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  1. #1
    Adrian Twiss's Avatar
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    Flourescent lamps

    My darkroom is 10ft by 10ft by 7ft and is lit by 3 large spotlights. The biggest problem is that they put out a lot of heat and also the quality of light is not that good.

    I intend to replace them with 6ft 70 watt fluorescent tubes in a twin light fitting. I was going to opt for daylight tubes with a colour temperature of 6500K. A prismatic diffuser will help bounce the light around a bit. Hopefully they will run a bit cooler as well.

    My main concern is afterglow. My electrician says that tubes have improved over the years and afterglow is no longer a problem.

    Is there anyone out there who has fluorescent tubes fitted in their darkroom and did you have any issues with them?

    Thank you.

    Adrian Twiss

  2. #2

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    I had a set of 4' don't know the wattage but they did glow after I turned them off.Checked for after glow by letting my eye's adjusted to total dark then turned on florescent for a minute while shielding my eye's ,turned off light and open my eye's and there was the glow.There were very old bulbs so do not know how if newer ones glow or not.

  3. #3
    ajmiller's Avatar
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    We had them in our college darkroom and they were wrapped in safelight (red) gel I seem to remember.

    - Tony
    regards,

    Tony

  4. #4

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    Dear Adrian,

    I took out two 8 foot fixtures from my garage 2 years ago because getting the bulbs back and forth (purchase and recycle) became more of a chore than I liked. The bulbs did clearly glow a bit after turning them off, but I don't know if it would have caused a problem. I use CFLs at the moment and have moved my printing into the garage due to some remodeling. No problems noticed but they are a good distance from the printing area. I also worked in a public darkroom that had U-shaped fluorescent fixtures for about a year. Again, the fixtures were a good 10 feet away from the printing area but they caused no noticeable fogging.

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra

  5. #5
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I had a tube in the darkroom at my last house. I don't recall it causing any problems.


    Steve.

  6. #6

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    I use halogen lighting in my darkroom which switches on and off with very minimal afterglow. I'd be concerned about frequent on-off cycling of the fluorescent tubes (Steve Smith may be better qualified to comment here), which in my experience do tend to show an afterglow.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Kershaw; 09-10-2010 at 04:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    climbabout's Avatar
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    Adrian - I have worked in the electrical supply business for close to 35 years and while the ballast and lamp technologies of fluorescent lights have changed over the years, the lamps still emit an afterglow. Even the newer compact fluorescent spiral lamps. I tried some of these recently and have switched back to standard halogen and incandescent. The glow is not noticeable under normal lighting conditions, but you can certainly see it in a darkened room - especially once your eyes have adjusted. The afterglow is not likely to be bright enough to affect photographic paper, but it would probably affect film - to what degree I'm not sure, but why take the chance?
    p.s. - If you absolutely need to use the fluorescents for general illumination - just put another smaller light in the room to use just before you need to handle film and leave the fluorescents off. Thats what I used to do. If the fluorescents have been off for several minutes (10 or 15), the afterglow will be gone.

  8. #8
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    I too have noticed the afterglow in the lamps. Frankly, thinking about how the coating fluorescences I cannot think of a way they could be manufactured that would not afterglow.

    Hold out for LEDs if the heat is unbearable. It is more expensive, but the operating costs are lower to help offset the expense.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  9. #9

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    I once bought a desk lamp that used a circular flourescent tube with a large magnifying glass in the middle, thinking this would be great for examining negatives and contact prints in the darkroom. The afterglow was outrageous. However, I have typical 4' flourescent ceiling fixtures in my darkroom that to my eyes show no afterglow at all.

    Regards,

    Dave

  10. #10

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    Adrian, I'm just curious why you have so much illumination in your darkroom. Are you judging test strips and you want more even light for it?

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