Frequently Asked Questions
About Our Plasma Displays
Strattman Design is a leading innovator in glass and lighting technologies, creating kinetic plasma displays for museums, tradeshows, interiors, industry and arts for over 30 years. We supply the highest quality large-scale plasma globes to science museums, and produce unique special effects lighting products for a wide range of applications.
Every display is handcrafted and made to order. Some items may need a lead time of 4 to 6 weeks. Inquire about custom design options! (Products can be customized with different sizes and colors, and unique plasma art sculptures are also possible.)
Our plasma displays are made from durable borosilicate glass (Pyrex). They are filled with electrified inert gas mixtures that create colorful and interactive plasma lighting effects. The gas is completely sealed within the glass form, with custom mixtures and craftsmanship that will last many years.
We ship internationally. Shipping costs will vary depending on your location. Each item is custom packaged and/or crated for maximum protection of the glass.
Bases for Displays:
We do not normally sell bases, but can advise you about this. In general, bases should not be made of metal or metal laminates, because metal, being electrically conductive, can interfere with the functioning of the plasma display. Additionally, no metal should be installed closer than 3 feet/1 meter away from the display. Bases should be made exclusively of non-conductive materials such as wood or plastic. We do not recommend that you use any permanent adhesives on the glass, since all adhesives have to be removed if the tube ever needs repair or refilling. Silicone is a good option for adhering the glass into a stand, as it is strong but also removable. Bases should be constructed so as not to put any weight or stress on the electrode, since this is the most fragile part of the glass.
Each of our plasma displays requires its own custom power supply. This is a high voltage, high frequency transformer that usually includes a cooling fan for long-term use.
A few practical notes to follow when running your display:
- Keep the output wires to the display short, and if possible do not run them near electrically conductive surfaces.
- Keep the plasma display itself as far away as possible from conductive surfaces. Grounded metal surfaces should not be within reach of anyone interacting with a plasma piece.
- Do not unplug the power supply from your wall outlet while it is still running. Always turn it off first from the dial on the power supply itself.
- Do not touch uninsulated wire connections; arrange the display so the electrode connections will not be touched accidentally.
- The green wire is a ground wire. The power supply has to be grounded to something, but this wire does not need to be attached to anything unless you are not grounded through using a three-pronged outlet.
- Power supplies are custom matched to their plasma display and should not need any internal adjustments, nor should internal adjustments or modifications be attempted except by a knowledgable technician.
Different types of plasma displays give different light outputs. Most of the displays will look best when displayed in low light conditions. Our Bright Blue Plasma Tube fill, however, is the brightest type, it is very bright in ambient light as well as in the dark. Our Classic Crackle Tubes (neon orange-red fill) are also very bright in ambient light.
Most plasma power supplies should not be exposed to the elements. Classic Crackle Tubes are one type of display that can be installed outdoors (for example on the exterior of a building) because they aren’t high frequency; they use the same outdoor transformers as do neon signs.
Contact us with any other questions. We want your display to run smoothly for many years to come!