AC Light Wiring

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Dalaran, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Dalaran

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 3, 2009
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    Very simple question and not sure if it really matters. The plan is to have 2 normal light bulbs connected to a power cord.

    Is it best to wire these 2 lights in parallel or in series, or will there be a difference? I assume I'd want to wire in parallel to get the max brightness out of them?

    Thanks.
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    Yes, they are wired in parallel for normal operation.
     
  3. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    4,846
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    If you wire them in series, they will get half the supply voltage across them and their brightness will be reduced.
     
  4. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
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    only if they are the same wattage.
     
  5. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    4,846
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    BillB says that the voltage across the bulbs will be half the supply voltage only if they are the same wattage. This is true, however, their brightness will decrease even if the bulbs are of different wattage.
     
  6. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    2,400
    348
    The voltage distribution, therefore relative brightness, will be inversely proportional to the wattage, i.e. the lower wattage bulb will see higher voltage. As an example, if a 100W and a 50W lamp were in series, the 50W lamp would see 2/3 of the total voltage. Simple voltage divider. Of course this is not taking the fact that neither lamp is at full operating temperature and exhibiting normal resistance characteristics.
     
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