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  1. #1
    ChrisW's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    LED Safelights, Yet Again

    Am I correct in assuming that an LED safelight emitting a wavelength of 660nm is safe for exposed and unexposed papers with a sensitivity of close to 660? I installed a LEDTronics BSD 1260 001AW red safelight and proceeded to expose Ilford MG IVRC to the source at full power. I used both exposed and unexposed paper. The distance from the safelight was FOUR INCHES. For FOUR MINUTES. Nothing.

    The MG IV sensitivity is around 560-580nm. Am I safe with other papers up to, say 640? If this is the case, these lights are valuable additions to the darkroom Yes they may cost 150 clams, but they last forever. Well, not forever, but 100,000 hours. That's over 11 years. And the light is unbelievable. Forget about indirect off the wall or ceiling. These can go direct. A non swiveling version costs $95, with a discount for volume.

    Am I missing something here? Is there a glaring flaw in my sophomoric enthusiasm?

  2. #2

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    No you're not missing anything. LEDs can make great safelights as they can be designed to cut off sharply and supply only the desired wavelength of light and nothing else. They last practically forever, use very little electricity, and make no noise.

    You can buy cheaper ones than the one you bought. Look at: www.optiled.biz - the Festival model is about $30 and screws into a standard American household socket.

    I read that someone was selling them on eBay. I bought mine direct. Its great to have a super bright and super safe darkroom.

  3. #3
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    I use amber LEDS at around 590nm and checked the papers I use: Ilford MGIV-alltypes & Kentmere Fineprint in the darkroom, and checked specs for Agfa and several other Kentmere papers and all fall off a long way before reaching 590nm. Most seem to drop off rapidly above 530nm-540nm or so.

    At 590nm I have over 15 minutes under my DIY safelight with it just bright enough to read my handwritten notes. I gave up testing at 15 mins 'cos I'll never have the paper out that long & I usually run it at a lower brightness as it gets difficult to dodge/burn if it's too bright... Your 4 inches for 4 minutes will fog at this amber wavelength however - IIRC it was 5 or 6 minutes at 0.5 metre when I tested it up close and personal, but I was only messing about and didn't make any notes...

    So, running at 660n (too red for my tastes!) should be fine with anything except some special papers such as the now defunct ones intended to make B&W prints from colour negatives which have the necessary extended colour response.

    Have fun, Bob.

  4. #4
    ChrisW's Avatar
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    Thanks Henry and Bob. I bought that lot of 50 on eBay. Should cover me for the rest of my life.

  5. #5

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    LEDtronics lights FS

    Sorry I am late to the LED post party. I listed a bunch of the RED LED's here on APUG a few months back. I still have a few left. I was selling them for $15 each, with a discount for more. Let me know if anyone is interested.



 

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