This one has me stumped - help appreciated.

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  #1  
Old 10-29-19, 10:10 AM
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This one has me stumped - help appreciated.

So I picked up this old store fixture that was probably used in some kind of department store check out aisle. I assume when lit up it probably signaled to the customer that the line was open. I refurbished and re-wired it with plans to put it in my man cave thinking it would look pretty cool lit up. So what's the problem?

Well, the problem is that when I turned on the power to the fixture, you can't really see anything different than when not powered up - in other words, it does not light up. Yes, the light bulb lights, but it seems the inside of the fixture is lined with some kind of opaque brown particle board like material that effectively blocks the light from getting out, and with no other avenue for the light to escape, it simply sits there dark even the the light bulb inside is burning. Which makes no sense to me. Why have a bulb inside if it doesn't light up the fixture?

Any ideas?
 
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Old 10-29-19, 10:16 AM
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Remove the particle board. It sounds like it is blocking the light.
Post some pictures so we can get a better idea of what is happening. Maybe you just need a brighter light.
 
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Old 10-29-19, 06:29 PM
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joed, For some reason I am unable to upload pics despite being able to in the past- I will keep trying.
 
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Old 10-29-19, 06:40 PM
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Make sure the pictures aren't too big...... How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 10-29-19, 07:23 PM
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Here is the outside and inside. The particleboard like material or thick paper is permanently fused to the panels with the numbers on them and cannot be separated. It probably looks like rusted or dirty metal, but it is neither - just brownish cardboard or thin particle board like material.
 
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Old 10-29-19, 07:26 PM
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Is there a second picture...... of the inside ?

It looks like at one time they may have had light up numbers in them and swapped them out for numbers that didn't light up.
 
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Old 10-29-19, 08:29 PM
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PJ, Hmm . . never thought of that. Seems like a lot of trouble to retro-fit a bunch of lights so that they would not light up, but I suppose that is possible. Really doesn't make a lot of sense otherwise.

Name:  light.jpg
Views: 47
Size:  143.9 KB
 

Last edited by PJmax; 11-12-19 at 09:25 PM. Reason: resize picture
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Old 10-29-19, 08:38 PM
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It looks like the numbers are painted on what is typically called marlite or hardboard.
It's a 1/4" thick hardboard product that is smooth on one side and rough on the other side.
 
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Old 10-29-19, 10:09 PM
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No way light is going to shine through that. It was probably retrofitted and the light removed.
If you want it to light up you are going to need to replace the wood with something light can get through.

Or maybe it had a globe of some sort on top that lit up.
 
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Old 10-30-19, 05:22 PM
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Thanks folks for all of the replies. I guess we'll go with the theory that the lights were retro fitted with the opaque sides and the bulb socket inside is just a remnant of the way it was at some time prior. Maybe it was a cost cutting measure and/or they got tired of having to replace the bulbs all the time. Oh well, maybe I'll save some electricity as well as I don't know that I'll go to the trouble of having for pieces of glass cut for this thing and then painting or stenciling the numbers on it.

Much appreciated.
 
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Old 10-30-19, 05:29 PM
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Look around for white plexiglass. You can buy the stick on numbers.

This is just a link to a product you are looking for.
I'm sure you can find something usable in the home improvement stores.
White plexi
 
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Old 10-31-19, 04:11 AM
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In your picture I see what looks like the top cover.
If that was not vented then they may have eliminated the bulbs because of a heat build up in the fixture either ruining the paint if glass inserts or melting if plastic.
This should be solved by using a LED.

This is an opportunity to personalize the fixture.
 
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Old 10-31-19, 03:35 PM
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PJmax, Great idea - I believe I will look into that. Thank you.

manden, The top cover was indeed vented, but that still does not discount your theory. I just think it is interesting that given the lighted unit was the method by which customers knew a line was open, to retro-fit with lighted units that don't actually light up and still have them out there on the lanes does not make a great deal of sense to me. If the units were experiencing overheating issues, just do away with them altogether rather than going through the trouble to "de-light" them.
 
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Old 11-12-19, 11:32 AM
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PJmax, Did as you suggested and purchased a sheet of 30% translucent plexiglass from HD. Used the prior opaque sides as templates and cut the new ones with a jigsaw using a fine toothed steel blade and proceeding slowly. My wife made some press on numbers out of vinyl with her Cricut machine, and voila! a new lighted store aisle marker for my man cave.

Thanks all who chimed in - I do appreciate it.

I guess I'm over my limit on posting pics and don't know how to remove old pics from other posts to free up space.
 
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Old 11-12-19, 09:38 PM
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I took care of your picture storage. You need to keep your pictures smaller than 600x600 which yields a file size of around 75kb. You were just over 10mb. You're now at 1.3mb.
 
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Old 11-14-19, 03:09 PM
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PJ max - Thank you - I do genuinely appreciate all of your help, both with the suggestion for a fix and for your assistance in taking care of my photo issue.

Here are a few (smaller) pics of light in my man cave.
 
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Old 11-15-19, 01:05 AM
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Awesome job. Name:  thumb.jpg
Views: 26
Size:  1.6 KB Pictures look perfect.
 
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