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  1. #1

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    Homemade UV box - What color lining??

    I am making a plywood box to hold a series of UV lights - what color should the interior be? White paint, or should I use aluminum flashing? Or does it matter?

    Thanks -

  2. #2

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    Interesting Question.
    Cabalas makes uv reflective fish lures using "UV Technology" and it seems clear that the reflection of visible light has not much to do with UV relection.
    On the other hand I would be worried about a glare of reflection from flashing.
    After 14 pages of google I have no better idea than a flat surface to promote a diffuse reflaction.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  3. #3

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    I have a uv light box that was made from plywood and coated with white on the interior. I've used it for years to print platinum/palladium with no problems. The clearance between the bulbs and the printing frame is approximately three inches. It is ventilated and has a fan.
    jeffreyg

  4. #4

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    Assuming that you are using the UV light for something like platinum printing - I'm not an engineer or anyone who is an expert on UV light, but from what I've been told, UV light that your images are sensitive to does not go around corners or reflect off surfaces - it has to be direct exposure. Case in point - when you stand in the shade out doors, is it possible to get sun burned from the sun reflecting off other surfaces? Given that, it shouldn't matter what the interior of your light box is. If you use a white or reflective surface coating, it may look brighter to your eye, but your image may not be sensitive to that extra light (different wavelength). Maybe there are some more experienced people here who can either confirm my understanding or correct it with more accurate information.

  5. #5
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    I must admit that when I built my UV lightbox I was feeling lazy and just left the inside as plain wood. It's always worked

  6. #6
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    Do *not* use bare metals, they have very high reflectance into the UV. A black matte surface is likely the best choice, but.. just about anything would be better than bare metal.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  7. #7
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Dozer View Post
    Assuming that you are using the UV light for something like platinum printing - I'm not an engineer or anyone who is an expert on UV light, but from what I've been told, UV light that your images are sensitive to does not go around corners or reflect off surfaces - it has to be direct exposure. Case in point - when you stand in the shade out doors, is it possible to get sun burned from the sun reflecting off other surfaces? Given that, it shouldn't matter what the interior of your light box is. If you use a white or reflective surface coating, it may look brighter to your eye, but your image may not be sensitive to that extra light (different wavelength). Maybe there are some more experienced people here who can either confirm my understanding or correct it with more accurate information.
    UV absolutely does reflect, as anyone who has been on the Salt Flats out here in shorts but no underwear can attest. My NuArc has a metal reflector, but the unit is a 1k point source and precisely (more or less) designed. For a diffuse source box like you are building I don't think it will make a lot of difference. If you insist, flat white or flat silver might get you a little more energy to the print from bounce as a possible minor exposure enhancer. I highly doubt there is enough energy from any one point to cause trouble with a reflection.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 07-15-2009 at 06:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    Take a look at the the ones from Edwards Engineered Products, at the bottom of the page you will see a photo of one with the door open - the inside is white. From what I recall when I built mine, the general thoughts from what I could find then was paint it white - I used a flat white. As has been mentioned, you want the direct UV, not reflected anyhow.

    Edit:Mr Brunner has a better explaniation...
    Mike C

    Rambles

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the information - I painted the outside white to match the cabinets it will fit into, so I will paint the inside white also.

    UV absolutely does reflect, as anyone who has been on the Salt Flats out here in shorts but no underwear can attest. - I am trying to picture this - (no, maybe I better not) - but, I have to ask - did it (or they) peel??

  10. #10

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    (As you probably already know) Best UV reflector is Aluminum. You'll gain some speed if you line inside the box with aluminum panels...

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