LED Safelight

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Pieter12

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So my sodium safelight stopped working. I hope it is the ballast and not the bulb. I was scrambling to put together a makeshift safelight in the meantime, and think I may have come up with something better. I had a 12" undercounter LED strip that I was using as a white light near the enlarger. I wrapped it in 2 layers of rubylith film taped up with gaffer tape, clamped it under a shelf about 3-1/2 to 4 ft above the wet area and performed the Kodak safelight test. No problem. It is much brighter than what I had been using and has worked like a charm so far. I guess I could add a few more layers of rubylith or ND gel to be on the safe(r) side. I took some pictures, but the iPhone wants to correct the light to white, doesn't show the color well.
IMG_0595.jpg IMG_0596.jpg IMG_0597.jpg
 

RalphLambrecht

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So my sodium safelight stopped working. I hope it is the ballast and not the bulb. I was scrambling to put together a makeshift safelight in the meantime, and think I may have come up with something better. I had a 12" undercounter LED strip that I was using as a white light near the enlarger. I wrapped it in 2 layers of rubylith film taped up with gaffer tape, clamped it under a shelf about 3-1/2 to 4 ft above the wet area and performed the Kodak safelight test. No problem. It is much brighter than what I had been using and has worked like a charm so far. I guess I could add a few more layers of rubylith or ND gel to be on the safe(r) side. I took some pictures, but the iPhone wants to correct the light to white, doesn't show the color well.
View attachment 207054 View attachment 207055 View attachment 207056
great; when do you go into mass production?
 

DREW WILEY

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Ralph - you missed my point, or perhaps I did not adequately explain it. Accidental fogging while the paper is in transit from one spot to another is more likely to show on the borders because that is the specific area covered by the easel blades during deliberate exposure. Colorhead control lights are generally not "seen" by the paper while it is in the easel, but might be at some other point in the operation. A lot of these arguments hinge on someone assuming everyone's workflow, format,
and equipment are analogous to their own, resulting in generic advice which simply doesn't apply to all circumstances. As paper gets bigger, accidental fogging in transit gets riskier too. With small sizes, one can often place the paper safe on the enlarger baseboard itself, minimizing risk. Of course, for a more critical test, one could simply pre-fog a whole sheet of paper to the threshold point of density, then overdevelop it. I've done that.
 

Wayne

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Yup. Whoever discovered those bulbs needs to be given a special award.

I cover mine with rubylith just to be sure, and they give a perfect red light that way.

It was someone on the Large Format Forum named Randy, I believe.

I have some red ones; I believe I've read the amber ones are not safe for darkroom work but it might be another amber one I'm thinking of.
 

Fujicaman1957

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It was Randy Moe over at Large Format Photography Forum. They are cheap and Randy said he checked and they have a very narrow bandwidth with almost zero blue/green output. Since the Kodak 5.5 inch round safelight filters are now $92 new, I took his advice and bought them for my darkroom. They work like a charm and are cheap, last forever and use very little power and don't heat up the darkroom
 

bdial

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I use mixture of old Kodak safe lights with amber filters and a couple of RGB LED strips using just the red channel. I could easily ditch the regular lights, as the LEDs are much brighter and have done fine with the papers I've tested. My original intent in using the RGB strip was to have a single light source for safe lighting and white light. But quality of the white light with all three channels was odd, so I only use it for safe lighting.
 

abruzzi

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Like many members here, I use these LEDs in cheap clamp lights. They're pretty badass, and dirt cheap. Darkroom is crazy-bright now.

I'm curious how you use these? I bought a few of them. Put one in one of those cheap clamp work lights with a metal dome. My bathroom is about 6ftx10ft. I clamped it to the shower wall about 6ft from the enlarger, pointed it away from the enlarger so, with the metal dome, most of the light is reflected off the back wall. It fogged like crazy. Not quite 18% grey in the margins, but no need for a penny, it was clearly dark. The paper was out long enough for me to pull if from the bag, close the bag, place it in the easel, make the exposure and get it in the chemicals, so 60 seconds tops.

EDIT: I'm new to printing, so I don't know what to expect as far as brightness, distance, etc. I replaced these with an old safelight that came with the enlarger I bought, and the fig went away (as well as my ability to see anything in the dark room, but thats a different issue)
 

CMoore

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Did you use THOSE lights, or something similar.?
I have read Countless reviews of these lights by actual users and nobody (including myself) has had a problem.
I did testing for 10 Minutes under these lights, after which i could see no Fogging/Graying at all.
So i have no idea what is wrong. But the other members have WAY More knowledge than i do. :smile:
Good Luck
 

abruzzi

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those exact lights in red, purchased from that exact page, purchased about 2-3 months ago. Maybe they changed parts in the manufacture, and new ones don't meet the same spec?

EDIT: is it possible that the metal hood is changing the frequency of the light as it reflects it? I wouldn't think so, but I remember at the time I purchased reading the top review on that page that sad "giving no fog at less than 1 ft for five minutes with the coin test". So after I saw the fogging, I took a test strip, held it about a foot from the light with my thumb on the middle of the test strip for no more than 30 seconds, and when developed, the area to the either side of my thumb was much darker than 18% grey.

EDIT 2: it just occurred to me, does the color sensitivity of black and white paper change with age? The paper I’m using is old—not sure how old, but probably ~10 years at least.
 
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CMoore

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those exact lights in red, purchased from that exact page, purchased about 2-3 months ago. Maybe they changed parts in the manufacture, and new ones don't meet the same spec?

EDIT: is it possible that the metal hood is changing the frequency of the light as it reflects it? I wouldn't think so, but I remember at the time I purchased reading the top review on that page that sad "giving no fog at less than 1 ft for five minutes with the coin test". So after I saw the fogging, I took a test strip, held it about a foot from the light with my thumb on the middle of the test strip for no more than 30 seconds, and when developed, the area to the either side of my thumb was much darker than 18% grey.

EDIT 2: it just occurred to me, does the color sensitivity of black and white paper change with age? The paper I’m using is old—not sure how old, but probably ~10 years at least.
10 YEARS.? :smile:
Try some new paper.
You certainly cannot believe Every Thing you read. Not sure the benefit of doing a test only One Foot from the light.....what for.?
I did the 10 Minute test in My Darkroom, where the lights are at least 4 feet away, and pointed up.
Who cares what happens when holding the paper 12 Inches form the light.:wondering:
 

abruzzi

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10 YEARS.? :smile:
Try some new paper.
You certainly cannot believe Every Thing you read. Not sure the benefit of doing a test only One Foot from the light.....what for.?
I did the 10 Minute test in My Darkroom, where the lights are at least 4 feet away, and pointed up.
Who cares what happens when holding the paper 12 Inches form the light.:wondering:

I've never done this before, so I'm trying to figure it out. That 10 year old paper has given me perfect prints (well, perfect for a beginner) with the old safelight and is free to practice with while I shake out the problems in my system--unless they are causing problems.

The 1ft test was simply to see if the darkness I had seen on the borders (very noticeable from 5-6 feet) might have been caused by the safe light or something else. Remember these lights weren't built as dark room lights, so is perfectly possible that the manufacturer changed the source of LED they use for manufacture without caring that the "red" in the new LEDs is different than the red in the old LEDs.

I'll try some new paper in a few months, but I'm pretty financially tapped at the moment, so I'll keep using the safelight that is safe for the paper I have. I didn't really think about color sensitivity shifts with old paper, if anything, I expected the older paper to be less sensitive. Is that possible?
 

CMoore

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Man, i do not know.
You would have to ask one of the smart Guys/Gals on The Forum.
Regardless of the paper...( i can EASILY send you 5 pieces of 8x10 if that helps) I cannot help but think that something is "wrong" with the lights.?
Have you tried asking the company.?
Maybe they will send you a few new ones to try.?
It would be, literally, pennies for them to send you 2-3-4-5 lights.
Good Luck
 
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