought two edison lamp bases, two 60W equivalent "warm white" LED bulbs, and proceeded to spend an evening making a frankenstein lamp of sorts. I took out the halogen bulb base, wired up the two edison sockets to the dimmer rheostat, and bent the steel edison socket holders to utilize two existing screw holes which I was able to enlarge slightly with a drill bit.

The end result: the two bulbs nestle nicely in the bowl of the lamp shade. The dimmer rheostat seems to work well to dim the two LED bulbs (yes, they are rated as dimmable LED bulbs). Best of all, I can run the franken-lamp on anywhere from 0.5W to 19W using the dimmer. So, the franken-lamp can run at 1600 lumens (full bright) for 15.8 hours, for what it used to cost to run the halogen bulb full bright for an hour!

I briefly considered simply adding to the scrap metal heap, and replacing my old lamp with a new lamp manufactured with edison bases, but the cost of a new floor standing lamp was simply outrageous (>$40), even in the usual "affordable" stores.

For those who care, I did try plugging franken-lamp into a modified sine wave inverter, and it seems to light just fine.

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Old 05-11-13, 03:03 PM   #2
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Default

Sweet! If it puts out enough light, that would be a 93% reduction in power! And you may never have to change light bulbs in that fixture again!
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Old 05-11-13, 07:04 PM   #3
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Default Franken-tastic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by where2 View Post
...I can run the franken-lamp on anywhere from 0.5W to 19W using the dimmer. So, the franken-lamp can run at 1600 lumens (full bright) for 15.8 hours, for what it used to cost to run the halogen bulb full bright for an hour!
That is Franken-tastic!

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Old 05-11-13, 09:37 PM   #4
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Sounds like a great retrofit. Can we get some pictures?
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Old 05-12-13, 07:15 AM   #5
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This is one I would like to do. The wife likes it so i don't want to bugger it up.
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Old 05-12-13, 06:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
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This is one I would like to do. The wife likes it so i don't want to bugger it up.
Mike,
You should easily be able to do that light with LEDs, assuming it has a step-down transformer and uses 12V bulbs. My dad has done a few lamps in his motorhome recently that were using bi-pin halogens.

I'll see what I can do for photos of the head end of the finished product, but right now the wife is sleeping on the couch.
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Old 05-12-13, 06:59 PM   #7
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Sadly, I have to get above 5 posts before you can see my creation...
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Old 05-12-13, 07:00 PM   #8
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Now that I am above 5 posts, you can see the Franken Lamp.

For those wondering about the survivability of the "zip cord" in close proximity to the bulbs, I can actually touch the bulbs after they have been on for 10 minutes at full brightness (they don't get wicked hot like an incandescent bulb). There is a concern about the wiring end of the bulb socket where you could potentially shock yourself, but I'll address that with some heat shrink tubing one of these days.

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Last edited by Daox; 05-13-13 at 11:05 AM.. Reason: Fixed image link
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Old 05-30-13, 02:23 PM   #9
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Looks good to me!
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Old 06-06-13, 08:42 AM   #10
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Love the creation Dr Frank..e..n.., oh, never mind, but I wouldn't wait too long to cover the exposed wiring. I've met me, and if I didn't force myself to get right on it, it might never happen.

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