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Author Topic: Lighting Prints with Solux Bulbs  (Read 6971 times)
Light Seeker
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« on: August 16, 2011, 12:12:36 PM »
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I am planning to display canvas prints, and a few black and white images, under a set of Solux MR-16 track lights. I would appreciate some input on the lighting configuration.

I have a set of 7' high black panels coming. Each panel is 2.5' wide. The layout will be 3 panels across the back (7.5') and 2 panels on each side (5'), arranged in a "U". The track lighting will sit ~1' above and ~2' away from the panels. Print sizes will typically be 14"x22" or 20"x30". I will display prints using the top ~5' of the panel (i.e. the bottom 2' or 3' will not be used).

I am planning to use 50w, 36 degree, 3500K Solux Black Back lamps. I am thinking that a single lamp will cast enough light to cover a panel, which means I'll need 7 total.

Will this do the job?

Thanks.

Terry.
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Robcat
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 01:58:04 PM »
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Horizontally that sounds about right but you're going to have a lot of fall off from top to bottom. Your light is about 1 3/4 foot from the top and 5-6 feet from the bottom of the area you want to light. I would say this set up is more suited for prints within 2 feet or so of the top (or wherever the light is aimed). Can you get the lights further back from the panels?
Rob P
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 02:26:18 PM »
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That's a good point.

The fixtures holding the track will sit at about 8' high (12" to 15" above the panel). They can be positioned between 25" and 42" away from the panel where the print is.



So, at the extreme end I will have 3.5' of separation, light to panel, which will of course increase the spread of light. Will that be enough to provide proper vertical coverage? If so, will one light per panel still be enough?

Thanks.

Terry.
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Robcat
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 04:38:45 PM »
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I hate trying to order lighting for a show  Cry as I find it tough to figure this too without having actual lights to fiddle with.

The 42" offset sounds better for vertical coverage. Now if I remember my trigonometry, 36 degrees at 42" corresponds to 27" (42 tan 18 times 2). If the lights don't have a lot of overflow past that region (and I must admit to not being familiar with this specific light, I'm just going on your specs and my personal experience show lighting) I still think you're still likely to have trouble at the bottom.

Ultimately will depend on how you lay it out. If you've say got one row of either one 20 x 30 in portrait or two 14 x 22 in landscape, you'll be fine and it'll look great. If you need to stack up the 14 x 22s 4 high, I'm worried the lower ones will be significantly darker. If you have a few more lights and alternate them up and down it might work.

Good luck. Where's your show?
Rob P
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 08:09:15 PM »
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Your trig is correct, and I'm really glad you brought this up. Assuming the lights are bright enough at this distance, they should cover the majority of a panel's width. Height may be an issue however as you've noted, so I will take that into consideration when I mock up my display in Photoshop. I'll use that to finalize my configuration & order. The event is 5 weeks out so I should have enough time to test and adjust if necessary.

These are the lights I'm looking at . . .

https://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore/colorproofkit.html

I'm on the Canadian Prairies. I have an opportunity to display images at a week long conference my church is hosting. It's a regional event and we'll have ~350 attending. Some of my work is tailored to this setting and some is more general. I set up a smaller display a few months ago at the same type of event about 1/3 the size, run over a weekend. I did reasonably well. It's a relatively safe environment to learn the ropes before trying the arts and crafts shows.

I appreciate your help.

Terry.
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2011, 12:16:25 PM »
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Well, I had decided to order two-50w lights for each 2.5' panel, one to cover the top 1/2 and one the bottom 1/2. That should have covered about 5' of my 7' panel (vertically), nicely doing the job. However. . .

I just discovered that Solux makes a plano-convex diffuser. This doubles the beam spread and softens the light. With one of these clipped on the front I should be able to cover two panels wide (5') by 5' feet high. The light output will of course be less (1/4), but I'm wondering if I can get away with two-50w bulbs to cover this area.

Any thoughts / comments about his approach?

Terry.
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JohnHeerema
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 12:27:30 PM »
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I'd say it comes down to whether you think your work looks better under diffuse light, or under collimated lighting. Also, if you're displaying at a show, having a lot of light on your prints will make them stand out better.
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AFairley
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 01:51:07 PM »
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Seeker, just curious why you opted for the 3500K lights as opposed to 4700K, no opinion here, just curious.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 01:56:25 PM »
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Not trying to speak for Terry here, but I've tried all 3 (35/41/47) and I was surprised how cool the 4700's seemed. We use the 4100's in our color correction station, but the 3500's do not look exceptionally warm and I've used those to light some display prints which look terrific - just seems to make the prints pop a little more.
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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 02:41:11 PM »
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Terry, I was interested in your post because I addressed the same types of questions when lighting my dining room (planning to have prints on the walls) and my computer/printing photography work area.  You should look carefully at a photometrics chart.  I'm looking at a 2006-2007 one from Lightolier, titled "Accent Lighting Performance Data" at the back of their "Lighting Handbook," a thick catalog for which I'm sure there is a current version.  Your original estimate of one 50-watt approx. 40 degree spread MR-16 bulb per panel sounded right to me.  Looking at the chart and applying your numbers, with one bulb per panel, your bulb would be 2 feet out from the panel and 3.5 feet from the center of the portion you want to light.  That gives you only 63 foot candles at the center of your beam.  You should figure out what an appropriate level of foot-candle illumination is for the type of display you have in mind.  Interestingly, with the angle of the beam (about 30 degrees; it is measured as compared with a straight vertical drop), the chart indicates you would get a 2.9 foot spread horizontal beam 3.5 feet from the bulb, and a 9.7 foot vertical spread.  Bear in mind that the beam spread measures the point at which the foot candles are only half of what they are at the center of the beam.  To get the same illumination at the edges as you have at the center, you need another bulb the same distance from the original one as the beam spread.  That is, if your beam spread is 2.9 feet, you need the bulbs to be 2.9 feet apart to get even illumination, and you need an extra one on each end if you're concerned about the outside areas of your display.  This stuff is complicated.  BTW, I would endorse your use of 3500 Kelvin bulbs.  They're closer to the light temperatures people have in their homes.  Even my PAR 30 halogens in recessed lighting are warmer than that.  The MR-16 bulbs certainly look contemporary, but compared to bulbs with a broader light source, you end up needing more of them.  BTW, I add diffusers to mine to cut down on the glare, and provide a protective shield should anything shatter., as they can do.  If you want to talk with another company about the photometrics information, I would call Bulbrite.  Online they are www.bulbrite.com.  It does seem that with the lighting angle you are planning, your issue is really the horizontal beam spread and footcandles that yields, rather than the vertical spread.  Good luck.  Let us know how it turns out.
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Dano Steinhardt
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 02:49:36 PM »
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About 10 years ago I met with Solux and tested the three different Kelvin Temps to determine which was best for the Epson booth at major trade shows.

4100K worked and continues to work the best for us in a trade show environment.

If you are using Solux branded fixtures all will be well, but I learned the hard way that some transformers on some fixtures reduce current which will lower the effect Kelvin Temp of the bulb.

Dan (Dano) Steinhardt
Marketing Manager, Professional Imaging
Epson America, Inc.
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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2011, 03:07:39 PM »
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Well, here's another note on photometrics.  I do think you need to be careful about spacing and footcandles (light level).  Above my working desk, I have three MR-16 bulbs, which I am rather sure are 50-watt and approx. 40-degree spread.  They are 30" apart and 4ft3in. straight above the desk (zero angle for photometrics). Also, I have both diffusers and eggcrate baffles over the bulbs. I decided on the spacing after consultation by phone with the people at Tech Lighting (whom you may want to call), and get rather even illumination on the desk.  The chart at the back of their (several years old) catalog, indicates that with that configuration I should be getting a little less than 125 footcandles.  The desk is nicely lit, and certainly not overlit.  I would suggest you figure out what ballpark you should be in on lighting level, and check out the charts for the distances (and angle) you are considering.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2011, 03:42:16 PM »
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At 4000K the ideal light level at the print could be 40 fc - 430 lux if the Kruithof curve is considered. It is not that strict though but probably the right guide to use. I have several 36 angle, 50Watt, 4500K halogens, GU 5.3, from another manufacturer that actually measure 4000K (+ a nice spectral plot) with the transformer I use (have to measure its voltage but the capacity is high enough). I intend to use 4 diffused lamps as viewing lights for an approximately 3'x4' magnetic whiteboard.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

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Light Seeker
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2011, 04:56:56 PM »
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Seeker, just curious why you opted for the 3500K lights as opposed to 4700K, no opinion here, just curious.

Wayne and others have mentioned most of the reasons I'm looking at 3500K. Their feedback around this has in fact been very encouraging (thanks!). All that I would add is that I understand that UV and IR are better suppressed with the Solux 3500K bulb. 4100K is good as well, but I believe that 4700K and 5000K are not as well behaved in this regard.

Barbara, I will work through your suggestions. It's nice to know where next to turn for the science & math behind this.

Ernst, I had wondered what light level I should target. I was using my light meter last night to try a get a sense for this, but it won't display a lux equivalent.

Terry.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2011, 03:16:32 AM »
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Ernst, I had wondered what light level I should target. I was using my light meter last night to try a get a sense for this, but it won't display a lux equivalent.

Terry.

Check a Kruithof curve diagram and you will get enough information on the light level variation possible for the Kelvin grade you want to use. In FC and Lux. As you do not have to correlate that with a monitor light level it will be easier. My old Lunasix 3 has the Lux, FC tables at the back but I trust the colorimeter better. You should also check the actual Kelvin grade in your set up (transformer!) if possible, I did get a different Kelvin grade from Gretag's Share than from ArgyllCMS Illumiread with an i1 Pro but the spectral plots were similar. A good article on display lighting is here:
http://cool.conservation-us.org/waac/wn/wn21/wn21-3/wn21-308.html
It confirms more or less the experiences in this thread.

met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst
New: Spectral plots of +250 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm


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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2011, 01:13:18 PM »
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Ernst, I have for a long time appreciated your posts on this forum, and have only recently become a participant when I thought I could offer something.  Thanks especially for the link to the Kruithof curve and the accompanying article.  Fascinating!! The relationship between light level and light color (temperature) was particularly "illuminating."   Interesting that as one uses a dimmer to reduce light level, the effect is also to reduce the color temperature, just the effect you'd want to orchestrate if it didn't do it automatically.
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Craig Murphy
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2011, 05:14:10 PM »
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If I buy more Solux bulbs they will be 4100 deg.  I have 4700 now and they are a little too cool.  3500 I would be afraid is too warm. 
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CMurph
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2011, 05:33:05 PM »
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 Interesting that as one uses a dimmer to reduce light level, the effect is also to reduce the color temperature, just the effect you'd want to orchestrate if it didn't do it automatically.

Be careful with that method, the relation between the Kruithof curve and dimming may not be 1:1 and halogens need a certain temperature to keep their lifetime, the halogen cycle is not effective if the temperature in the lamp is changed too much from the original specification.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

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« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 04:46:43 AM by Ernst Dinkla » Logged
hcubell
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2011, 08:48:38 AM »
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Here is a link to a post by John Paul Capongro, who recommends the 3500k bulbs:

http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/5095/review-solux-lighting/
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EMay
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2011, 11:50:01 AM »
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Just wanted to chime in here about the 3500k solux lights, we use them in our gallery and can't say enough about how well they work on photography and art.







http://www.redbubble.com/people/pemay
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