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Thread: Safelight Bulbs

  1. #11

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    I've two round plastic Yankee SL-3s. One has a 7.5
    and the other a 15 watt. I think there is a 5 watt some
    where about. I double filter and use low wattage for
    tight area lighting. Dan

  2. #12
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    15 W bulbs sometimes show up in household goods departments. That's where I had to buy mine. Hardware stores should have 7.5 W bulbs, but they are ridiculously expensive. Low wattage incandescent bulbs are fragile. In safelights I use little bulb savers, which are a diode mounted in a disc that fits on the bottom of the bulb and cuts the voltage down to half. It cuts the light down too, but mostly in the blue end of the spectrum that the safelight filter blocks anyhow. The bulbs last almost forever on half voltage.

  3. #13
    geauxpez's Avatar
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    Good to know Jim. Where would one find something like that?

  4. #14
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    I have installed LED safelights in my darkroom and they work great. So far I've only used the red ones, so don't know about the amber, but I have very bright (relatively speaking) safelights and have been totally unable to detect any fogging in my safelight tests.

    I also have one of the old safelights that takes a 15W bulb. The bulb was burned out, so I got an extra red LED bulb and took off the front amber filter from the safelight. It works well, and is as bright or slightly brighter than the safelight with a normal bulb. The LED bulb draws 3W.

    Happy Thursday.

  5. #15

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    I too, use LEDs. They work great. No fogging at 10 minutes. I built my own with the help of a friend. It runs on a pair of D-cells and they last about a year.

    We're currently working on a second model. Considering marketing it commercially if there's a demand.

  6. #16

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    Exceeding the designed light output in a safelight is going to have a few effects in the longer term. If it is incandescent then the heat can damage the fixtures. The greater light output will not be as safe at usual distances. Finally the stronger lamp will accellerate the fading of the filter. None of these may be immediately apparent.

    I have been running a couple of old UK Paterson safelights on US voltage with the original bulbs for a few years now. Dim, but usable with the orange dome. I recently converted one to use a candelabra bulb of matching wattage at US voltage. Much brighter, and replacements are readily available at the local hardware store. I can use the red dome now 8-) Personally, I like as much (but no more) 'safe' light as the process and timings will permit.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  7. #17
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    . . . In safelights I use little bulb savers, which are a diode mounted in a disc that fits on the bottom of the bulb and cuts the voltage down to half. It cuts the light down too, but mostly in the blue end of the spectrum that the safelight filter blocks anyhow. The bulbs last almost forever on half voltage.
    I believe the last of my bulb savers came from a hardware store.

  8. #18
    geauxpez's Avatar
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    Thanks again guys. I was unable to find 15w bulbs at Home Depot, but a small local hardware store had them -- 3.99 for 2. I have rigged a bracket for my light housing to point it towrd the ceiling & disperse the light a bit more.

    Taking a hint from Justin (above), I may tinker with making an LED safelight. Costs too much otherwise.

  9. #19
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones
    I use little bulb savers, which are a diode mounted in a disc that fits on the bottom of the bulb and cuts the voltage down to half. It cuts the light down too, but mostly in the blue end of the spectrum that the safelight filter blocks anyhow. The bulbs last almost forever on half voltage.

    Another option for half voltage is to run two identical lamps in series. Or if a 230 volt lamp is available in the US (or could be ordered from UK or Europe), run it on 110 volts.

    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  10. #20
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith
    Another option for half voltage is to run two identical lamps in series. Or if a 230 volt lamp is available in the US (or could be ordered from UK or Europe), run it on 110 volts.

    Steve.
    Great idea. One way of doing this is to assemble a power cord, an outlet box, and a duplex outlet with the outlets connected in series. I have a 40W and 60W lamp in series for a night light. The 40W lamps last for several years of continuous use. I don't expect to ever have to replace the 60W lamp, which emits very little light.

    For anyone with modest electrical ability, a diode can be hardwired into a safelight fixture to halve the voltage. This is much cheaper than the lamp savers I usually use. My main safelight is controlled by a dimmer, which is even better.

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