Address sign needs new bulbs

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by vectorg, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Sep 2, 2009 #1

    vectorg

    vectorg

    vectorg

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi,

    I have a lighted address-sign that is on my house. It has a string of 4 very small incandescent lights inside, and one of them has burnt out. I want to fix it myself and make it light-up again.

    Here are some details:

    1. One of the very-small bulbs is burnt-out (has a break in its filament)

    2. I used some copper wire to bypass the burnt-out bulb, but still no lights work.

    3. My multi-meter shows that power is getting to the unit.


    My questions:

    1. How do I fix this thing?

    2. Can I buy some very small (1-watt) light bulbs and make a string of them?

    I emailed the company that makes the address sign, and they didn't reply, so I want to fix this thing myself or let it remain dark.

    Please help me figure this thing out.

    Thanks.

    Gordon
     
  2. Sep 3, 2009 #2

    locknut

    locknut

    locknut

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gordon: If power is at sign box, measure for voltage at each connection along its way. If it was present, the other three lamps would still light. I doubt that the lamps are series wired -- shorting across a lamp socket would have been catastrophic if power was present at the socket. I must assume these lamps are a 120v type. I use both 3watt and 6watt bulbs (easily available) with a miniature base for various applications. Not aware that there is a 1watt sort in existance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  3. Sep 3, 2009 #3

    CraigFL

    CraigFL

    CraigFL

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. Sep 3, 2009 #4

    vectorg

    vectorg

    vectorg

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is a picture of my unit. What kind of bulbs are these? See how I clipped one of the 4 lights out, and replaced the spot with a piece of copper wire.

    I believe the power wire comes off my doorbell transformer and is maybe 12-volts.

    When I set my multi-meter to ACV-50, then touch the two screws, the needle moves across about 1/3 of the way. I do not know how to read this.

    Any tips for a DIY fix?

    I will check out donsbulbs.com.

    Thanks.

    add_sign1.jpg
     
  5. Sep 4, 2009 #5

    locknut

    locknut

    locknut

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since it clearly states "Do not exceed 16volts" assumedly it's nominally a 12volt setup. On the 50V scale, 1/3 scale is about 16volts and that's OK (under load that value will drop somewhat). Since power is there, you just have to verify the wiring connections. I would suggest that if you can't locate replacement lamps, go to an auto supply and buy some small 12v lamps* with matching sockets with pigtails, rewire the box, and forget any future grief.

    *Lamps that are known as Parking or Marking would be about the right wattage. These same lamps are used in garden lights and other low voltage applications.
     
  6. Sep 5, 2009 #6

    vectorg

    vectorg

    vectorg

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks locknut. Today, I wired 2 LEDs and a resistor in place of the 4 small incandecent bulbs. They light up, but I won't know how they look until tonight when it's dark.

    The Shack sells some photo cells pretty cheap, so should I hook one of those in line with the LEDs, then it will only light-up during darkness? Is it as simple as that?

    I don't know electricity and that's why I'm here asking questions.

    I'm also ready with a solar-cell, rechargable-battery, circuit-board, and LED hacked out of a cheap garden light... if the LED fails.

    I'm a beginner, but determined.

    Thanks.

    ---------------------------------------------

    The LEDs are super bright at night and will impress my neighbors!!! If they only knew how much electricity I was saving, and how much effort went into the conversion.

    The specs on my LEDs are: 3.6 Volt * 20mA * 1100mcd

    How can I find out how many watts each is using?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  7. Sep 6, 2009 #7

    locknut

    locknut

    locknut

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    vectorg: Volts X Amps =Watts
     

Share This Page