Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

Capsylite Bulbs

Published : 30th September 2003


I mentioned 100-watt Sylvania Capsylite bulbs last week -- quartz-halogen lamps inside conventional domestic outer bulbs made of very heavy glass.

They work great in Chinese paper lanterns.

A bonus with these bulbs is that after burning these bulbs for 5 minutes I was still able to touch them lightly with ungloved hands, and after 15 minutes they still didn't burn my skin when I contacted them lightly and momentarily.

Their heavy glass envelopes make them hold heat for a while after they're switched off. After about 5 minutes I was able to touch them and their sockets lightly, but to really grasp them, unscrew them, etc. with bare hands, I had to wait closer to 10 min.

DISCLAIMER / WARNING :

Always use gloves when handling these lamps and their sockets. Consider the above remarks as indicating a safety factor only. With the proper hardware, two of these 100W bulbs can be safely hung side by side inside a Chinese lantern 13 inches in diameter. The paper stays quite cool. These are test results only, and do not constitute an endorsement of this practice. Experiment at your own risk.

I have not yet tested these bulbs in direct contact with the rice paper. When I can do it under safe conditions I'll report the results.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Brian Heller wrote:

>I have been using Capsylite's for years. Actually, the same Capsylite’s...

I'd never heard of them until Dan mentioned them. What are they designed for and where do you get them? What wattages are available?

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614



Wade Ramsey wrote :

>I'd never heard of them (Capsylite) until Dan mentioned them. What are >they designed for and where do you get them? What wattages are >available?

They're designed to replace regular type A light bulbs. I think Sylvania also makes some PAR versions. I get mine at a local hardware store.

42 Watt, 60 Watt, 72 Watt, and 100 Watt. Try the Sylvania website. Maybe it's Osram now.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP



Brian Heller writes :

>I don't know what it would take to break the outer glass, but dropping >one on concrete floor didn't do it.

Hah! I was just wondering about that today and was intending to do my own destructive test. From how high did your bulb drop?

>Try the Sylvania website. Maybe it's Osram now.

The bulbs are currently sold under the Sylvania trademark.

Today I picked up a 150-watt Philips "Halogena" bulb. Same idea as the Capsylite but in a rather slim, lightweight outer glass envelope -- with a white internal frost, not just translucent like the Capsylite’s. It doesn't strike me as being anywhere near as rugged, but it's a lot lighter and smaller. I'll report on it as soon as I've tested it.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Dan Drasin wrote :

>Hah! I was just wondering about that today and was intending to do my >own destructive test. From how high did your bulb drop?

I was standing on a 6 ft. ladder, so I'd guess about 7 or 8 feet. I wasn't trying to test it, but simply replacing a regular bulb to eliminate filament sing.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP



>Today I picked up a 150-watt Philips "Halogena" bulb. Same idea as >the Capsylite but in a rather slim, lightweight outer glass envelope - with >a white internal frost, not just translucent like the Capsylite’s.

They're definitely not as rugged - I've found that you have to treat them as if they were regular bulbs/photofloods. I've used the Halogenas several times as practical fixtures, especially in lanterns, and they've worked great.

I've also changed the majority of the lamps in my house to the Halogena units - and they've been going strong - approaching two years!

Dave Vottero
Freelance, Boston