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  1. #1

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    UV - Alternative to Fluorescent

    I'm thinking about doing some more work in alt processes, specifically trying more than cyanotype. I'm thinking about trying three or four others, just to see what they're like. I don't want to use outdoor light for exposures, as it is very inconsistent this time of year, and with sunset before 5:00, I would hardly ever get to expose anything.

    I priced out building a UV lightbox. I took the suggestion of using 48" bulbs since the ballasts are more common. However, with bulbs at about $8 ea. and two four-light ballasts at $56 each, it seems like the box would run over $200, which I don't have to spend.

    Are there any alternatives to fluorescent-based UV lightboxes?

    Somewhere I read about someone who used some sort of HID lamp, I think a mercury or sodium vapor or something of that type (an industrial HID lamp) suspended over a printing frame.

    Any experience out there with fluorescent alternatives?
    -Jason Antman

    "There is nothing worse than a sharp photograph of a fuzzy concept." - A. A.

  2. #2
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Jason, take a look at bulbman's site in Nevada. There are some BLB screw in base types available which might be more reasonable. Do you really need 48" tubes? tim

  3. #3
    Ole
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    I use a HID light, originally intended as a growlight. When I have to, that is - ordinarily I use sunlight...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #4

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    The screw in base BLB incandescent bulbs exhibit very little if any effective UV emission. I have tested them against the more common F15T8BLB bulbs and there is no comparison. The F15T8BLB bulbs are available at Walmart for about $3.60 each. These are shorter in length then the 48 inch bulbs you mentioned. The ballasts are available from electrical wholesalers at about $25.50 for a two lamp electronic ballast. Hope that this helps.

  5. #5

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    HID lights and ballast can run pretty high too, not to mention shoot the electric bill through the roof. Sandy has an article on Unblinkingeye that is pretty informative and covers HID lights.

    If you choose to go this route look for hydroponics stuff on the internet. The ballasts can be had cheap as the closet pot growers sell off their old stuff as they move up to new.

    Disclaimer-not every one on ebay who is selling used hydroponics equipment are growing pot. Just the ones I have bought from for my classroom hydro garden.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #6
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    You mean I can use the same light as the stuff I grow my po....ohhh, never mind.

  7. #7
    Ole
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    I bought mine to grow cactus!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #8
    eric's Avatar
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    Riiiight, cactus...in Norway, they do real well over there....

  9. #9
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    I am sure they do

    I am sure they do
    NOT!!!!!!!!!
    how about a heat lamp?
    Gustavo Castilla
    We are not moved by things ,
    but by the views we take of them.
    Epictitus.
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  10. #10

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    if anyone is intrested, i just posted a "for sale" in the darkroom section of the classified section for 400 watt mercury vapor lamps useful for alt process printing. i hope its ok to mention it here, if not i apologise and wont do it again. it seemed relevent to the discussion.
    brook

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