Where to buy UV light bulbs
I'm in Canada, looking for good sources for cheap UV light bulbs. I've searched the forum, but can't seem to find the off site links. I've read up on what sources are usable, but my town doesn't seem to carry any of the lights aside from GE black lights at $20 CAD a bulb. I need 18" bulbs with bi-pin connectors, they are the last thing i need for my box. I'll be printing mostly platinum.
The VHO URI Super Actinic aquarium bulbs look sweet, but of course, 23 USD a bulb and can't seem to find less than 35USD shipping for them.
If anyone has resource links to offer, please post.
I take it you are on the east coast of Canada (based on your Gallery uploads).
Originally Posted by krisbfunk
Out here in the west, I would suggest trying the various "hydroponic" growing suppliers, who seem to do a thriving business in all sorts of high intensity lighting.
hah. well i'm not opposed to shipping from the west if i can get some sort of a deal.. i'm pretty much as east as you can get (PEI).
i'll look into some hydroponic shops, have a few contacts "out west".
Don't know if this is anything less expensive than what you found but i just received mine from this source.
seems most of the hydro stores are selling 1000 watt HID's for about the same price as 12 fluorescents, but pricey to ship, and i already have my box waiting for lights.
but i'll keep lookin.
thanks jan for the link.. although the tubes are 24", and they don't sell 18" of the same type.
Last edited by krisbfunk; 03-20-2007 at 01:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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some help hopefuly
Living in Toronto, I would also like to know of a good Canadian source for BL tubes. A while back I did do some research of what to get:
Sylvania F40/350 BL (#24922)
Philips F40BL (39153-2)
Perhaps this info will be of some help, as suppliers need to have the code numbers.
the canadian Sylvania webite does have a store locator.
please post when you do find something!
The "sources are usable," discusses a number of options, many of which are pretty specialized. BLB fluorescent bulbs may be the most practical option.
Last summer, I took a Pt/Pd workshop with Tillman Crane in which we used UV boxes made with fluorescent black light tubes. I've found BLB tubes nearby in a Home Depot. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but realistically, they are specialized items that probably don't fly off the dealer's shelves, so the higher price may be justifiable.
Another option is compact fluorescent (spiral) bulbs. They work just as well as tubes (I get printing times in the 5-8 minute range). The downside of spirals is that to get even lighting, you need to either increase the number of lamps (moving them closer together) or else you need to increase the spacing between the bulbs and the surface of the contact printer. I found a recommendation somewhere on the web to space the bulbs on 6" centers, and then allow 6" between the bottom of the bulb and the top of the printing frame. That works (I can't detect any unevenness in my prints), but the result is that the box is probably taller than it would have to be with 18" tubes. I found BLB spirals on several lighting specialty websites (see http://www.bulbman.com/index.php?mai...ucts_id=13846). I ended up choosing spirals because they are self-contained and don't require a separate ballast and starter, so the end produce cost a bit less and was less complicated to build.
yeah, i have 8" height to work with.. i've seen the Ultra-Mini blacklight spirals around but still wouldn't have enough space with them. The BLB's seem to be the most available, strangely enough the 24" are the same price as the 18". I'm also waiting to hear back on a pet store about the pricing of 12 super actinic bulbs.
i did some more searching, and there seems to be a lot of useful information in this thread about different types of tubes:
Last edited by krisbfunk; 03-20-2007 at 02:53 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Krisbfunk -- I am in Toronto. I ended up building my light box out of NOMA spiral compact fluorescent BLBs (six of 'em) which I bought for $6 a piece at Canadian Tire. They're working well for me so far. Home Depot around here sells a few regular BLB tubes, though not too many sizes. Another seller I came across was http://www.saverpluslighting.com/ -- the site looks a bit dodgy, but if you call them they're reasonable.
I just finished building a 36" x 24" box with ten lights. If foresight had been available, I would have made a 4' box as I searched every source I could find and the 36" bulbs are a rare breed. Sylvania even emailed me about those not being produced any more.
The first source listed is awesome. You have to call, and be sure to ask for
Doug (I think). Very knowledgable. They do have the super actinic in my length for abut $12.50 USD.
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