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Old 01-29-2006, 10:24 AM   #1
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Red light district

For astronomical star parties, I plan to use my 2006 SE. White light at a star party is about as welcome as a thunderstorm. So, I was wondering if anyone knows if there are "red" halogen bulbs that I can replace my white bulbs with. I'm thinking they don't exist. My next idea is to replace the glass with red tinted (painted?) glass. Is there a source for just the glass - or maybe just the light covers? The only other thing I can think of is to somehow cover the lights with something red. I haven't thought of anything yet. I don't want to use something that could melt, and obviously I can't use magnets to hold anything up. I would want something sticky, but non-marking on the aluminum. Anybody have any ideas? My latest thought is to use something like red taillights, taped to the ceiling.

Thanks for any help.
Jim
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimlegs
For astronomical star parties, I plan to use my 2005 SE. White light at a star party is about as welcome as a thunderstorm. So, I was wondering
if anyone knows if there are "red" halogen bulbs that I can replace my white
bulbs with. I'm thinking they don't exist. My next idea is to replace the glass
with red tinted (painted?) glass. Is there a source for just the glass - or maybe just the light covers? The only other thing I can think of is to somehow cover the lights with something red. I haven't thought of anything
yet. I don't want to use something that could melt, and obviously I can't
use magnets to hold anything up. I would want something sticky, but non-marking on the aluminum. Anybody have any ideas? My latest thought
is to use something like red taillights, taped to the ceiling.

Thanks for any help.
Jim
Jim, you can get "gels" in many different shades of red from stage lighting suppliers.
They are a heat proof translucent foil, tinted in hundreds of colors.
Simply cut it to the size and shape you need, and insert it into or over your lighting fixtures.
I have many leftover scraps, but they're all scratched and beat up by now.
It is not an expensive material.

An example of a supplier:
http://www.stagespot.com/cgi-bin/sho...FQJ3SAodFEMxuQ
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimlegs
For astronomical star parties, I plan to use my 2006 SE. White light at a star party is about as welcome as a thunderstorm. So, I was wondering if anyone knows if there are "red" halogen bulbs that I can replace my white bulbs with. I'm thinking they don't exist. My next idea is to replace the glass with red tinted (painted?) glass. Is there a source for just the glass - or maybe just the light covers? The only other thing I can think of is to somehow cover the lights with something red. I haven't thought of anything yet. I don't want to use something that could melt, and obviously I can't use magnets to hold anything up. I would want something sticky, but non-marking on the aluminum. Anybody have any ideas? My latest thought is to use something like red taillights, taped to the ceiling.

Thanks for any help.
Jim
Jim,
You should be able to buy ruby red glass at any arts supply house that supports stained glass artisans. Another option, depending on the type of lights involved would be to replace them with marine units from somewhere like West Marine, search under chart lights. I have a couple of fluroscent fixtures that have double bulbs with separate switches with red and white bulbs in them.

Aaron
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Jim, you can get "gels" in many different shades of red from stage lighting suppliers.
They are a heat proof translucent foil, tinted in hundreds of colors.
Simply cut it to the size and shape you need, and insert it into or over your lighting fixtures.
I have many leftover scraps, but they're all scratched and beat up by now.
It is not an expensive material.

An example of a supplier:
http://www.stagespot.com/cgi-bin/sho...FQJ3SAodFEMxuQ
WOW! That was fast. Sounds PERFECT. Will go look at that site now. THANKS SO MUCH. I've been contemplating this since I took delivery in Sept. One quick question, and I think you've given me my answer.

Jim
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:32 AM   #5
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Uwe,
Good idea...I had forgotten about the lighting gels...and I come from a Technical Theatre family

Aaron
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
Jim,
You should be able to buy ruby red glass at any arts supply house that supports stained glass artisans. Another option, depending on the type of lights involved would be to replace them with marine units from somewhere like West Marine, search under chart lights. I have a couple of fluroscent fixtures that have double bulbs with separate switches with red and white bulbs in them.

Aaron
I couldn't even reply fast enough to beat your post too. You guys are great. Now I have a number of options (all better than anything my feeble mind came up with).

THANKS!
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:54 AM   #7
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Stop light repair tape

You could put the stop light repair tape on some clear plastic and then use double sticky in the middle to temporarily stick those pieces on the lens of lights. There are some less sticky double back that can come off without leaving a residual. There is some blue masking tape (that strips very cleanly) which you could tape them on to the aluminum.
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Old 01-29-2006, 11:51 AM   #8
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LED Retrofits

Some of them can be a bit pricey, but if you're going to stargaze often, they're very energy efficient. I don't know what type of base your bulbs have, but I'm sure you can find something here:

http://tinyurl.com/8d5xy

http://tinyurl.com/9szjh
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:01 PM   #9
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I'd always heard that being around fluorescents during the day caused slower dark accommodation at night. Don't know where halogens fit in on this. Gotta be a wavelength thang... I don't think urban legend sites would clear this up.

I'd be very wary of using any adhesive (low residue or not) on the bulb face or adjacent Special Edition interior. The shiny interior aluminum you see does have Clearcoat on it and removing tape adhesive could give you a sad morning-after feeling -- that would last for the life of your trailer! See what else you can work out by tucking into the small gap between the bulb and interior skin.

Red-filtering is only one factor. I'd imagine your pupils would have residual effect with so much bright light (the overhead halogens) regardless of red gels. This is a dinner/star party for how many dozens? (okay -- my bad...)

Your profile is purty scant but I recall you got the 25' FB SE from Colonial? I could imagine better control possibilities with the paired spots under the cupboard over your dinette. Other star-party folks might not even like that. You wouldn't be bumping your shins and it would have minimum outside broadcast if you just reddened the bulb in your stove hood. I really like the outside light by the steps for finding my way around the awning -- that should be pretty easy to put a gel over.

Are you gonna boondock away from cities and other campers to accomplish this? Sounds fun -- tell us more!
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:58 PM   #10
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For star gazing in the AS I turn off all of the lights and use inexpensive headlamps from Cabelas or Target that have LEDs with a red lens on them. In addition they have a clear LED setting and an incandescent spot setting. They are around $10.00. They are worn on your hat like a miner's light. Cheap and no down side.
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
I'd always heard that being around fluorescents during the day caused slower dark accommodation at night. Don't know where halogens fit in on this. Gotta be a wavelength thang... I don't think urban legend sites would clear this up.
I'm not sure about this. Haven't ever heard it. Doesn't SEEM to make sense to me though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Red-filtering is only one factor. I'd imagine your pupils would have residual effect with so much bright light (the overhead halogens) regardless of red gels. This is a dinner/star party for how many dozens? (okay -- my bad...)
I really only want to cover up the interior lights. I remove fuses from my truck so opening doors does not turn on lights. The exterior lights on the trailer will be off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Your profile is purty scant but I recall you got the 25' FB SE from Colonial?
Yes, that's right. I should go look at my profile. Never really put much in it, I guess. I think it's a good idea to simply cover up some of the lights, and just not use the others. Really, what happens is my wife is not really into star gazing, so she is in the camper trying to read. I imagine she can dark adapt enough to read, or use a small headlamp. I think I will have to get some black fabric to go over the white curtains. That would help too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Are you gonna boondock away from cities and other campers to accomplish this? Sounds fun -- tell us more!
Yes, the idea is to "get away from it all" - especially lighting. Two of the best places I've been are in the Snowy Range just south of Laramie, WY and Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The idea is to trailer up to WY (or other dark sites) and set up. Star parties are just places folks go to set up their scopes and hang out. There are NO facilities in the places that are good to go. These are the kinds of places that the Milky Way is visible as a "carpet of stars" from horizon to horizon. Easy to find constellations are somewhat difficult to find, because there are "too many" stars. People walk around with red flashlights to preserve night vision (it takes about 30 mins of darkness to get dark adapted, and all it takes is one flash of a white light to have to start that 30 mins all over again). Star parties are probably the biggest reason I got this trailer. Being able to go to places like this IN COMFORT, rather than sleeping it the back of the truck sounds appealing. So far, I've only used the Airstream for this once. We went to Pawnee Buttes in NE Colorado. Nobody else was around.

Thanks for the replies FROM EVERYONE.
Jim
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:51 PM   #12
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We took the Caravel to a star party. I had two lamps inside covered with red cellophane, and those were the only ones we turned on after dark.

Taking the Caravel made it the best star party I've ever been too. Everyone around me was sleeping in tents and cooking over burners, we were staying in a first class hotel! We had a couch for lounging, a stove, heater, and a bathroom! Best Star Party Ever! You're going to love it!
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:09 PM   #13
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Yes, I've been to a couple star parties at the Onizuka Center 9000' up the side of Mauna Kea. Fabulous!

Sounds like you're dealing with issues in common with Londoners during the Blitz. It might be possible to isolate the bedroom overhead halogens easier but still no easy task. Which makes me wonder about concentrating on working with the the spots around the bed. A halogen headlamp as suggested or Itty Bitty Book Light sounds a lot easier -- I don't think you'd need any blackout curtains for those.

From Dennis di Cicco at Sky & Telescope: "Avoid fluorescent lighting; even brief exposure to its ultraviolet component is far more damaging to dark adaptation than are incandescent lights." (http://skyandtelescope.com/howto/sco...icle_548_1.asp) I believe it has something to do with fluorescents' greater ability to deplete rhodopsin in the retina. Military pilots wear sunglasses during the day because this much earlier solar exposure can impede the last degree of dark adaptation later (it also helps prevent cataracts!).

Found this, but only marginally relevant: Dark Skies and the Camping/RV Experience

Our Bryan Leipper has suggested a link through his organization that could help get away from lights: Terry's Tips. I don't think you should believe casinos to be low-light locations...
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:29 PM   #14
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Jim, I retrofitted a set of LED lamps into my CCD's halogen fixtures. In my case, I chose a bluish/white lamp with a side pin. The fit was perfect. y source also makes them in red, just what you were looking for.

Here is the direct link to the product:
http://www.yachtlights.com/item--LED-G4-Bulb--LEDG4

Here is the link to my thread regarding retrofit and opinion:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ens-17392.html

In short, I like the LEDs. The red version would be perfect for your application.

Also, I might be interested at stopping by one of your star parties sometime, especially if there is Airstream camping involved. I'm a complete amateur, but I have been gazing up for most of my life.
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Old 01-29-2006, 05:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westfalia
Jim, I retrofitted a set of LED lamps into my CCD's halogen fixtures. In my case, I chose a bluish/white lamp with a side pin. The fit was perfect. y source also makes them in red, just what you were looking for.

Here is the direct link to the product:
http://www.yachtlights.com/item--LED-G4-Bulb--LEDG4

Here is the link to my thread regarding retrofit and opinion:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ens-17392.html

In short, I like the LEDs. The red version would be perfect for your application.

Also, I might be interested at stopping by one of your star parties sometime, especially if there is Airstream camping involved. I'm a complete amateur, but I have been gazing up for most of my life.
PERFECT. Might get a bit costly if I do them all, but looks like just the ticket.
THANKS.

Oh, Star parties. Usually, I think folks bring a telescope, but I'm pretty sure it's not "required". Folks are always happy to share their views. Here are links for 2 of the parites I'm likely to go to again this year: http://home.bresnan.net/~curranm/wuts.html
http://www.rmss.org/


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