sourcing fluorescent tubes for uv light box in the uk

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by macclad, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. macclad

    macclad Member

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    hey

    i'm making a standard 20x24" uv light box. I am sourcing all the parts now. i am thinking of using a double fitting holder so i dont have to go through the hassle of sourcing and fitting the ballasts (i'm not too good with electronics) the only problem i have is that i can only find these dual bulb fittings:

    http://bltdirect.com/product.php?pid=5098&cat=357&nm=Fluorescent+Fitting+2ft+Double

    they are 18w and of course the bulbs i need are 20w will these fittings still work? and if not is their anywhere i can source 20w double fittings?

    also the bulbs i am going to buy are these:

    http://bltdirect.com/product.php?pid=1490

    would these work ok?

    will i need to buy a bigger piece of plywood to mount the fittings onto in order to space the double fittings equally apart?

    also if any uk based people have a cheaper source for these parts (if they are correct!) please let me know.

    sorry for all the questions i gave the search function a go but i couldnt find my answer

    many thanks

    matt
     
  2. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I can't help you with the technical questions. I purchased my uv light box from Bostick & Sullivan. They are really nice and helpful to deal with. I would think they could help you with your questions.
     
  3. macclad

    macclad Member

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    yeah i may give them a call, however my questions are very specific to these actual bulbs and to the uk so i thought maybe someone in the uk with experience building uv light boxes could give me a hand. will have to wait and see if someone jumps in!

    thanks for the quick reply though
     
  4. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I made my UV box as a DIY project with left over white melamine coated chip board and lit it with 9 compact fluorescent bulbs -black light blue variety, screw in (edison) base, with their own integral ballasts. Sourced them from my local Canadian Tire hardware section. Made in China.

    I do Cyanotype once in a while, and did not want to sink a lot of money into the setup. The UV box is about 12" tall, and lights 20"x20" evenly. Turn out that the carpenters glue used on the edges fluoresces. The melamine coating does not.

    I have exposure times of 15-60 minutes depending on the density of the negative.

    Not a solution for you, if you are already committed to ballasts, but food for thought for others.
     
  5. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    Matt, if you can source something similar to these fittings -> https://www.elektrikdeposu.com/DUY-FLORESAN-EMFA-TAKIM,PR-95645.html, they're cheap, very practical and they let you dictate the exact space that will remain between bulbs. When using the fixture you asked about the bulbs will remain pretty apart, necessitating higher placement for even illumination. You'll loose speed / efficiency that way. I placed my bulbs 2cm apart and they're 7,5cm above the frame's glass. (Yes, you'll have to do some measurements and do the screwing yourself but it's not hard and doesn't require special tools when using plywood and such for base...) I strongly suggest that you find electronic ballasts; they are much more efficient and they protect the bulbs from getting out of service early. Most importantly, you have to exactly match ballasts and bulbs; electronic ballasts incorporate different parts (and software in their micro-controller; starting and maintaining the current for a fluorescent lamp isn't so simple...) according to the bulb types they're intended for. Buy the bulbs then go to suppliers / technicians and ask for matching ballasts. In no condition use 18W ballasts for 20W lamps! An electrician will do the fitting / wiring for you in case you're not competent in electricity / electronics... Total sum will remain a fraction of ready-made units.

    Regards,
    Loris.
     
  6. macclad

    macclad Member

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    ok thanks loris.

    I may go for the balast option instead of the double fitting then. i just need someone from the uk to come along and go "buy these bulbs and these ballasts and these fittings and your off" because i guess ti could order that stuff and just drop it off with my electrician and let them do it because i cant help but think that if i did it i would end up with my house burnt to the ground!

    for some reason a lot of uk bulb manufacturers dont stock ballasts or normal fittings for 2 ft 20w bulbs, i have found these cool light 20w bulbs but again they dont state that they a bl or black light anywhere so i dont know if they are the right bulbs heres the link:

    http://www.lyco.co.uk/Light-Bulbs/Fluorescent-Tubes/Fluorescent-Tubes/T12-Tubes/sc1325/p233.aspx

    if anyone from the uk could help me source the bulbs and ballasts and fittings i would be incredibly grateful!

    thanks for everyones help so far its great knowing there are so many helpful people out there!

    thanks

    matt
     
  7. Denis R

    Denis R Member

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  8. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    I'm not sure (if they're OK for alt-processes), but in any case UVC lamps are very hazardous to tissue and eyes; you risk cataracts and skin burns/cancer if you are exposed to UVC even in minute amnts. So, I strongly object to the idea for sake of safety. BTW, we do not get UVC exposure normally, since we're protected by the atmosphere...

     
  9. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    There's no information about the spectral power distribution of those lamps; I don't think they're UV bulbs. Ask them if you're not sure. (Again, disclosed specs. don't indicate UV bulbs at all...) You need something that peaks between 350-370nm; lamps used in insectocutor should be OK...

     
  10. macclad

    macclad Member

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  11. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    Yep, that's it. I wish they had put the manufacturer in the information. Don't take them too seriously if they aren't Philips, Osram or GE tubes...
     
  12. PGum

    PGum Member

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    CFL UVA

    I have also gone the same route as Mike Wilde, that is using compact fluorescent lamps. They are mini spirals, each consuming about 14 watts and emit UVA -confirmed with a spectrometer. These were purchased at this same hardware chain (Canadian Tire) for around $8.00 ea.

    The 12" x 12" box houses four lamps and is lined with Aluminum foil which I intentionally wrinkled. The advantage with aluminum is it is a strong UV reflector. Some pigments, although white in appearance, are not. Zinc Oxide for example. There are no reflection hotspots probably due to the large lamp surface area. The lamps are mounted horizontally because the built in electronic ballast will stay cooler than an inverted mount which is not recommended. Cyanotypes using Ferric Ammonium Citrate typically take 12-14 mins.
     
  13. mpirie

    mpirie Member

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  14. seananton

    seananton Member

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    I use fluorescent tubes designed for Tropical seawater aquariums, these come with with all the fittings.
    Try one of the aquarium suppliers,