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Author Topic: Room Lighting  (Read 26701 times)
BigBadWolfie
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« on: September 09, 2012, 06:21:47 AM »
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Sorry if this has been asked before, but I got some questions on room lighting.  I edit my photos in a nondedicated but fully light-controlled room.  The room is generally lit by two wall lights (B10 bulbs). I usually have incandescent 40w lights in there but I'm currently trying some ecosmart daylight CFL bulbs in there.  I'm not sure if I like the daylight bulbs. They are suppose to be 5000K and they are noticeably less warm than the incandescent bulbs I had in there, but I think generally, I feel the incandescent bulbs to be more comfortable, but that could be because the daylight bulbs are a bit brighter and harsher than what I'm used to .

So that got me wondering what I should do.  Should I stick with the daylight bulbs? Put an incandescent/halogen bulb back in there? Try a nondaylight CFL? I feel like I'm compromising between comfort and photo editing so I'm leaning towards putting an incandescent bulb in there and getting a couple of desk lamps with Ottlite or Solux bulbs in there.

Would that be the ideal solution? Have the room lit by two desk lamps with Solux or Ottlite bulbs when I'm editing photos?  If so, what bulbs/fixtures should I get and what's a good place to get them?
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 08:53:16 AM »
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The first image posted below is of my studio using (2) 18in./15watt T8 Philips Natural Sunshine rated at 5000K printing to an NX330 "Small In One" on Ultra Premium Glossy Photo paper whose white is quite neutral compared to my white painted walls. This arrangement has been working for me for over 5 years.

The second posted image is to demonstrate various "daylight" balanced fluorescent lights and what they do to specific colors like yellow. Not all colors lit under fluorescent will show these color errors compared to the daylight shot of the Skittles bag. No light is going to be perfect so you do have to way comfort, energy efficiency with accuracy to actual daylight which will introduce its own color errors as well only not as pronounced as the yellow in the Skittles bag which should look yellow and not greenish yellow or with a pronounced cyan cast.

The Solux halogen lamp is the most spectrally flat among all artificial light sources for viewing prints.
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BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 04:39:20 AM »
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Thanks for the images tloonbill.  I've been doing more research and it seems that finding reliable (not to mention affordable) Solux fictures is not an easy task.  I'm currently looking at Ottlite products since their fixtures are easier to find.  Right now, I'm thinking of just sticking with the daylight bulbs (maybe choosing the dimmer versions) to light up the room and then pick up an Ottlite or Solux to view my prints. 
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Czornyj
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 04:59:53 AM »
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Thanks for the images tloonbill.  I've been doing more research and it seems that finding reliable (not to mention affordable) Solux fictures is not an easy task.  I'm currently looking at Ottlite products since their fixtures are easier to find.  Right now, I'm thinking of just sticking with the daylight bulbs (maybe choosing the dimmer versions) to light up the room and then pick up an Ottlite or Solux to view my prints. 

You can convert inexpansive GU10 halogen fixtures to use with Solux - just unscrew GU10, screw in GU5.3 (it has the same screw spacing), and connect it to a 12V power supply:

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BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 05:26:47 AM »
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Hey Czornyj. Unfortunately, I don't have GU10 halogen fixtures.  I have fixtures that take B10 bulbs and R30 bulbs.  So I'm thinking desk lamp options may be my best bet.
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 10:08:52 AM »
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I'm currently looking at Ottlite products since their fixtures are easier to find.

Just a word of caution about the Ottlite. From my examining their 508 illumination small tube craft lamp and their 100 watt output HD CFL at Lowes Hardware (the one I bought and used for a while), they tend to give off a greenish blue cast. See the example below comparing the GE Sunshine T8 vs the 100 watt output HD OttLite. Note my skin tone and purple and yellow CC chart patch differences.

Also the mini-tube type task lamps are quite pricey but I paid about $6 for the CFL at Lowes. I got rid of the OttLite once I found the Eiko 200 watt Colormaster CFL and Philips T8 Natural Sunshine tube. Both are better at color rendering than my old standby the T8 GE Sunshine tube.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 10:11:59 AM by tlooknbill » Logged
darlingm
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 12:58:15 PM »
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tlooknbill, I think your Skittles bag and Sunshite vs OttLite images are very useful.  (I'm assuming you made them here, but I think I'm correct on that.)  You, of course, own a copyright on these images just by producing them.  I am wondering if you would allow me to use the images, and perhaps also creating a modified version of them by putting the edge of the skittles bags right next to each other, for some of my clients who may not be able to easily see the difference between them spread out like this, as I'm thinking those of us on this forum have trained ourselves to be able to compare things spread out better than someone not in a profession that deals with color so much.  If any if this is not OK with you, I won't use them.
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Mike Westland Printworks
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 03:03:13 PM »
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Darlingm, I have no problem with what you stated as long as you give me credit by including my name...Tim Lookingbill within the image clearly presentable to your clients. You can google that name and you'll see my bio and some of my photography.

BTW there's a caveat about those images that I feel I need to disclose. I had to edit them to get them to look as my eyes see them since my camera isn't an accurate instrument for recording color under any type of light.

The reason for this is that our eyes adapt viewing anything under these various types of lights. I wanted to convey what they actually look like to a viewer after adaptation, real world usage. In addition I also wanted to convey spectral reflectance induced color errors (greenish yellow) which I had to edit into the Skittles bag to get them to look exactly as it appears under these lights. My camera wouldn't do it.

A digital camera's sensor doesn't adapt and may even be way off recording spectral reflectance hues (i.e. the synthetic wool glove in the diorama was impossible to replicate even with edits..it's more of a warmish olive gray). Some lights did better at capturing that specific hue over others.  
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Czornyj
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 03:23:40 PM »
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The reason for this is that our eyes adapt viewing anything under these various types of lights. I wanted to convey what they actually look like to a viewer after adaptation, real world usage. In addition I also wanted to convey spectral reflectance induced color errors (greenish yellow) which I had to edit into the Skittles bag to get them to look exactly as it appears under these lights. My camera wouldn't do it.

A digital camera's sensor doesn't adapt and may even be way off recording spectral reflectance hues (i.e. the synthetic wool glove in the diorama was impossible to replicate even with edits..it's more of a warmish olive gray). Some lights did better at capturing that specific hue over others.  

The major problem is that a digital camera sensor has different spectral sensitivity curves than a standard observer.
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 03:51:19 PM »
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The major problem is that a digital camera sensor has different spectral sensitivity curves than a standard observer.

Well that explains a lot. I don't doubt you one bit on that one.

Since I left out the Solux lamp demo I'll post an image that illustrates why this light is so much cherished for viewing prints by fine art photographers especially for B&W on a number of egg shell, off white type of fine art papers. And why optical brighteners are a PITA on some papers. You can't hide from the Solux lamp in this regard. This light has special qualities that I'ld have to say are better than actual sunlight.

In the image below disregard the look of the glove. Both are inaccurate as I explained above. Note the definition and separation of subtle white hues in the various types paper from playing cards to the optical brighteners present in the typing paper under the glove and compare to the Ottlite.

Which light would you want to view B&W prints under?
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 03:57:54 PM by tlooknbill » Logged
darlingm
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 06:54:43 PM »
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Darlingm, I have no problem with what you stated as long as you give me credit by including my name...Tim Lookingbill within the image clearly presentable to your clients. You can google that name and you'll see my bio and some of my photography.

BTW there's a caveat about those images that I feel I need to disclose. I had to edit them to get them to look as my eyes see them since my camera isn't an accurate instrument for recording color under any type of light.

The reason for this is that our eyes adapt viewing anything under these various types of lights. I wanted to convey what they actually look like to a viewer after adaptation, real world usage. In addition I also wanted to convey spectral reflectance induced color errors (greenish yellow) which I had to edit into the Skittles bag to get them to look exactly as it appears under these lights. My camera wouldn't do it.

A digital camera's sensor doesn't adapt and may even be way off recording spectral reflectance hues (i.e. the synthetic wool glove in the diorama was impossible to replicate even with edits..it's more of a warmish olive gray). Some lights did better at capturing that specific hue over others.  

Sure, that's a deal - thanks!  I understand the need to do some editing.  Illustrating how we would see something under different lighting conditions is more important for my purposes than an exact unedited version of what a camera "saw".
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Mike Westland Printworks
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BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 10:22:29 PM »
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Hey guys. So if I want to pursue the Solux option, besides spending the money on a Solux clipon, my other option is to find a floor or desk fixture that accepts GU10 bulbs and then buy the Solux MR16 bulb? Is this correct? If the fixture has a lampshade would white be the best? Track lights won't be an option for me.

Oh and a question about lighting my workspace, will Solux be good for both viewing prints and lighting workspace?  I'm still trying to figure out how dim the workspace should be when editing photos. Any advice?

Edit:  I've done more research and it seems that plugging a MR16 bulb into a GU10 fixture isn't something that is just plug and play. I guess finding a GU5.3 fixture is my best bet?

« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 11:19:26 PM by BigBadWolfie » Logged
Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2012, 09:04:32 AM »
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Solux does make regular screw in PAR 20 bulbs if you don't mind 3500K color temperature which isn't that far off from their 4700K I posted above.

http://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore/soluxparbulbs.html

I bought their black clip on task lamp (made by Eiko) along with the 4700K MR16 bulb several years ago and used it maybe 40 hours tops just for quick checks over several years and found the 120v to 12v power block converter that plugs into the wall failed and I had to toss it. Kept the MR16 bulb and so far waiting for an affordable and dependable replacement lamp.

I get by just fine with the studio setup pictured above which has my display calibrated to 6500K, 100 cd/m2 luminance level.
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BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2012, 11:01:30 PM »
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http://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore/soluxparbulbs.htmlI bought their black clip on task lamp (made by Eiko) along with the 4700K MR16 bulb several years ago and used it maybe 40 hours tops just for quick checks over several years and found the 120v to 12v power block converter that plugs into the wall failed and I had to toss it. Kept the MR16 bulb and so far waiting for an affordable and dependable replacement lamp.
Let me know when you find an affordable and dependable replacement lamp.  So far, I haven't had much luck.  I think I'm going to call up Solux to see what they recommend.  They also happen to make a variety of adapters, but I'm not sure if it will work for me. Guess we'll see.
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BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2012, 10:18:46 AM »
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Alright, so after some more research and calling up Solux. It seems that the best solution is to either go with a desk lamp and a Par20 3500K bulb (diffused?), or extenders and some Par20 bulbs for my ceiling fixutres or for more money, the task lamp with a 4700K 50w MR16 bulb. Any advice guys?

I heard the 3500K is better for final print viewing where as the higher temps are better at evaluating prints?
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2012, 05:28:51 PM »
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Alright, so after some more research and calling up Solux. It seems that the best solution is to either go with a desk lamp and a Par20 3500K bulb (diffused?), or extenders and some Par20 bulbs for my ceiling fixutres or for more money, the task lamp with a 4700K 50w MR16 bulb. Any advice guys?

I heard the 3500K is better for final print viewing where as the higher temps are better at evaluating prints?

Never seen the quality of light from the 3500K Solux PAR 20's but if they're anything close to bringing out definition like their 4700K MR16 version, I'ld go for it.

Just consider the amount of heat they're going to put out if you get quite a few of them in one room.
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chrismurphy
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2012, 09:40:41 PM »
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So the gotcha with getting too fussy about which color temperature option to go with, is that the standard is D50 (CCT 5003K) for everything ICC. On the other hand, for photographers, it's reasonable to consider where your prints will finally end up. Are they going to be shown in a gallery and then put in someone's home? What about in an office where fluorescent is common?

Galleries use conventional halogen or incandescent bulbs. In NYC galleries I see anywhere from ~2500K to ~3100K. It's all over the place. So if you're in fine art, and looking to target galleries, but you want something more consistent, and closer to that of the spectral quality of D50, the Solux 3500K is a great compromise if you want to be on the warmer end of things, or the 4100K if you want to be on the cooler end of the compromise.

5000K is workable for commercial and advertising work where the press room standard is 5000K, although arguably you could also get away with a fluorescent based D50 simulator since that's what's used in the pressroom also. I'd just be aware that not all ink sets are the same, and the spectral difference between press ink and inkjet ink can still cause metamerism failure when the light source is not the ICC expected D50 - which fluorescent D50 simulators do not do nearly as good of a job at as a Solux 4700K-5000K bulb can.

And yes, unfortunately heat is an issue with near black body radiators, but that's also why their SPD's are so well behaved, compared to fluorescent and LED - all of which are are really big problem when it comes to color rendering, and even just consistency (over time, unit to unit, between supposedly identical model #s, etc. etc.)
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BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2012, 10:16:23 AM »
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All right, so I'm planning to order some Solux 35watt 4700K BB bulbs.  Now I obviously plan to use the bulbs to judge prints but what about lighting the room when editing photos? Should I try to edit photos with the room lit by Solux bulbs or would it make little difference when compared to editing photos using daylight bulbs I bought at Home Depot?
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2012, 07:20:20 PM »
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All right, so I'm planning to order some Solux 35watt 4700K BB bulbs.  Now I obviously plan to use the bulbs to judge prints but what about lighting the room when editing photos? Should I try to edit photos with the room lit by Solux bulbs or would it make little difference when compared to editing photos using daylight bulbs I bought at Home Depot?

You'll have to decide that for yourself according to how those Home Depot bulbs cause your eyes to adapt and see your 6500K calibrated display whites and grays with a red, green, blue, yellow, etc. cast.

The photo of my setup above should give you a ballpark of the level of light you should edit images under.

Since I've recently moved I tried out Walmart's new 100 watt output Daylight (5000K) CFL's (a box of 4 for $9) with one installed in my ceiling fan's single frosted globe light fixture which lights the entire room. (I think they're rebranded Alzo's) As I'm typing this response my eyes have adapted to seeing whites and grays on my display as quite neutral.

The light is in the center of the room shining straight on my display at a 45 degree angle from the ceiling fan about 6ft above and behind my shoulder and it doesn't seem to affect color perception in my images over the GE, Philips and Ottlite. It is the type of color balanced CFL that exhibits the typical cyanish cast in intense cadmium yellow demonstrated in the Skittles image. I'm surprised it's working out this good. I guess the dominant greenish native state of my CCFL backlit Dell display is coming through aiding in a match with help from adaptation.

Good luck setting up lighting for your editing workstation. Don't make it harder than it has to be.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 07:24:04 PM by tlooknbill » Logged
BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2012, 07:57:49 PM »
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Thanks for your help tlooknbill.  I don't normally edit photos every day so using using Solux desk lamps to light up the room when I'm editing photos isn't a big problem but obviously not the most convenient thing. It seems that a lot of people have print viewing booths/area besides their monitor and I'm under the impression that a lot of people use the light coming from their print viewing area to light their photo editing work space. That or ambient lighting doesn't matter too much but the light use to judge prints is important?

I find it interesting that you're actually shining straight on your display tlooknbill. I would think that that was something to avoid as you want diffused lighting rather than light that hits your monitor directly.  But you seem to be a very good judge of the effects of different lighting so I trust you when you said it's working out well for you.
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