Hey folks I thought I would share one of my secrets regarding keeping those sexy red jewel lights as bright as possible on my Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue. I expect this power indicator light permanent fix to work for you too.
I’m sure many of you have been frustrated by the relatively low reliability on the GE T47 6.3V bayonet lights. That’s what I thought. Me too.
I found a solution that I thought I’d share with you.
First, let’s understand why this little incandescent light bulb is such a pain. Looking at the schematic below, we see a 6.3V drop at the AC power transformer’s secondary winding. Just basic Ohm’s law, nothing more. We put a 6.3V rated bulb for a 6.3V drop.
The problem of burning out these bulbs arises by the following:
- Mains power fluctuations. If you live in Canada or the US, where the mains voltage ranges from anywhere between 110 – to 120VAC (in Montreal, Hydro Quebec provides a constant 117VAC. This means that during certain times, where power may fluctuate slightly, sometimes overvoltages (transients, spikes) and Mains voltage drops (brown-outs, dips) occur. Overvoltages usually last less than a second, long enough for an incandescent light bub’s filaments to break.
- Shock and impact to the bulb. I don’t mean electric shock, but rather mechanical shock. Moving or transporting your amp regularly can shorten the light indicator’s lifespan. Banging or knocking your amp may significantly reduce the light bulb’s lifetime.
- Leaving your amplifier on for extended periods of time. The light bulb’s typical lifetime is rated at 3,000 hours. There are 8,760 hours in a year. Generally, this means that if you turn on your amp and leave it in standby for 125 days, chances are you’ll hit the light bulb’s rated lifetime. It is not uncommon for me to leave my amp on for days or weeks at a time. After all, we are three guitarists in our household, and we like to keep the amp hot. In this scenario, it wouldn’t be unheard of to consider that if you left your amp on for an entire year, you may have to replace up to three bulbs.
Why is this a problem? Have you ever seen a Ferrari with a flat tire? Me neither. First of all, when I show up for a jam with my amp, I want everything to work. Showing up to jam with seasoned players (some of which are true pros), you don’t want to get that sloppy look that your shit’s not in order. Also, when you’re playing on stage, things get very dark in the amp area and it is difficult to see the controls. The indicator greatly helps like a lighthouse on a foggy day for a sailor.
How I fixed this
I was tired of incandescent light bulbs. I looked for a bayonet type LED indicator. The problem with LED technology is that it works on DC voltages. Some LEDs have built-in circuitry to illuminate under AC voltages.
LEDs are much more resilient than their incandescent counterparts but I wanted something that would be overrated, a true UPGRADE, so I experimented with 12V rated LEDs. They work very well and the only trade off with a 12V LED (or light bulb) is that it will appear slightly dimmer, but this not really an issue, as the difference is just about imperceptible.
If you want fix your Fender Blues Deluxe power indicator light issues permanently, you may purchase the UPGRADED LED bayonet light here: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/932759766/fender-blues-deluxedeville-amp?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_ca_en_ca_d-craft_supplies_and_tools-other&utm_custom1=_k_CjwKCAiApNSABhAlEiwANuR9YPrNGKOR2m3EWmR6hmTZECcnxKlQY-pLUeRpLlUTR_GqwRJyUIS1IBoC7LkQAvD_BwE_k_&utm_content=go_319635765_19423125765_75224182365_aud-966475067653:pla-106551294035_c__932759766enca_102855400&utm_custom2=319635765&gclid=CjwKCAiApNSABhAlEiwANuR9YPrNGKOR2m3EWmR6hmTZECcnxKlQY-pLUeRpLlUTR_GqwRJyUIS1IBoC7LkQAvD_BwE