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Old 07-22-2006, 09:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: The Woodlands, TX
how do I tint a lightbulb red?

ok so I've made a little light fixture with four of those display case bulbs.... their like 4ish inches long and they have a really long filament and no bulge, I used a light dimmer to give me control and I run it dim so you can see and look at the filament and it gives the room a nice soft light. it matches my nixie tube clock pretty well, except the nixie tubes are tinted red, I know the red will come off with hot water, but I would rather make the lightbulbs red. anyways does anyone know how I can tint the bulbs? it doesnt get very hot when I dont run them at full brightness, but if I do they get a little hot.

I'd like to make them about this shade

here for more pictures http://www.neonixie.com/z573m/index.html

and heres the type of lightbulb I would like to tint red
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Grants Pass OR
try a red magic marker, just make sure it's dry before you test the buld....and keep an eye on them for a while
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: CA
I'd say a sharpie would do the trick
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Old 07-23-2006, 02:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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go meet some drama department person, hopefully the person interested in lighting, and get a red gel.

People use them in the office to change the colors of the flourescent tubes.... works great and gives the exact color you'll need or want.

but since that looks like a standard bulb socket, just buy a red bulb.
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Old 07-23-2006, 04:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: In my angry-dome.
Paint? High-temperature paint if you want to be safe.

I use plain yellow spray paint to turn flourescent bulbs into bug lights. The first coat results in a tint, not an opaque layer. Candy colors would come out close to your target.

But absolutely, like Cynth said if you're shopping look for pre-colored bulbs. I've seen "fish-tank" bulbs like those in different colors.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
Poo-tee-weet?
 
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Location: The Woodlands, TX
i'll have to try some red markers... would think that might be hard to get an even coat.

looked around for different colored bulbs of that style but didnt see any, didnt think to try an aquarium store... would be more expensive probably.

isnt a gel usually like a piece of plastic? the way I have the lights setup is exposed so I dont think a gel would work

and I will experiment with spray paint, maybe find like a transparent varnish

the light I made is similar to this
http://www.thetubelamp.com/
just with 4 bulbs and not quite as fancy a box.
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Old 07-23-2006, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
I once used fingernail polish. It did what I needed.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto, ON
Check out supply houses for the film/movie industry or at the local colleges film and art dept. One can get colored sleeves for fluorescent tubes and cut to fit for the incandescent light. Not sure if it will melt from the heat if its higher than 25watts. I know that the film industry use "gel film" for tinting their 1000w spotlights and can handle the high temp w/o melting if wrapped around the light.

HTH
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Texas, Lbk
I have thought about trying this with a paint that is made for making
faux-stained glass. It is available from hobby stores, but I have not actually
looked for it lately. I don't know how well it will handle heat.
Theatrical gel, will actually "burn out", that is, loose its color, and sometimes
shrink/deform from extended use. It is expendable. It is also not held directly against the "lamp"(bulb), but is usually in a metal frame, and not in direct contact with the lamp. It is also usually separated from the lamp by a lens, and sometimes metal components used for shaping the beam.

Still, the type of bulb you show, is usually low wattage, and if it does not get too hot, the gel will last a while.
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