James,

There is a very useful link for this here:

http://www.eepjon.com/ubldit.htm

They have basically complete directions for building a UV light unit. I recommend you also check out the links they have, as they list sources for the lamps you will want to get.

They recommend the correct lamps in the article, which are known as blacklight lamps (or BL in the lamp code). There are others that will work, including blacklight-blue (BLB), which are the traditional lamps used for lighting blacklight posters, etc. These are not as efficient, and will probably cost more, so I don't recommend them.

Make sure you build the light big enough to accommodate the largest size print you reasonably expect to print in the future. You don't want to have to do it again if you get an 11x14 camera. I strongly recommend you give yourself at least 6" of lamps beyond the end of the print in all directions. If you don't you will have uniformity problems at the edges.

If there are Grainger stores in Canada, you will be able to get everything you need from them, including lamps, ballasts, sockets, switches, etc. You'll have to order online, as none of the stores will carry the lamps.

There is a bit of misinformation out there about the speed of the printer. With the FL tube bank, the speed is primarily dictated byt the lamp type, and then the lamp spacing. It is best to have them spaced the absolute minimum you need to get the lamps installed, and not have any gaps between them, other than a fraction of an inch. As long as you build the bank large enough, the distance between the lamps and the print will not affect the printing time much, within reason.


---Michael