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  1. #1

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    LED red/amber bulbs for safelights?

    I am getting together equipment for a makeshift darkroom. These days red or orange LEDs are probably better (and cheaper) than safelights.

    Anybody has current recommendations? I haven't seen recent posts about this.

    There are plenty of cheap red LED bulbs for decorative lighting, but I am not sure about the wavelength. I know OptiLED red and amber reportedly work well, but these are among the most expensive. They are also too bright, a 1W LED should be enough.

  2. #2
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imush View Post
    Anybody has current recommendations? I haven't seen recent posts about this.
    There have been a couple of threads about this recently.

    I think that generally the red LEDs are so far away from the sensitivity of the paper that they are o.k. Orange and amber may require some testing.


    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.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    There have been a couple of threads about this recently.

    I think that generally the red LEDs are so far away from the sensitivity of the paper that they are o.k. Orange and amber may require some testing.


    Steve.
    Maplins sell mains voltage LED lamps rated at 1.8 watts. Problem is they are on a GU10 fitting and so far as I can find you can't get a bayonet to GU10 adapter to allow easy fitting to a bayonet socket. So I bodged a couple onto old bayonet fittings (don't think you can get them now either) and put them in my 2 Kodak Beehives. Didn't have the nerve to do without the orange filters already there so I put them back in. Gives a more directional light which I have tested and found safe with max-flashed Ilford MG paper for 10 minutes on the enlarger baseboard, about 6 feet from the nearest beehive.
    Maplins used to quote a wavelength for these lamps which come in several colours but I notice in my latest catalogue, now a year old, that they no longer do, though they do for other LEDs.
    Richard

  4. #4
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    I would ismply put some up and run a test on a sheet of paper to see what kind of fogging you will get. Best way to be sure.

    Sorry, in answer, I do not use LED's, just a cheap Freestyle safelight.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
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    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath View Post
    I would ismply put some up and run a test on a sheet of paper to see what kind of fogging you will get. Best way to be sure.

    Sorry, in answer, I do not use LED's, just a cheap Freestyle safelight.
    Yes, I was looking at the traditional safelights, but then thought that there is no longer a good reason to buy them: LEDs should be much better (if the wavelength is right), cheaper, and compact than filtered light from incandescent bulbs.

  6. #6

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    Sorry I didn't make clear, it was orange LEDs that I put in the beehives.
    Richard

  7. #7

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    Look the datasheet for Luxeon Rebel Red-Orange LEDs. They are quite far away from the sensitive range of paper and they have a nicer color closer to Amber instead of Red. I am getting some of them in soon and I will report back on there safety.

  8. #8

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    I called Westinghouse about these:

    http://www.elightbulbs.com/Westingho...LED-Light-Bulb
    http://www.elightbulbs.com/Westingho...LED-Light-Bulb

    and they promised to inquire about the wavelength from the supplier in China and get back to me in a few days.

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    These work well as safelights in standard fixtures, using Ilford MGIV-RC, Kodak Polycontrast RC and, IIRC, Oriental RC:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5136

    They are bright and operate without much heat. They are also very inexpensive and are shipped quickly. My only problem is that they don't pack them all that well.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #10
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Here's a link to an APUG thread regarding LEDs and darkroom safelights.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/8...pplicaton.html

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