New lamps

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Trevor Crone, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Hope this is the appropriate section to post this?

    Here in the UK by the year 2011 the goverment are phaseing out most types of tungsten lamps and replacing them with energy saving lamps. I don't know how this will effect enlargers and safelights that use tungsten lamps.

    These energy saving lamps are brighter watt for watt then normal tungsten lamps, for example a 9 watt energy saver is approx. to a 40 watt tungsten lamp. Also they are at the moment physically larger then standard tungsten lamps.

    My enlarger uses halogen lamps so as yet this will not be a problem, my concern is with the small 15 watt pygmy lamps I use in my red safelights. If these are discontinued the new lamps will be too bright and physically too big to fit the lamp housing. In any case these new lamps are not suitable at present for use in enclosed fixtures.

    I would be most interested if anyone can provide more information and if a similar scheme is in place in other corners of the globe.

    Always in the dark,
    Trevor.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Check but I think the small CFCs can fit an enclosed housing.

    It shouldn't be too hard to find the small bulbs. What do fridges use ? Range hoods?

    Worse case an LED safelight could be rigged up.
     
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    You'd think that as pygmy lamps are 15/25 watts only, then the Govt would have the good sense to realise that these are already on a par with energy saving lamps but there's the snag - believing that Govt and good sense on such matters go together. We'll save planet by eliminating pygmy bulbs and building extra runways all over Britain.

    Somebody said that most of the Govt ministers can trace their ancestry back to deck chair arrangers on the Titanic. Scurrilous rumours - probably.

    Sorry not very helpful but "By God I needed that" as Ken Dodd used to say after having a quick burst on his banjo.

    pentaxuser
     
  4. George Hart

    George Hart Member

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    Trevor, this doesn't really answer your question but I have been very satisfied by replacing my 15W-type safelight with an amber LED from Optiled (no connection), webpage http://www.optiled.com/products_lamps.php?prod_id=21. They can be had in bayonet or screw fittings which work with standard UK sockets, and they are brighter than most tungsten-based devices. I suspect that they have a narrower spectral spread, so should in this respect be safer too!
     
  5. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    If your are that worried that suitable replacements will not be available why not buy a six pack now; should last a life time, or two.
     
  6. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser Advertiser

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    Somebody from the govt or similar public position said on BBC Radio 4 this morning that only standard domestic bulbs are being phased out, and specialised incandescent lamps will continue. Also on the news today there is growing concern about the health risks associated with CFLs - they can cause skin problems for some people. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7172662.stm

    As Dave says, buy a six pack anyway. In my 20-odd years of printing I can only remember one of those bulbs blowing!

    By 2011 LED technology should have come on far enough that CFLs themselves will probably be obsolete, and LED safelights are available now.
     
  7. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    CFL can be regarded as short term technology, to be superseded in this decade. So the arguments are moot.
     
  8. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser Advertiser

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    Agreed, Dave. LED replacements for some types of incandescent are already available, for example 20W halogen MR16 lamps and more will surely follow.
     
  9. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Are LED getting cheaper? Cheap enough to build a nice large enlarger head?
     
  11. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Yes.:smile:
     
  12. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    It's accepted that some CFL's cause problems for certain types of migraine, this is currently being discussed in the British press too. LED's are flicker free I believe, so should offer some relief,:smile: but no doubt will cause problems elsewhere.:sad:
     
  13. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I've heard elsewhere that LED technology is improving rapidly, with improvements akin to those in the computer industry -- something analogous to Moore's Law applies to LEDs, resulting in an x-fold increase in light output every year. (I don't recall exactly what "x" is, but I think it's something around 2.)

    I have links to a couple of LED enlarger projects:

    http://www.huws.org.uk
    http://www.trailing-edge.com/~shoppa/led.html

    I'm sure others have experimented, too. I once tried fitting green and blue LED-based MR11 bulbs in my Philips PCS150, which uses three 35W MR11 halogen bulbs. The bulbs weren't bright enough to be practical, but my guess is that in another couple of years a drop-in MR11 LED bulb should do the trick for that enlarger; or perhaps a custom conversion could be done today, using a different design than the PCS150's standard configuration. Similar comments probably apply to more conventional enlargers. A "white" LED's spectral output is unlikely to match that of a tungsten bulb, so some adjustment of filtration will be necessary when using B&W VC papers or color papers. For the ambitious, using separate green and blue (and red for color work) bulbs should enable separate control of each bulb, thus obviating the need to use filters for contrast control or color balance. This sort of setup would require extra control circuitry, though.

    Concerning the other issue mentioned in this thread's original post, lots of people (myself included) already use LED safelights. I've got a red E27-R24 bulb that fits a standard US socket. I removed the low-wattage tungsten bulb and filter from a standard safelight, screwed in the LED bulb, and all worked fine. The result is much brighter than the previous configuration and it passed my safelight tests, so I'm happy with this setup.
     
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  15. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I already have a supply of 6, 15 watt pygmy lamps so should see me off this earthly plane:smile:

    Again I've also stocked up on enlarger lamps; my Devere MG head takes 2, 300 watt halogens, so these would be more difficult to replace. I would have to hope for a suitable LED VC head.

    With regard to safelights I think its about time I switched to an LED model. Although thinking about it I may install gas lights again:wink:
     
  16. roy

    roy Member

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    One encouraging aspect of this discussion is that there seems to be a commitment to 'proper' printing in those few years ahead !
     
  17. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I'd love a head big enough for 8x10 well 11x14 to be safe :tongue: With a mix of blue and green. I don't need anything more complicated then on/off switches for each colour. Would work fine for split filtering.

    I haven't looked in awhile but when I did even a 4x5 size head was still expensive using the 5watt leds. I think it was 5 watt.
     
  18. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser Advertiser

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    It occurred to me in the kitchen last night that these lamps are also used in ovens and fridges, so I dare say they'll be around for some time to come.
     
  19. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    You bet! Death before dishonour!:wink:
     
  20. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I think I recollect that the ban is for the larger sizes of tungsten lamps, 60 watt and above, I think. That doesn't mean that the smaller sizes will continue to be made; that depends on the market and economics of manufacture.
     
  21. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I think Dave has identified the real threat. Where specialty bulbs of various sorts might be allowed, the cost of those lamps may become quite high. Perhaps not so much with the low wattage bulbs we use in safelights, where they have common consumer use as well. Those are easy to substitute anyway.
    My concern is with the enlarger lamps. Mine uses an 80 v 200 W MR16 bulb. I suspect that LED bulbs matching the output of high-wattage tungsten bulbs will get left behind. I'm certain that LED based bulbs for the odd voltages used in various enlargers/projectors will get left out.

    The U.S. is starting to get on this "phase out tungsten" bandwagon, in some respects, I'm all for it, except in respect to this particular impact.
    For household use, I am especially eager to see advancements and price drops for LED based lighting, as I can't stand CFL's. I've had several of them fail within a few weeks of purchase. If I follow the rules in my town, I have to pay hazardous waste fees to discard them, and my eyes don't like the fluorescent light color of the standard ones. Fortunately, they don't give me headaches though.
     
  22. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    plug for Optiled bulbs as safelights

    I would wager that I have one of the brightest and "safest" darkrooms around. I have two lights: an amber one and a red one. For the papers that can't stand amber, I just use the red. I do some lith printing (think 10 minutes under the safelight and I have not had a problem with just the red safelight.

    There are also cheaper LED bulbs out there if you shop around, but I can say that these particular ones work and work well. I can't imagine a better and easy improvement to a darkroom than LED safelights!
     
  23. George Hart

    George Hart Member

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    Mark, can you tell us which papers/processes are sensitive to amber but not red LED light?

    Thanks.
     
  24. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Alot of the eastern European papers (Fotomeika, Slavich) seem to recommend red safelights. These happen to also be ones that are lith-friendly. I know for a fact that Forte Polywarmtone definitely needs it. The Freestyle catalog has safelight notes on all their papers.
     
  25. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Bergger Prestige CB/variable didn't like my sodium safelight. One of the reasons why I now only use red 'safelights'.
     
  26. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    I'm assuming (wrongly?) that many of us are using enlargers with colour or VC heads and that they run their bulbs/lamps at 12V through a transformer. Now it just so happens that the millions of cars in the world use 12V bulbs as well, so they won't be disappearing anytime soon as far as I can see. When we get round to safelights though, maybe we'll have to think about running them through the enlarger's transformer with a 12V bulb also.

    And slightly off-topic, the link below is to a hi-fi site where the argument is made that the CFLs actually use more power than normal bulbs, but it's way too technical for me. :confused:

    http://russandrews.blogspot.com/