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Rotatorman

Best blow mold light?

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This year, I'm using a lot of blow molds that I have not used in a long time. Some are from flea markets, etc.  Most have the standard 7w night light bulb, which I believe is too dim for some of the darker molds. Two of the molds I got from elsewhere came with two incandescent-style 40-watt bulbs that provide an excellent source of light for those blow molds. Is it ok to use those (too hot?) or can I get an idea from forum members what bulbs they use and where to get them.  Has anyone tried those 7w LED bulbs?  Reviews on those were they don't provide a uniform light coverage.  Thnx for your opinions.

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I have converted almost all of my blow molds to LED with great success.  I have not noticed any issue, except that you will need to make sure you buy the same color temp and that the color temp is one you like.  I have not found a direct replacement of the 7W bulbs  at the LED bulbs in the same size and shape are too dim, and those with the same base of a 7W that are brighter,  the bulb section is too big.  I I have has some success doing this with blow molds in which I could access the bulb inside the mold.

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Most of my blow molds are medium base, not candelabra base (which is what a C7 is). The few candelabra base blow molds I have will be stocked with C7's for decades, as I replaced my strings of C7's with LED versions. For the remainder of the blow molds, which use medium base bulbs,  I find the best light comes from 40 watt in the larger blow molds and 25 for the smaller blow molds. I've been changing them to warm white LED's over the last few years (as the incandescent bulbs burn out). Until this year, I was stymied in finding a 25w medium base LED in warm white. This year, I found some made by eco-smart in Home Depot. Unfortunately, $8.93 for a three pack, versus a buck or less for 40w warm white LED. 

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For years I have been using 15 watt candelabra base incandescent emergency exit sign light bulbs instead of regular C7 bulbs in my blowmolds. Physically they are a little longer than the standard C7 bulb but are a bit smaller in diameter so they fit through the holes in most of the blowmolds with room to spare and light them up much better that the 5-watt C7 without the excessive heat like you would get from 25 watt chandelier bulbs. Especially good in candles and lanterns... You can pick up these bulbs from most commercial electrical suppliers.

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I'd suggest you try using an LED corn bulb rather than the traditional shaped LED bulb commonly sold in dollar stores and home improvement stores.  Corn bulbs cast the light to the side as well as from the top so don't require a milky globe to disperse the light in all directions.  Much more efficient.  I can't understand why few American sellers carry them.  You can test drive one for less than two dollars if you are willing to buy from an overseas vendor on eBay and wait two weeks for it to arrive.  You can get them in a variety of bases and different lumen counts.  According to my search, the C7 socket is the same as the E12 socket and the medium base socket is E26 or E27.  I bought bulbs with both designations and they fit our standard light sockets.  The output for a 40W incandescent bulb is around 400 lumens so this seller's warm white (350 lumens) and cool white (420 lumens) would be the closest match.  The diameter of the bulb is 30 mm (1.18") so it will fit through a hole made for E26/27 but maybe not for the E12 socket bulb which is 18 mm in diameter.

Source for a test ride and I have purchased from this seller in the past: 

E27 E14 24 30 42 64 80 LED Light Bulb Smart IC Power 5730 SMD Corn Lamp 220V110V $ 1.98 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/E27-E14-24-30-42-64-80-LED-Light-Bulb-Smart-IC-Power-5730-SMD-Corn-Lamp-220V110V/253293276421?hash=item3af974ad05:m:mf6WJ1doB74CxVfX9bM2E7Q 

There are also newer bulbs using the chip-on-board technology where the LEDs are embedded in a plastic substrate so you don't see discrete LEDs.  They make an E12 4W and claim 80-100 lumens per watt but the dimension for the bulb is the same as for the corn bulb so if the corn bulb would not fit, neither would the COB LED bulb. 

E14 E12 Retro Light Lamp Edison Filament COB LED Bulb Candle/Flame AC 110V-220V $2.10 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/E14-E12-Retro-Light-Lamp-Edison-Filament-COB-LED-Bulb-Candle-Flame-AC-110V-220V/263486481119?hash=item3d5904a2df:m:mKTjIODIGET4dtRlQziFwqw

 

 

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I still use the incandescent bulbs because I like the classic look that they give to the blow molds. But my electric bill is VERY low in December due to 100 inflatables and 8k lights. So that means I’ll have to experiment with some warm white leds. 

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I picked up some C7 fluorescent bulbs at Ollies for about $1 each, 29 watts I think, gonna try a couple in some blow Molds, maybe in a inflatable too

will see how it goes

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