Screw-in UV bulbs...verdict?
I will be building yet another UV box in the next few weeks and am considering using screw-in UV bulbs. Of course, I could go the tried and true route of fluorescent tubes and ballasts as well.
So, any verdict yet on the price/speed/effectiveness of the screw-in types yet? I know that there are a couple of folks on the board that are using them.
What say you?
The spiral CF in BL or BL-B are pretty pricey, from what I've seen, with low output relative to the larger sizes of tubular fluorescent. Much simpler to build the unit, but you'll probably wind up spending about the same unless the bulb shape lets you use a much smaller unit and fewer bulbs. I've been thinking about using an array of 6 to give an 8x12 inch printing area, but that'd still be something like $100 to build the unit (counting lumber, sheet metal, wire, and sockets).
Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.
Ya, I can't see saving any $$ by going with spirals but I may save in the weight dept.
I would like the unit for use at my school where we may need to move it from time to time. The standard tube units that we have seem to weigh about as much as a small car.
Anyone know of any Canadian sources for the spirals?
Just curious where you saw spiral BL tubes for sale? So far I have only seen BBB.
Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
But if you include prices of ballasts, isn't it more expensive to go with tubes?
Like when I build tube type, it was like $7 for tube and $20 for a ballast for 24". Well, I guess I should do some calculation first.
Originally Posted by CraigK
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I thought that most of the cost was in the ballasts themselves. Perhaps you'd save money if you were building a smaller (10x12/8x11, etc) printer as opposed to a giant bank of spiral bl bulbs.. I'm thinking of building one, myself and using the spiral bulbs.
I only really print 4x5's at the moment so I wouldn't need a 16x20 or 20x24 monster printer.
has 27w BLB for $12.50.
Item #: SL20/BLB-BX, Catalog #: 05439
is a 20w BLB for $11.49.
Does anyone have any experience or tips? I am interested in this as well (and sorry if i've hijacked a thread)
Like Phillip, I am also thinking about building a UV box. In fact, I have a "design" sketched out and starting picking up materials last week.
Linus is a ULF & Pt/Pd printer who posted in another thread a couple of months back that he uses the 20w. spirals in his UV box. I saw some of his work at the LF conference last year and it was gorgeous. I suspect that there was more involved in achieving that look than just his choice of bulbs.
In my case, I am thinking about a box that will allow me to print up to 10x15". It will have six bulbs on 5" centers. I'm thinking about using the spiral bulbs because my experience is that spiral CFL bulbs, with their integrated electronic ballasts, tend to give better starting performance than inexpensive tublular fluorescents with magnetic ballasts. My initial run at a cost estimate is that a box using spirals will run about the same as a box using cheap tubular fixtures - to get the better electronic ballasts with tubular fixtures will cause that option to be much more expensive than a design based on spirals.
One other thought - with tubular fixtures, the recommendation is to line the top of the box with a sheet of metal. This supposedly helps assure that all of the tubes start when you turn it on, and it also provides a reflective surface. I don't think that the metal sheet is required with spirals, but I'm still planning to use it for its reflective value.
When I built my 48" light box, I used pre-assembled shop lights--they are the metal lights one hangs above a work bench that plug directly into the wall socket. I priced buying all the parts seperately, and found shop lights cheaper. I got mine at Home Depot. They were around $16 each (sorry I don't remember the exact price). There are expensive ones, and there are cheap ones. I got the cheap ones. But they still have the electronic balasts. One big benefit, no additional wiring. I pluged the units into an outlet strip, which goes into the timer.
So with bulbs on 5-inch centers, you'd have 3 bulbs across and 5 bulbs down? Would you position the sockets so the top of the bulbs are pointed down, or situate them horizontally?
Originally Posted by Bruce Schultz
Actually, my 10x15" box will have a 2x3 bulb array on 5" centers.
I am currently planning on a base up (spiral down) - that's what everyone seems to use. But when I look at the bulb, there is clearly more light-emitting area on the side than on the top of the bulp, and it does seem to me that a configuration with horizontal bulbs might be more efficient. Actually, I started a thread on that subject a couple of weeks ago, but either no one understood the question, or else everyone wanted to talk about something else.