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Old 02-13-2010, 11:56 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,645
disney world lighting and other disney thoughts

I know you guys have missed me for a couple of weeks, I took my family to walt disney world in Florida for 8 nights and 9 days from Feb 3-11. I have a few thoughts and tips of disney in general at the bottom of this thread, but I thought I'd share some Christmas light thoughts I gleaned from obseration a conversation I had with Trevor, one of the imagineers that does construction and some lighting at the park.

Trevor and I had a brief conversation at cinderella's castle while looking at thier new LED lighting for the castle. basically they have some Christmas lights that stay up year round, and most that are seasonal. some lights are more for dramatic effect, like the outlining 6s6's at epcot that only come on during the fireworks, or some that are on in the evening, like main street USA at magic kingdom and the pyramid bus waiting structures at magic kingdom as well.

one thing that really stood out is they do not use c-9 or c-7 bulbs, either for temporary or permanant christmas or effect lighting. when incandescant is used, they ae either 10s11's ( 10 watt intermediate or "c-9" base ) or 6s6's ( 6 watt candelabra or "c-7" base). they also have some random firefly like twinkle lights in trees over at USA at epcot world showcase and in some trees over at magic kingdom and animal kingdom. The twinkles had bulbs I had never seen before, a bulb somewhere larger than a 8 mm jumbo mini-light and smaller than a 6s6, maybe a 1/2 inch diameter or so bulb- similar to a flashlight bulb replacement. they too were incandescant. all the seasonal decorations are LED.

some thoughts on that- Trevor said the look of LED on outlining just does not give the look they want, no matter what color temperature they tried. further, cost plays a role even at disney. he mentioned that they have probably 36000 bulbs on main street USA in magic kingdom alone, and the LED bulbs that would mimic c-7s and c-9's would cost aprox 25 times as expensive as regular bulbs. even with energy savings and labor savings on changing out bulbs, it was not deemed worth it to change the look.

Obviously, Disney believes the 6s6's and 10s11's are much better bulbs than c-7's or c-9's. I can't confirm that, but we do have some jobs out there using those, and I have gotten the initial impression that 6s6's are a much better bulb as far as breakage, initial burnout/failure, and less "brighties".
I will be using 6s6's on more jobs next year and keep my mind open. 10s11's are a 10 watt bulb and probably more geared towards commercial applications when you have larger bulb spacing 18-36 inches and taller structures, maybe 4-12 stories or so. I've got a few of those out there and They work fine.

I do know that both of those bulbs are rated at 5000 hours at 130 volts, and probably last closer to 8 or 9000 hours at 110-120 volts if the bulb rating is real. costwise they are probably 10-15% higher than c-7 or c-9, and that is if you buy 5 cases of bulbs. lower quantities make those bulbs closer to 35-50% more expensive.

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