How long for the Incan?

Wurkkos

Katherine Alicia

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I just bought another couple of dozen assorted MES bulbs, and whilst looking through bulbs in general it`s getting harder to find a bulb type that doesn`t have a LED equiv.
Many of the MES bulbs are also NOS too, so I`m wondering how long it`ll be before typical E10 MES and PR bulbs (even p60) are no longer being made.
5 years, 10? maybe 20?
I know it`s purely speculation but I can see the writting on the wall quite clearly.

Your thoughts?
 

snakebite

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the NOS stuff is still around in huge qty.
i grab when i stumble onto them cheap.
but late in the game krypton and xenon replacements showed up.
those are the ones to stock up on.
NOS for shelf queens/collector lights.
krypton/xenon for users.
the reason there is so much NOS stuff is that these bulbs have a very short life.
on alkaline d cells you might replace a vacuum bulb every battery change.
frequent replacement was the norm and spares were expected to be on hand.
 

thermal guy

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I have a big supply of P60’s for my lights but honestly it will probably be 20 years before they start getting hard to find. There everywhere.
 

bykfixer

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The demand for miniature edison screw bulbs is nowhere near what it used to be yet it seems the LED version of the popular "sizes" has popped up like mushrooms anyway.
Being made? Many are no longer made, but the stockpile is large enough to last a while. They could make millions in a very short period.

Maglite for example turned off the switch in 2016, but could make several million in a week. Chicago Minitaure, Tung Sol, Norelco and others shut off the switch decades ago but they aren't real hard to find at eBay.

SureFire had contracts to supply the US military, several state police agencies and countless local police departmennts by the millions and hired Carly to make replacement bulbs. Those were installed in tons of P60 modules to replace the blown bulbs in all of those lights. They also supplied lights to a number of other countries as well.

How many are left? Who knows, but as LED became mainstream the demand went way down. Yet some of Maglite's bulbs are gone. P90's are scarce and some E10's are getting scarce.

Eiko still seems to be making bulbs in China. I found those to be pretty good in general.
 

broadgage

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I expect that the more common types of incandescent flashlight bulbs will still be manufactured in several decades time.
Production of the more obscure types has probably already ceased, though existing stock can still be found.

Uncommon types, as examples.
5 volt 0.09 amp E10, still manufactured I think.
5 volt 0.09 amp BA9S, production ceased only recently, still available.
5 volt 0.09 amp, P13.5 base, production ceased, no longer readily available.

2.5 volt, 0.06 amp, E10, still manufactured, possibly to order, min 100 pieces.

2.5 volt, 0.25 amp, E10 flat topped with opal back. No longer manufactured, hard to find.
As above but in red or daylight blue, almost unobtainable.

2.7 volt, 0.15 amp, PR base. Hard to find.

5.5 volt, 0.3 amp E10 base. Ever Ready ceased production, alternatives hard to find and of very poor quality.

Any type of flashlight bulb with natural colored glass, almost unobtainable.

None of the above were ever very popular.

There is still significant demand for incandescent pilot lamps and the more popular types are still made. A factory that makes incandescent pilot lamps should be able to make flashlight bulbs as the technology is very similar.

Incandescent lighting is going the way of oil lamps and gas lighting, both of which are still used today but neither of which are mainstream light sources for everyday lighting of homes and workplaces.
I can remember when a local hardware shop sold gas mantles, oil lamp wicks, and replacement glasses for gas and oil lamps.
 

snakebite

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eiko still makes many miniature lamps.
i found some xenon 3 and 4 cell mes bulbs in bulk last year for $5/100.
got 2 boxes of each.
turned out those were special bike light bulbs and a friend ordered a bunch and got his order rejected.
turns out the listing was mistaken and those were supposed to be $5 EA!
i got my order though.
split it with my bike restoring friend.
100 of each is a lifetime supply.
i can stuff a 3 cell into a teens-20's 2 d fisheye light with a li-ion adapter and have a very useful antique.
 

Katherine Alicia

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LF and KD both sell P60s, but it`s not a regular find here in the UK at least, I`m not sure about other places though?

eiko still makes many miniature lamps.
i found some xenon 3 and 4 cell mes bulbs in bulk last year for $5/100.
got 2 boxes of each.
turned out those were special bike light bulbs and a friend ordered a bunch and got his order rejected.
turns out the listing was mistaken and those were supposed to be $5 EA!
i got my order though.
split it with my bike restoring friend.
100 of each is a lifetime supply.
i can stuff a 3 cell into a teens-20's 2 d fisheye light with a li-ion adapter and have a very useful antique.

Nice find! I managed to score a box of 100 Soviet MN-6.3-0.3 (6V MES bulbs) from Russia today, works out to about 18p a bulb (the postage is quite expensive), they`ll be perfect for my night-light.
 

Lumen83

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I had the same question about 4 years ago, so I went and bought about 20 or so no name brand P60 knock offs. I'm still using the first one in a surefire 6P body over a 16650. I thought that one would be dead in a couple of years of every day use. But no, its been running strong. Dropped on pavement, left outside for days in the snow by accident, left on for an hour or more on multiple occasions, etc. I can't seem to kill it. maybe this means I will have a lifetime supply.
 

thermal guy

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Original surefire MN03’s for the E2E are still available but getting very expensive. I still say all the original SF bulbs are much better then non SF ones. They just seem brighter to me.
 

broadgage

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LF and KD both sell P60s, but it`s not a regular find here in the UK at least, I`m not sure about other places though?



Nice find! I managed to score a box of 100 Soviet MN-6.3-0.3 (6V MES bulbs) from Russia today, works out to about 18p a bulb (the postage is quite expensive), they`ll be perfect for my night-light.

No harm in stocking up, but those lamps are one of the most common types, possibly THE most common.

Used for pilot lamps in vintage radio sets.
As indicators in older vehicles.
And as pilot lamps in industrial control panels.

And yes in night lights. transformer lamp holders used to be available to work a 6 volt pilot lamp from a line voltage lighting circuit.
Or sometimes permanently wired to a small transformer as used for bell ringing. A 2 watt pilot lamp used about 4 watts including the loss in the transformer, and gave more light than an 8 watt night light bulb.
If the transformer already existed to work the door bell, then no EXTRA losses resulted.

In the last war, a pilot lamp connected to a bell transformer was suggested firstly to save electricity, and secondly to minimise the risk of attracting the enemy if some minor gap existed in the blackout curtains, blinds or shutters.
 

LuxLuthor

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I have a couple lifetime's supply of all the bulbs I reviewed in my sig incan test list. Still love all the custom building that went into these. Still have my battery spot wielder to make custom battery packs. Good to go.
 
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