Fluorescent light for a darkroom?

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Dali

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Hi there,

I use part of my basement as a darkroom and fluorescent light bulb are installed there. I noticed that once turned off, they still emit some light as I can see them slightly glowing in the dark (no, they are not Leica bulbs!).

Question: Do you think that this residual light is strong enough to have an impact on paper when I expose it under the enlarger?

Of course, I could test myself but I wonder if others faced a similar concern... Thanks!
 

glbeas

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Ive worked in enough darkrooms with flourescents and even the led replacement bulbs afterglow. You just need to wait a bit before pulling out the paper after shutting off the white light. I do have an incadescent inspection light over the sink table for the prints so I dont worry about the wait time. I find the time spent fiddling with the enlarger is enough for any glow to die out.
 

Ian Grant

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I have one fluorescent light in my darkroom, then tungsten halide spot-lights two sets of three bulbs set to key areas.

The fluorescent light gets uses only when I'm not printing, but soon I'll replace it with an equivalent LED. Most of our house lighting is now LED and a perfect match for the odd tungsten halide or older bulbs that are still OK despite their short life span.

The LED replacements for long tube fluorescents are now quite cheap, I'm about to change. Early LED bulbs were awful, current ones are no different tomwhat we were using before :D

Ian
 

Sirius Glass

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If you are printing, you will have to learn to be patient while the fluorescent lights fade to dark.
 

btaylor

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I read so many opinions about this. Some people swear up and down about how the afterglow of fluorescents will fog paper and film. I've never seen a problem in my darkroom. And paper is a lot less sensitive than film.

I do like the idea of switching over to some high CRI LEDs though.
 

Nodda Duma

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Short answer: yes. Enough to fog my ASA 2 plates (which is slower than paper). After discovering that, I replaced mine with LED utility lights from Costco which have no afterglow.
 

Fujicaman1957

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Swap out the tubes for the LED replacements...LEDS will have an "afterglow" but it's gone in 5-6 seconds. I've seen fluorescents have an "afterglow" for as long as 90- seconds after they're switched off.
 

eddie

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Fluorescents emit light even longer than our eyes can pick up the afterglow. The best habit is to turn them off long before you start working with light sensitive materials. I wait about 10 minutes after turning them off to start anything. Probably more than necessary, though...
 

mshchem

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fluorescent lamp, or fluorescent tube, is a low-pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge lamp that uses fluorescence to produce visible light. An electric current in the gas excites mercury vapor, which produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the lamp to glow.

I have these in my darkroom without problems. I will replace as needed with LEDS . Freaking Mercury. I got rid of all my old lab thermometers years ago. You spill mercury or break a CFL the Mercury will vaporize. Bad news especially for babies and their mommies.
 

fjpod

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I have a double tube four foot fluorescent within six feet of where I print and develop. I turn it off, focus my enlarger, align my easel, take out my paper and shoot, then tray develop. Never had a problem.
 

Vaughn

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Do a test. Slightly expose a small piece of your photopaper. Put it on a counter or other working surface you use. Put a quarter in the middle of it, cover all of it and turn on the fluorescents and get them warmed up. Turn them off (and any safe lights), uncover the exposed sheet of paper with the quarter on it, then develop it after a couple minutes. If you see any outline of the quarter on the paper, then the fluorescents are having an effect.

There are so many factors that testing ones own conditions/lights/paper/chemicals is important.

Probably would be good to do the same thing with a sheet of film -- but one could probably skip the pre-exposure.
 

Pieter12

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Do compact fluorescents (CFL) have an after-glow too? I have never noticed it, but now I am going to have to check it out. I have a couple in th ceiling of my garage darkroom.
 

Vaughn

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Do compact fluorescents (CFL) have an after-glow too? I have never noticed it, but now I am going to have to check it out. I have a couple in th ceiling of my garage darkroom.
definitely
 

Old-N-Feeble

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I would either replace the complete fixtures, or just use LED replacement tubes in the existing ones.
 

DREW WILEY

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Some fluorescent tubes take longer to dissipate the afterglow than others. No big deal. Just don't be in a rush, esp if high speed film is being handled or developed in the same room. I find LED's and CFL's simply awful for my eyes, as well as ordinary cheapo fluorescents to a lesser extent. Anyway, CFL's are an interim technology and largely a scam. Most of them are so cheaply made that they don't last even as long as the tungsten bulbs they're intended to replace. And it's a proven fact that this new e-lighting is a health hazard playing voodoo with our eyes, esp if you combine it with the blue effect of computer and cellphone screens (specially tinted "computer glasses" help).
 

Ian Grant

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Drew, here in the UK/EU we have to use low energy bulbs now. I'll agree the CFL,lamps were awful but they've largely disappeared, they were replaced by tunsten halide with a supposed "long" life I found they lasted no longer than the original tungsten incandescent bulbs.Now it's LEDs and my experience is they are excellent, having said that though the early ones were awful, there were some in the kitchen of my new house when I bought to 4 years ago they are still there but only down lights under cupboards.

As bulbs blow in my house they get replaced by LEDs and I've a ceiling rose in the kitchen that has initially plain tungsten butbasnthwynblew tungsten halide, now tungsten halide and two LED bulbs and no-one can tell which is which. I had this discussion with a neighbour and he couldn't spot which was the LED.

It's rapidly improving technology and at last a good replacement for the old tungsten filament bulbs, and at last longer life and very much lower energy use.

Ian
 

RalphLambrecht

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Hi there,

I use part of my basement as a darkroom and fluorescent light bulb are installed there. I noticed that once turned off, they still emit some light as I can see them slightly glowing in the dark (no, they are not Leica bulbs!).

Question: Do you think that this residual light is strong enough to have an impact on paper when I expose it under the enlarger?

Of course, I could test myself but I wonder if others faced a similar concern... Thanks!
the afterglow of fluorescent bulbs is too dim to do any harm to film or paper from a distance of two or more feet.the real harm of these bulbs is,ehen used for print evaluation, they trick you in believing the print is brighter than it really is; the next morning, the prints that looked fine the previous night are now all dull looking! I suggest no brighter than a 100W incandescent bulb from a few feet for print evaluation; print evaluation should be done under conditions similar to final viewing conditions.
 

jvo

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i had fluorescent bulbs in my first darkroom... i never had a problem although i ALWAYS turned them off and waited ~5 minutes before dealing with any light sensitive material.

I always viewed prints with incandescent bulbs at the time, not knowing why the prints were unsatisfactory when viewed under fluorescent - thanks Ralph.
 
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