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Thread: What is the Per-lux Story?

  1. #1
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    Default What is the Per-lux Story?

    I know much of this is old history, but I'm curious about what the original intent (and intended use) of the Per-lux lights may have been. Perhaps Scheinwerfermann or Alaric Darconville can dredge up some history, or maybe we have some old truckers here.



    For years, I saw the louvered Per-lux 200T lamps mounted low on long haul trucks. I even bought myself a set of the smaller PAR36 Per-lux Fogcutters in the 1970s. I seem to recall Per-lux described their product as all weather safety lights.



    Yeah, I know Grote owns 'em now, and there's a halogen version of the 200T lamp marketed. They seem to catalog both driving and fog lamps now.



    But I'm thinking of the old PAR46 200T lamps (I have a set, used, and am thinking of mounting them for offroad use on my F250) and even the smaller PAR36 version. Come to think of it, there's a New Old Stock set of Fogcutters in the shed amongst my junk (let's hear it for eBay).



    I seem to recall seeing them often on oncoming 18 wheelers on divided highways. If memory serves, the bulbs were of substantial wattage and perhaps a 50 degree beam spread. Were these used mostly as an auxiliary low beam? Or were they considered some sort of driving lamp? Typical mounting location suggests fog lamps.



    They were fairly complex, using a shielded filament sealed beam, then a set of cast metal louvers and finally a clear outer lens. It seems considerable effort was made to avoid upward glare.



    I have to remind myself that standard U.S sealed beam lights of the period were pretty lousy. Maybe truckers hoped the Per-lux lights would do what their low beams should have done.
    Last edited by Hamilton Felix; 02-15-2013 at 11:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: What is the Per-lux Story?

    Stumbled across this thread while Googling the history of Per-Lux.

    Today at an antique market I purchased a Per-Lux light which I plan to use on a custom motorcycle project as a headlight. But, having found out they're still being made, I might contact Grote (seems to be the current owner of Per-Lux) and see if they'd be interested in buying back some corporate history.

    What I have is the original Per-Lux louvered fog-light which was used to certify it for sale in the USA back in 1961.

    Along with the light, which is mounted to a 12v transformer so it could be plugged into a 120v outlet for testing, is the original marketing material, suggested pricing, a photograph of a lady assembling the light and all the letter responses from all the US States certifying the light for sale.

    Its a pretty cool snippet of history. I wasn't going to alter it at all for my use, but again, it looks like I can buy them all day on eBay etc. for my project so I'll probably leave this 50 year old artifact alone, either sitting on my desk or back in the hands of Grote.


    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...500/photo6.jpg
    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...500/photo7.jpg
    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...500/photo8.jpg


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    Last edited by TorontoTim; 08-14-2011 at 08:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the Per-lux Story?

    Quote Originally Posted by TorontoTim View Post
    Stumbled across this thread while Googling the history of Per-Lux.
    Its a pretty cool snippet of history.
    That is pretty cool! I remember those lamps from the Gillig school buses of my childhood...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is the Per-lux Story?

    You know, I never did hear much about the actual history and stated/intended use of the Per-lux lights. Thought maybe I'd dredge this up again.
    There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber

  5. #5

    Default Re: What is the Per-lux Story?

    Not much of a story: they are heavy-duty housings for sealed-beam fog, "driving", and spot lights. Primarily intended for trucks and other heavy duty/commercial vehicles. Some of them have colorless or yellow front cover lenses. Some of them have louvers between the front of the sealed beam and the back of the lens, a wasteful brute-force way of minimizing upward stray light from the crude sealed beam units. The product line is not as broad as it used to be; some items have been discontinued. Present product line is here.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 11-15-2012 at 04:35 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is the Per-lux Story?

    Thanks. Looks like the basic 200T hasn't changed much, just uses a 50 watt halogen instead of the 100 watt sealed beam in the old lights. The smaller PAR36 Fogcutter has faded away. That uses a 75w sealed beam. I see what you mean about brute force.

    They were billed as "all weather safety lights," and I never could figure out whether they were fog lights, driving lights or something else. Based on beam shape and all the filament shielding and louvers, I think I'd put them between a fog and an auxiliary low beam. Brute force or not, I imagine they were a useful addition to the basic sealed beams on trucks back in the day. A bit dated now, but I'm still tempted to use my old 200T lights for offroad cornering on a 4x4 truck.
    There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber

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