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Question asked 2016-11-20 17:09:09 ...
Most recent comment 2016-11-20 17:39:00
Studio Tools and Tips
I'm now painting in a basement studio and the light is terrible. I bought white 5500Kelvin bulbs but to my dismay they look bluish... which are your favourite brands of white light bulbs? It can be any type of light bulb, as I can fit both halogen and fluorescent. Thanks.
Answers and Comments
With lighting things can get more complicated when you are trying to compare your output to natural daylight. You should also check the CRI of your current bulbs as well...I will include below a breakdown of what these individual terms mean for those that may be less aware:
In lighting, the term color temperature, which is measured by the unit Kelvin, is used to describe the appearance of a light source. In general, lighting above 4000K is considered cool and is often bluer in appearance, while lighting below 3200K is warm and appears more yellow. Some artists choose to work at or around a color temperature range of 5000–6000K, a range that is often similar to natural light. It is important to note that the Color Rendering Index (CRI) and color temperature of a lighting source are closely related. For example, a bulb with a color temperature ranging between 5000–6000K cannot be compared to natural light unless the CRI of the lighting source is above 90.
Color Rendering Index
The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a method for describing the effect of a light on the color of an object. Knowing the CRI of lamps and other light sources can be useful when comparing different light sources for inpainting. The CRI can distinguish between light sources that emit the same “color” of light. The higher the CRI of lamps with color temperatures of 5000–6000K, the better objects appear compared to natural/window light and the outdoors. I will let our "resident" photographer on our moderating staff weigh in on specific brands....
EditDeleteModerator AnswerAs a studio photographer my requirements for lighting are specific to photographic reproduction. The principles Kristin touches on are quite valid. The Gallery environment you are presenting your work in may be warmer than daylight and may drive the color temperature you choose lower than the 5500 degree Kelvin range. Manufacturers are not necessarily putting out as consistent a product as you hope and there can be variations even within the same bulb model at the lower price points. LED lighting is also starting to get quite good but many are less expensive and have very poor light color. The fixture the bulb is going in also can shift the color. I am sure your eyes are the driving force of your dissatisfaction with the cool appearance. I'm hesitant to mention any particular product but would recommend going with a product that provides the CRI index and color temperature ratings for their bulbs. It's a good starting point and may require some trial an error on your part to find the right balance for your work. Photographic suppliers usually carry bulbs and can provide the manufacturers specifications to guide your purchase.
EditDeleteModerator AnswerThere is not really a museum "standard" for lighting...this is the reason behind so many conferences and papers that address the topic. What it comes down to for any museum is budget and what they (curators, conservators, exhibition designers, etc.) feel is the most comfortable, appropriate, and safe condition for viewing a given artwork. Contemporary works might be viewed at a higher color temperature while more "traditional" works might be viewed at a lower one. If you have information relating to your painting's final lighting condition that is always optimal....but not always possible. You can always set up a combination of halogen, tungsten, LED, and/or fluorescent bulbs to play around with your desired color temperature but try to AVOID changing the light during painting....this can result in problems with color matching throughout the painting process. Again, be sure to try and check for the CRI rating on any bulb you buy because in the end this very well could cause an unexpected (and difficult to avoid) shift in color and appearance no matter what the resultant color temperature.
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