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  1. #11

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    You could use a candle for a safelight if the time and distance worked out. The only advantage to using special safelights of the appropriate color for your paper is you can maximize the amount of light in your darkroom. It's all a question of time and distance beyond that. If you can make something that is bright enough yet doesn't fog your paper too quickly, go right ahead and use it.

  2. #12
    Mongo's Avatar
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    I've used the GE Party light bulbs with no problem, but be careful that the red coating goes all of the way to the base. My latest bulb didn't...I wrapped electrical tape around the bottom and everything's fine. I can pick 'em up at the hardware store for $2.50, they last for a very long time, they're safe up to 10 minutes at least in my darkroom - I haven't checked them for longer than that, and when I eventually need another it's just a quick trip to the hardware store away. ($10 for a used safelight sounds like a bargain...until you add in shipping and the chance that you'll have to replace the filter.) I love Pary Lights and won't bother with a "real" safelight since they're so easy to get cheaply and they work so well.

    I've been considering a string of red LED Christmas lights over my trays; we'll see if I can find a set cheap this holiday season.

    I think I'm the king of "cheap" solutions!

    Be well.
    Dave
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  3. #13
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    I've seen the coated light bulbs crack their coating. Little threads of white light creep through.

  4. #14

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    GE says no. The party bulbs really have a pretty broad spectral range, and they are too bright for most uses. They are likely to cause fog on modern (or even old style) papers. The fog may be subtle if you keep the brightness down, but it's likely to occur all the same. The safelight bulbs have a quite different coating (or glass). Neon lamps can sometimes be used, although the green line in the neon spectrum may cause some problems for VC papers with long exposures. (You might try red cellophane over the neon bulb to attenuate the green line to acceptable levels.) Red LEDs have a narrow spectrum and are generally safe (at reasonable levels).

  5. #15
    FrankB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard
    However, red X-Mas lights for the tree will work
    Hmmm.....

    Fibre-optic artificial Christmas tree, a bit of red gel over the light source....

    Methinks I'll have a festive darkroom in a couple of months time!
    The destination is important, but so is the journey

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by nworth
    GE says no. The party bulbs really have a pretty broad spectral range, and they are too bright for most uses. They are likely to cause fog on modern (or even old style) papers.
    Have you measured it? I use cheap red bulbs all the time.

    This is a bit like comparing a 12 dollar bottle of ilford ilfostop against a 75 cent 75 gram bottle of citric acid.

    They both work the same, if you want to pay 20x for a warm fuzzy feeling that's up to you :-)

  7. #17
    Will S's Avatar
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    I used my BLB spirals that normally get used for AZO in a Halloween display last night along with some red party bulbs and leds I keep for the darkroom, so it works either way....
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

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