Author Topic: End of an era for Sylvania?  (Read 5720 times)
Maxim
Member
***
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

Stop replacing fixtures that can be retrofitted.


Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #15 on: May 14, 2023, 11:37:33 PM » Author: Maxim
@BT25, what makes them so terrible?

Also, how would you go about differentiating bulbs made under OSRAM-Sylvania, GTE Sylvania, and LEDVANCE Sylvania?
Logged

Collector of all kinds of lamps, gear, and fixtures.
My favorite lighting technologies at the moment are incandescent and mercury vapor, and my favorite Big 3 lighting brand of the late 20th century is GTE Sylvania.

About that Westinghouse Lifeguard disease, I think I've caught it. Thanks Eric! 8)

dor123
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

Other loves are computers, office equipment, A/Cs


WWW
Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #16 on: May 15, 2023, 02:16:04 AM » Author: dor123
I can still see Osram and LEDvance here in Israel.
Logged

I"m don't speak English well, and rely on online translating to write in this site.
Please forgive me if my choice of my words looks like offensive, while that isn't my intention.

I only working with the international date format (dd.mm.yyyy).

I lives in Israel, which is a 220-240V, 50hz country.

Rommie
Administrator
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Female
View Posts
View Gallery

Andromeda Ascendant


Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #17 on: May 15, 2023, 08:50:07 AM » Author: Rommie
@ Rommie: As far as I know, Philips has no connection to Signify...all the major manufactures spun-off their lighting businesses due to low profit margins and didn't want it to drag down their stock value. ::)
I just checked, and 'Signify' is still Dutch-owned and based in Eindhoven, who does that remind you of..? There may not be a direct connection, but they still live next door to one another  :-\
Logged

Ria (aka Rommie) in Aberdeen
Administrator, UK & European time zones. Any questions or problems, please feel free to get in touch :love:

"What greater gift than the love of a cat..?" - Charles Dickens
*** No smiley-only replies, please ***

RyanF40T12
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #18 on: May 15, 2023, 02:10:18 PM » Author: RyanF40T12
I install Sylvania (LEDVANCE) GE, and Philips products all the time, but mostly still Sylvania/LEDVANCE.  They still make the best T8 fluorescents and HIDs out of the group, however- all three over the past 3-4 years have taken a reliability hit BIG Time.  I see more out of box failures from all 3, and the life of all three has been reduced big time.  A few years ago it was Philips and GE that were not making it to 10,000 hours if lucky, and for a year or two I was seeing the same with Sylvania/LEDVANCE. 

Philips continues to have the weak cathode/filament issue that has plagued them for many years- the filament will often break off in the tube before you even install the thing so being extra gentle during install is essential- but if it is around an area that gets vibrations like floor vibrations, I've seen a TON of filament failures on Philips. 

GEs are still going mercury starved quickly vs Philips (which would be 2nd place here) and a lot of out of box failures.  (up to 2-3 lamps per 30 pack)

Starting to see the latest LEDVANCE/Syl improve in the long life again but I think the days of long life reliable T8s are gone.

Been installing quite a few LED tubes lately, and I believe the Syl/LEDVANCE direct drive/no ballast ones hold an advantage in life and color tones.  I try not to install any "use on T8 ballasts" type of LEDs as the ballasts don't like them and tend to fail often which makes more work for me. 


Logged

The more you hate the LED movement, the stronger it becomes.

RyanF40T12
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #19 on: May 15, 2023, 02:17:17 PM » Author: RyanF40T12
Additionally-

I'm still doing good with the HIDs from Sylvania.  I prefer them over Philips and GE.  But even all HIDs are not lasting as long. I do a lot of 35-150W HPS installs and use all 3 brands and sometimes some chinese stuff if I have to. 

I find that the Sylvania HPS stays more true orange a lot longer vs GE and Philips which tend to start pinking in color as they get older.  But as LED technology gets better, I'm changing the HPS out to LED 3000K and 4000K.  They look MUCH better. 

I have a supplier that I buy my lamps from, and he uses almost exclusively Sylvania products for the fluorescent and LED lamps.  He told me he gets too many returns on defective products from GE and Philips, but will use GE when he absolutely has no other choice other than them and some of the Chinese stuff.  He had to bring in SATCO for T8 fluorescent for awhile back during COVID when Sylvania/LEDVANCE was not available.  I installed probably over 1500 SATCO tubes, (4100 and 3500k) and most of them are still doing ok. 
Logged

The more you hate the LED movement, the stronger it becomes.

joseph_125
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery


GoL
Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #20 on: May 15, 2023, 03:50:30 PM » Author: joseph_125
Interesting insights. I suppose I could go to the lighting supplier I use for more specialty stuff and ask if they still carry Sylvania but in my area choosing Sylvania means you pretty much have to jump through hoops to get it in small quantities since no hardware chain here stocks Sylvania anymore. Even a couple of years ago when Sylvania was more common, they were typically the most expensive out of the three so I usually just used Philips and GE for my own lights. Too bad Lowe's and Rona stopped selling Sylvania as they were my go to for Sylvania lamps back in the day.

As for defective tubes, out of the stuff I've purchased for personal use, Philips seems to be the worst and I've had to exchange probably around 10 defective tubes over the years, at least it was easy to exchange them. I suppose the large number of defects is related to the weak filament issue you mentioned as they all did nothing when installed.

GE on the other hand I've had to exchange once and that was a more recently produced tube from 2021. I don't recall having to exchange any defective Sylvania tubes off hand. 

@Rommie - Glad to see it's still based in Eindhoven and still publically traded instead of being sold off to private investors, a private equity firm, or a IOT company. It seems like out of the big three lamp manufacturers that were selling off their lighting divisions in the 2010s, Signify stayed relatively intact.
Logged
Rommie
Administrator
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Female
View Posts
View Gallery

Andromeda Ascendant


Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #21 on: May 15, 2023, 04:57:18 PM » Author: Rommie
Quote
@Rommie - Glad to see it's still based in Eindhoven and still publically traded instead of being sold off to private investors, a private equity firm, or a IOT company. It seems like out of the big three lamp manufacturers that were selling off their lighting divisions in the 2010s, Signify stayed relatively intact.
Except for the SOX lamp manufacture...  :lps: :'(
Logged

Ria (aka Rommie) in Aberdeen
Administrator, UK & European time zones. Any questions or problems, please feel free to get in touch :love:

"What greater gift than the love of a cat..?" - Charles Dickens
*** No smiley-only replies, please ***

James
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery


WWW
Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #22 on: May 15, 2023, 06:27:52 PM » Author: James
It seems indeed tough what Osram did to the Sylvania brand name in USA, but under the terms of the separation deal from GTE they did not have so much choice.  Osram was only licensed to use the Sylvania brand name in USA, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico for products manufactured based on technologies existing at the time of the split.  For all newer technology lamps they had to pay a royalty.  At first they did not stick to the agreement and a very expensive lawsuit caught up with them many years later.  Naturally, one of the consequences was to wind down the use of that name.

Ledvance also had the best of intentions when it took over the Osram/Sylvania lamp division.  But I don't think they expected traditional lighting to die out anywhere near so fast.  Their Chinese owners put them under immense pressure to cut costs, and the speed of the transition has maybe done more damage than good.  Fortunately some of the plants earned their freedom and became independent, and still survive.  Like for instance the former Osram HID and Halogen plant at Eichstaett in Germany, which is now trading as Aurora lighting.  Now is a tough time to be a lighting manufacturer, but I am sure their chances of survival are better when the plant is owned by the people working there.  See https://www.aurora-licht.de/en/company/

The original GTE company disappeared.  It is remarkable that such a vast corporation could be eliminated, but is pretty similar to what happened to Westinghouse long ago, and more recently to the remaining fragments of GE and Philips.  GTE always had two businesses in one : lighting and telecommunications.  It sold the lighting so as to concentrate on telecomms, but failed and was swallowed up by Verizon.  Nothing is left of the old GTE.  Perhaps they would have still been around if they'd sold telecomms and stuck with lighting!

By the way, Signify is also now owned by Chinese investors.  But I do think that is a bad thing at all - at least the Chinese are rich with high motivation, and are investing in the companies they buy whereas the former Western owners were typically on the verge of bankruptcy or no longer willing to invest in lighting.  However, they must also pay a royalty to Philips for use of that brand name.  That is a very expensive situation.  I wonder for how long it might continue.
Logged
BT25
Member
*****
Online

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

Vintage HID Collector


Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #23 on: May 15, 2023, 08:07:24 PM » Author: BT25
@BT25, what makes them so terrible?
Because I'm an old fart and remember the good old days when GTE-Sylvania lamps were top-tier. Initially after the Osram buyout,  the quality was still good...but for only around a decade...LEDvance ruined what was left.
Logged

First known case of Westinghouse Lifeguard Disease! :lol:
If you can say yes to any of the following, you may have it too: :poof:
Can't resist buying more even if you already have an example in your collection? :lol:
Bank account/CC statement shows unnecessary spending? ::)

Maxim
Member
***
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

Stop replacing fixtures that can be retrofitted.


Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #24 on: May 15, 2023, 10:31:18 PM » Author: Maxim

The original GTE company disappeared.  It is remarkable that such a vast corporation could be eliminated, but is pretty similar to what happened to Westinghouse long ago, and more recently to the remaining fragments of GE and Philips.  GTE always had two businesses in one : lighting and telecommunications.  It sold the lighting so as to concentrate on telecomms, but failed and was swallowed up by Verizon.  Nothing is left of the old GTE.  Perhaps they would have still been around if they'd sold telecomms and stuck with lighting!

So, what exactly happened to behemoth Westinghouse? Where did they stray away from profitability?

I also think GTE would be around today if they kept their lighting division for a little while longer. Thanks for such a thorough, concise, and informative response, James. Much appreciated. :)
Logged

Collector of all kinds of lamps, gear, and fixtures.
My favorite lighting technologies at the moment are incandescent and mercury vapor, and my favorite Big 3 lighting brand of the late 20th century is GTE Sylvania.

About that Westinghouse Lifeguard disease, I think I've caught it. Thanks Eric! 8)

BT25
Member
*****
Online

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

Vintage HID Collector


Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #25 on: May 15, 2023, 11:40:19 PM » Author: BT25
"So, what exactly happened to behemoth Westinghouse? Where did they stray away from profitability?"

Here's an article from the Pittsburgh Gazette...its a rather long read, but it will explain what happened to Westinghouse.
https://old.post-gazette.com/westinghouse/beginning.asp
« Last Edit: May 15, 2023, 11:42:34 PM by BT25 » Logged

First known case of Westinghouse Lifeguard Disease! :lol:
If you can say yes to any of the following, you may have it too: :poof:
Can't resist buying more even if you already have an example in your collection? :lol:
Bank account/CC statement shows unnecessary spending? ::)

WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
Member
*****
Online

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

HID, LPS, and preheat fluorescents forever!!!!!!


Worldwide HIDCollectorUSA
Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #26 on: May 16, 2023, 12:03:06 AM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
I think that the only good quality HiD lamps left on the global market are the ones made for the Japanese market like the ones made by Panasonic and Iwasaki.
Logged

Desire to collect various light bulbs (especially HID), control gear, and fixtures from around the world.

DISCLAIMER: THE EXPERIMENTS THAT I CONDUCT INVOLVING UNUSUAL LAMP/BALLAST COMBINATIONS SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER KNOWLEDGE. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURIES.

funkybulb
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery


Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #27 on: May 16, 2023, 06:30:59 AM » Author: funkybulb
I remember some articals reading about westinghouse
It was very large muliple of industries that built the company
Long story shortl.  They got cought up in some of worse nuclear
 Disaster superfund clean up site and that what took westinghouse down to it knees.  They had to sell off there devisions of the company.  It gottin all the way down to electric
 Motor division  then the remain focus on Nuclear power generation side of things.   Now the electric motor plant got sold off to Teco electric motors.  And yes u can still get your
 Old school westinghouse motors redone there,  only thing left of old westinghouse plant in Texaa that still producing electric motors.  Last time I looked they had bunch of OV25 in parking lot.   
Logged

No LED gadgets, spins too slowly.  Gotta  love preheat and MV. let the lights keep my meter spinning.

James
Member
*****
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery


WWW
Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #28 on: May 16, 2023, 04:38:12 PM » Author: James
Interesting to see there is such an article about Westinghouse's demise, thanks for the link.  Their site seems to be unresponsive right now, I hope it will work later.

The collapse and disappearance of such a huge company is usually a very complex situation, and of course not the fault of its leaders.  Nobody wants to self-destruct their business, so we cannot blame them entirely.  But in recent years this seems to be happening with increasing frequency, and there are maybe things we can learn from such spectacular failures to protect other companies from a similar fate.

My probably rather simplistic view of the reality has been shaped by recently reading a fascinating book, which is rather cheap and I would encourage anyone here to buy.  It is titled 'Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric'.  Perhaps because I used to work for GE at the time it was the worlds largest and most powerful company, and I saw the start of its demise when Jack Welch's magic stopped working, I could recognise many of the details published there.  Bill Gates also wrote a pretty good review of it at https://www.gatesnotes.com/Lights-Out

Another of my favourite books is 'Anatomy of a Merger' by Jones & Marriott, which documents the stellar rise to power of the British electrical enterprises, followed by their failed mergers and crash into obsolescence.  It charts the origins and development of Ediswan, British Thomson-Houston, Associated Electrical Industries, Metrovick, English Electric and the The General Electric Company of England - and the surprising involvement of the hand of General Electric of USA in their fate.  GE's guiding hand may better have been described as an iron fist, often gloved in velvet, which expertly deceived and coerced its subsidiaries into complete and utter submission to worldwide domination by that giant.  It is quite remarkable to read those two books together and see how decades later, GE ran into precisely the same problems as it had once caused to its international competitors.

The ultimate reason for that failing I think has two reasons.  Firstly, the changes in leadership due to simple generational progressions.  This phenomenon is expertly addressed in one of my favourite scientific papers by Sylvania's former Technical Director, John Waymouth - see Physics for Profit and Fun.  Lighting historians will enjoy his account of the development of fluorescent and metal halide lamps, but his masterpiece which succinctly explains what happened to this company is his closing statement on 'A dim view of management'.  The other root cause can best be summarised by the Sunday Times' review of Jones & Marriott's book - 'A searing, seething tale, pregnant with greed, myopia, monstrous egotism, desperate self-serving, and devious (not to say dubious) business practice ... tells more about the state of British industry and the British economy than half a hundredweight of official papers'.

Anyone who has the time and interest to read these books will be much better placed to understand what really happened to the formerly huge lighting companies we all used to admire so much.  But there is another reason to be aware of what can happen to such vast corporations - because the same problems often run right to the core of the control of an entire country.  I do think that during the next year or two we shall see more changes at this level than many of us have seen in our lifetimes, because the financial strength of some of the worlds most powerful countries is teetering on the brink of going the same way as the giant companies that once fuelled their own development.  And here I mean their real financial strength, not what governments publish about their economy.  The GE book and Gates' review expertly outline how the company succeeded to hide its financial troubles for decades.  It would be naieve to think that governments are not even more capable of playing the same games.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2023, 04:46:17 PM by James » Logged
Maxim
Member
***
Offline

Gender: Male
View Posts
View Gallery

Stop replacing fixtures that can be retrofitted.


Re: End of an era for Sylvania? « Reply #29 on: May 16, 2023, 04:59:44 PM » Author: Maxim
WOW, James. Thank you so much for sharing this information with the Gallery. Some thought-provoking stuff! :)


[Admin edit - unnecessary quoting of entire post removed]
« Last Edit: May 16, 2023, 06:02:59 PM by Rommie » Logged

Collector of all kinds of lamps, gear, and fixtures.
My favorite lighting technologies at the moment are incandescent and mercury vapor, and my favorite Big 3 lighting brand of the late 20th century is GTE Sylvania.

About that Westinghouse Lifeguard disease, I think I've caught it. Thanks Eric! 8)

Print 
© 2005-2024 Lighting-Gallery.net | SMF 2.0.19 | SMF © 2021, Simple Machines | Terms and Policies