wiring diagram for homebrew 'bator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ki4got, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

    6,927
    339
    278
    Apr 24, 2011
    Roanoke VA
    talking with my hubby about building a homebrew cabinet incubator, he suggested wiring 2 lights in series rather than parallel. what this does is decrease the voltage of each bulb by roughly half, but at the same time increasing the life of that bulb significantly... so if you have 2 100 watt bulbs, each one will run about 50 watts, and the constant on/off won't bother it at all since it's nowhere near it's capacity. you're best using 2 bulbs of the same size, to maximize the efficiency btw...

    depending on your incubator build, the ideal would be to have the bulbs on as long as possible and off as little. you can test this by varying your lightbulb sizes. if it comes on for just a few seconds and off much longer, you're too hot and more likely to get temperature spikes. of course, you also want to make sure it's insulated very well, or else the bulbs may stay on all the time and never reach temperature too... it's a balancing act.

    here's the wiring diagram he came up with, with some explanations. there is no fan or turner in the diagram, as usually they would be wired independently anyways. this is just for a thermostat/2 lightbulb setup (in series, not parallel). a parallel setup, if you use 60 watt bulbs, both would run at 60 watts... but again if you decrease the voltage going to each bulb, you'll increase the life of them, and have fewer worries about a light bulb burning out during incubation.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    606
    15
    164
    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    With two bulbs wired in series if one burns out you lose the second because the circuit is broken. If they are wired parallel one burning out does not affect the second. In my opinion parallel is the better method because it gives you a backup in the event one bulb fails.
     
  3. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

    6,927
    339
    278
    Apr 24, 2011
    Roanoke VA
    Quote:in any light bulb, the filament is not always consistently uniform, so any weak thin or otherwise defective areas will heat much faster than the rest of the light filament, when running at it's rated capacity. by decreasing the amount of current running through that filament, it will produce much less heat, minimizing the effect of any defects.

    i've seen many homebrew incubators that were wired with only a single bulb. so in this case, you can wire 2, produce roughly the same heat gradient, and increase the life of the bulbs considerably. therefore the chances that a bulb will blow are significantly decreased.

    to quote hubby, "the chances that bulbs running at half capacity, the chances are very slim that they would ever burn out." as a kid, his father wired several lights in series, and he doesn't remember ever replacing any of those lights before he left home.

    edited to add this link...
    http://donklipstein.com/longlife.html

    quoted from that site...

    Easy Way to Make Bulbs Last For Centuries
    Simply operate a light bulb at half its rated voltage. Get a 230V light bulb from Europe and operate it in the USA at 120V. Believe me, that will do the trick! Life expectancy is generally about inversely proportional to voltage to the 12th power. At half voltage, a light bulb will last something like 4,000 times its rated life expectancy - give or take.
    Bulbs.com has 13 incandescents having voltage ratings anywhere from 220 to 277 volts here.

    Why It Does Not Pay To Do So.
    Having the filament run at a lower temperature reduces the energy efficiency of a light bulb. Even at usual operating temperatures for 750-1,000 hour lightbulbs, a tungsten filament produces about 93 percent of its radiation in the infrared. That does not mean good efficiency at producing visible light. With a lower filament temperature, the percentage of radiation in the infrared increases and the percentage of radiation in visible light decreases. A light bulb that is 6-7 percent efficient in producing visible light at full voltage is only about 2 percent efficient in producing visible light at half its rated voltage.


    infrared = heat
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  4. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,799
    12
    209
    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:X2 and there is no polarity with AC current, AC = alternating current LOL
     
  5. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

    6,927
    339
    278
    Apr 24, 2011
    Roanoke VA
    Quote:X2 and there is no polarity with AC current, AC = alternating current LOL

    it's not really positive/negative, but hot and neutral(ground). grab a bare neutral wire, nothing happens. grab the hot side, you're gonna feel it.

    and again, if you run the bulb at half the rated capacity, it won't likely burn out in your lifetime... so why worry? also, since it puts out much less visible light, and much more heat, it's more efficient for what you want to use it for.

    freedom of choice, do what you want, but i know how i'll be wiring all my homebrew bators from now on.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by