Exploding Lights

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We got onto set and were ready to get going, so I flipped on the lights.

There was a slight "pop" and the light was dead.

So I went to work replacing the bulb.

Changing the Bulb

[NB: If you didn't watch the short clip there, the rest of this post won't make much sense...]

It turns out that it wasn't the bulb. I think it may have been the light's fuse, but I haven't had a chance to try changing that yet. Instead, I just got out another light and we kept going.

Setting Up Another Light taken by Justin (his foot is in frame)

Now, why is it that bulbs can explode if you handle them with your greasy fingers? I wasn't totally sure, and I'm still not. But after reading over this post, I think I have an answer that makes sense (please, someone correct me if I'm wrong here):

The grease heats up at a different rate than the rest of the bulb, thereby creating a difference in how much the glass expands compared to that which is around it. This causes tension which can break the bulb since the glass is brittle. And, because the bulbs are manufactured with a vacuum, the sudden intake of air makes the popping noise.

Look at that: Science at work on the set of a math DVD. I love how learning more lets us see how things are intertwined and connected.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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  1. Ariana

    With all these mathtacular posts I decided to bring out our video we bought in 2007. I was cracking up watching it- Justin's voice inflections are pretty funny.
    My girls surprisingly are watching it and responding and practicing what they're watching. Cool.

  2. Mrs. C

    OH NO!!! Something similar happened with a sewing machine bulb. You *must* handle it with a special plastic doo-hickey or it will bust.

  3. mom

    In the midst of spectacular, often there is the mundane that needs to be taken care of! Thanks for providing a lesson even with the simple task of changing a light bulb :-)

    Tammy ~@~

  4. Luke

    Ariana, that is music to my ears! Thanks for the encouragement <smile>.

    Mrs. C, wow, I didn't realize that some lessons from filmmaking translate into sewing too. Interconnection <smile>.

    Tammy, doing my best to give you something useful here and there while we work on this thing <smile>.


  5. Heather the Mama Duk

    Very interesting. And, see, you're a grown up homeschooler, but still learning lol

  6. Luke

    Life long learning! <smile>