Miscellaneous thoughts as I start up a new darkroom, my first in thirty plus years. I am setting up to do contact printing but do not wish to use an enlarger as a light source. I'll be working with 8x10 negs primarily, and 5x7s otherwise, and don't want to use an enlarger as an overly complex lamp. It occurred to me that I could use blue and green lights as exposing light sources and avail myself of the benefits of split grade printing. So I obtained one each of a blue and a green LED unit pre wired as a screw in bulb. Each screw in unit has some 24 individual LEDs in it. Despite many years lapsed, things feel utterly familiar, except for the contact printing. In the past I always used an enlarger as the light source to do contact prints, and 4x5 film or smaller. Now, with 8x10 negs and a very different light source, the mechanics of making a print change. After hearing so much about how little light LEDs supposedly put out, I was surprised that my LEDs are so bright that I am having to cut way down on their intensity to get workable exposure times. To obtain soft even illumination of the printing frame, I bounced the LEDs off my rather low ceiling, and have exposure times about 2 seconds. Way too short for any meaningful control I bought the blue and green units on this: www.superbrightleds.com/specs/E27-W24.htm page. Each unit runs off a separate Time-O-Lite timer to keep things simple. Now I'm in process of putting a dark gray painted area on the ceiling where I am bouncing the LED light so I can get some thing more like the 20 to 40 second area. Even with the way too short times I can see that the contrast range should be very workable. The test prints range from verrrry soft with the green LED to very hard with the blue LED. If I find I want to extend the contrast range further, I'll try painting the bounce zones on the ceiling blue purple and yellow green to max out the respective hard and soft contrast emulsion layers. I also bought a red LED unit to test as a safelight. I have not yet had time to evaluate that. It seems very bright and very red so I'm hopeful. So far, I dislike the contact printing frame I just bought from PF. I got the 11x14 frame so I can do 8x10 negs within a 11x14 paper size to get really wide borders. Basically it seems well constructed, but I don't like the snapping metal clamps that hold the back on. The clamps are noisy, unkind to borderline arthritic hands, and slow since there are six clamps to do and undo for every test.. Does anyone else know of any other brands on the market with more humane clamping action??? I want to explore the use of print pre-flashing for contrast control after I get the basic contact printing setup working. Guess I'll need to post photos in the darkroom portraits thread soon. It's going to be an interesting voyage.