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Why low voltage lighting on machine tools?

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  • Why low voltage lighting on machine tools?

    Just trying to find an answer that's all, my reason is that I have just got another old lump of iron on my shop floor but the lo-vo lite is only 380/440v and I am running 240v only. The motor was taken care of with a VFD.

    Chances of finding a 220 transformer that will fit the case are looking either slim or too expensive.

    My question is, why bother?

    Maybe once upon a time when fuses were the only protection, but these days we have mcb's and elcb's and you can pretty much touch a live wire and the power is off before you know it.

    I know my lathe has a 50v lamp, wired 25-0-25 with the 0v earthed so it's only ever 25v to ground, but my mill has been living with an old mains angle poise lamp for years.

    Both work fine and neither has blown a lamp in years.
    If it does'nt fit, hit it.
    https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
    http://www.davekearley.co.uk

  • #2
    Mainly for safety reasons, but there are a few that are reportedly using these 110/220 v.
    ebay 200798790130
    (You might want to add a ground wire however!).
    Max.
    Last edited by MaxHeadRoom; 07-14-2013, 11:33 AM.

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    • #3
      I thought it was so you could get a more whiter light for the same wattage.

      Peter
      I have tools I don't know how to use!!

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      • #4
        Looks useful, thanks.

        But with the modern protective devices, is 50v any safer than 240v?

        Maybe only if the fitting is all plastic but most machine lamps are steel etc so a short would simply blow the breaker.

        The ONLY scenario I can envisage is maybe wielding a lump of steel in the hand while removing / fitting it in the chuck and accidentally stuffing it up the lamp shade enough to break the bulb and touch the wires?
        If it does'nt fit, hit it.
        https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
        http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ptjw7uk View Post
          I thought it was so you could get a more whiter light for the same wattage.

          Peter
          Don't thinks so, a 50w 50v lamp is the same output as a 50w 240v lamp. AFIK .

          Both are incandescent so similar colour temp too.
          If it does'nt fit, hit it.
          https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
          http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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          • #6
            I think that the choice of Voltage for lights on machines was probably determined by the Voltages already in use on that machine and the desire to eliminate cost in the form of additional power cords or transformers. If you have a machine that uses 115VAC then a 115VAC light is the most economical to install. If the machine uses 480 V with a 230 V control chain, then you most likely have 230 V lights added on to that control circuit.

            I am not sure where current control Voltages are for our type of machines, but if I were designing one I would probably go for 5 to 25 Volts. OTOH, I recently added lights to a machine and used 115V LED lamps because they were available and the machine ran on 115V and no additional parts were needed.

            The bean counters always win in the end.
            Paul A.

            Make it fit.
            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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            • #7
              I'm not so sure Paul, I can see your reasoning but over here in the UK, most machines were/are fitted with a completely separate transformer unit built in to the lamp support, most popular brand was "LoVo Lite" which is what was fitted to my latest acquisition.

              It is sometimes listed in the catalogues as an optional extra at cost.
              If it does'nt fit, hit it.
              https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
              http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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              • #8
                Why low voltage lighting on machine tools?
                Cos back in the days before wimpy ELCB's and such, if some daft burger left a chuck key in the chuck and switched on, you wouldn't light yer eyes up removing the frazzled remnants out of the metal shade. Bit like 110V site transformers.

                Regards Ian.
                You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Circlip View Post
                  Cos back in the days before wimpy ELCB's and such, if some daft burger left a chuck key in the chuck and switched on, you wouldn't light yer eyes up removing the frazzled remnants out of the metal shade. Bit like 110V site transformers.

                  Regards Ian.
                  Fair enough, so it was necessary but not so much nowadays.

                  The 110v site transformers do make sense to me as it gives 55v to neutral or ground and is totally isolated from the supply grid so any shock is going to be minimal. Plus the increased risk of damage to the leads and tools etc, it really does make sense.

                  Anyways, I'll bypass the tranny and fit a standard bulb while keeping my eyes open for a suitable 25-0-25 transformer.
                  If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                  https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                  http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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                  • #10
                    My understanding is that the low voltage filament is thicker, so can withstand shocks and vibration better. It can also be run at a higher temperature, giving a whiter light and higher efficiency.

                    George

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                    • #11
                      Ah, but surely a thicker filament would need more power?

                      There are various "rough service" lamps but my understanding was that they just had more filament supports?

                      Interesting.
                      If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                      https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                      http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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                      • #12
                        Ohms law and all that.

                        Originally posted by Davek0974 View Post
                        Ah, but surely a thicker filament would need more power?
                        Exactly the same amount of power. Will take more current.

                        Right now there's a race in automobile world, what will we see first, cars with 48/52 volt batteries or cars with LED headlights. I would imagine ancient filament headlights, even if designed for 52 volts, wouldn't live long at the same wattage.

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                        • #13
                          And one aspect is laws pertaining to electrical safety code. For example here, any non-safe voltage (above 48 VDC or 24 VAC if I remember these figures correctly) is forbidden in automobile shop, machine shop and inside a tank due to massive amounts of metal around you when working.

                          When the law was created, those fancy safety devices were not in existance. And even that they now are, they are not mandatory in every installation, so it is best that everything works at safe voltages.

                          And robbing 230 VAC for a low voltage transformer is easy if the machine is powered from a 400 VAC 3-phase system - just plug it in between live and neutral, that gives 230 VAC.

                          Most work lamps that are now available are either 12 or 24 VDC halogens and they have a separate power supply or it is installed permanently in the base of the lamp.
                          Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by vincemulhollon View Post
                            Exactly the same amount of power. Will take more current.

                            Right now there's a race in automobile world, what will we see first, cars with 48/52 volt batteries or cars with LED headlights. I would imagine ancient filament headlights, even if designed for 52 volts, wouldn't live long at the same wattage.
                            I would imagine LED's will become far more widespread, anything should be better than those damn HID lamps they are using in some models, great for the driver but deadly for other road users, especially when fitted as an after-market "upgrade"
                            If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                            https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                            http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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                            • #15
                              Yes but in my case i only had a 380-440v transformer and a 240v supply so it wouldn't work too well.

                              Car workshops yes, and ALL hand tools/lamps i can fully understand, but machine tools? New work lamps are now LED, not very good but safe i guess.

                              As said, i will keep on the lookout for a suitable transformer but for now will go for a 230v bulb.
                              If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                              https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                              http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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