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Thread: *VERY* interesting and informative article re: CCT vs intensity

  1. #1
    aaron125
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    *VERY* interesting and informative article re: CCT vs intensity

    Just found this extremely interesting article on the Solux website. If you're unfamiliar with Solux bulbs or using any other light bulb for illuminating prints or hard-proofs, you're getting inaccurate colours. Yes, this even includes the very expensive (even the $2000+ models) lighting cabinets, as they all use fluro bulbs as far as I know (please let me know if this is incorrect), which have horribly spikey spectrums, therefore emphasizing some colours and de-emphasizing others, leading to inaccuracies, metamerism, etc.

    Anyone here using Solux bulbs? I'm using the 4700k, 35W bulbs to view my hard-proofs and prints, but as the bulbs are an MR-16 fitting, I hade to make up a rig with an adapter and transformer so that I can use the Solux bulbs with standard desk-lamps, which normally use screw-in incandescent bulbs.

    Here's the article:
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    What do you think?

    Just found this review by John Paul Caponigro:
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    Last edited by aaron125; 02-23-2012 at 03:35 AM. Reason: review

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  3. #2
    PRC Member lessbones is on a distinguished road
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    I would love to get some of these in the studio I work in-- they're not terribly expensive, I'm sure I can persuade my boss to grab a few to put in place of our incandescents at least, since they would fit in the same fixtures

  4. #3
    aaron125
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    Unfortunately Solux bulbs don't fit in the same socket as a normal (screw-in) incandescent bulb. The Solux bulbs are an MR16 (GU5.3 I think) fitting, just 2 short pins at the end. Not only that, but they are require just 12V, not 110/240 as a normal bulb would. So that means a transformer and a new light socket/fixture is required to use them.

    But there is a very cheap and simple way around the 12V/MR16 problem - when I first started using the Solux bulbs, I bought an MR16 adapter which has a regular screw-in end so it can be used in any regular light socket. I used a desk lamp and bought a $10 transformer from ebay to supply the required 12V and the adapters are $1 each.

    At least using the above method, one can try the Solux bulbs without the added expense of track-lighting fixtures or down-lights, etc., which all cost several hundred $$$ or more.

    Solux have recently brought out a new style bulb which I'm pretty sure has a normal screw-in end on it and can be used with a standard home light socket.

    Here's a pic of the Solux bulbs.


    And here's a perfect example of how good the Solux spectrum is compared to a rather expensive and hopelessly spikey GTI viewing lightbox and D50. I think this is for a 3500K Solux, not the 4700K, not 100% sure about that though as the original author of the image doesn't say from which Solux bulb this spectrum was measured.

    Spectral curves for 5000K fluorescent GTI lightbox (blue) and SoLux (red).
    Last edited by aaron125; 02-23-2012 at 10:22 AM. Reason: spectrum

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  6. #4
    PRC Member lessbones is on a distinguished road
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    right-- yeah i was looking at that spectrum--

    it seems they have a PAR bulb that screws in, but it is only available in the 3500K version:


    SoLux now comes in a line voltage (120 volt) PAR bulb (screw-in socket), fully dimmable with a 2500 hour life time that reproduces the full color spectrum of natural daylight at 3500K! Our full line of extensions allow you to install SoLux PARs in any can or socket. Click on "Extensions" at left located under SoLux Lamps.

    Price for PAR 20 and PAR 30 lamps 1-9 units is $12.45. For PAR 38 lamps 1-9 units price is $14.75. Pricing for diffused bulbs price is $19.95. Discounts apply for 10-99 and 100+ units.

    SoLux PAR 20s (2.5" dia) are available in 50 watts, two standard beamspreads (10,30), and diffused beam (50 degree beam spread). Length 2.75", Width 2.5"

    SoLux PAR 30s (3.75" dia) are available in 75 watts, two standard beamspreads (10,30), and diffused beam (50 degree beam spread). Length 3.00" Width 3.75". Order 1.25" socket extension to convert to longneck.

    SoLux PAR 38s (4.75" dia) available in 90 watts, three standard beamspreads (10,30,50), Length 4.75", Width 4.75"


    would be worth a shot, although I think our clients would still be dubious of such warm light (what do they know, i know) which color temperature version have you been using?

    Right now we have D50 Flouros set up, but i hate looking at stuff under them

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    Junior Member alonsp is on a distinguished road
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    interesting.. thanks

  9. #6
    aaron125
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    Quote Originally Posted by lessbones View Post
    would be worth a shot, although I think our clients would still be dubious of such warm light (what do they know, i know) which color temperature version have you been using?

    Right now we have D50 Flouros set up, but i hate looking at stuff under them
    I've been using the 4700K 36degree 35W MR16 bulbs. So far I have been using them with an MR16>>screw-in adapter in my normal desk lamp but I just purchased a 'proper' MR16/down-light fixture which has the correct fittings and supports for MR16 bulbs. I just got it a couple days ago, so haven't yet had a chance to use it but the screw-in adapter seems to be working well so far.

    I have to say that these 4700K bulbs give off the best light I've ever used for print and proof viewing. It's hard to describe, I would say the spectrum is more 'pure' somehow, it just seems to improve the print as with them, all parts of the print are illuminated equally well, no dips or spikes in the spectrum to make some colours more intensely lit than others.

    As the hardware/setup costs are so inexpensive, I would highly recommend to anyone interested to give them a try, absolutely no drawbacks or reasons I can see not to try them.

  10. #7
    Donor Shap will become famous soon enough
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    12V light fixtures - at IKEA

    IKEA sells several different Table Light fixtures that are very resonably priced and I believe to have suitable sockets and transformers.

    I still have one an MR11 socket, on a flexible neck that came with a 12V transformer - being a part of the power plug.

    This makes the plug bulky and heavy, so I connected it horizontally to an extension cord rather than have it hang from a wall socket.

    Since most of these are cheap houshold items, they are usually not very robust...

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