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Thread: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroom as

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroom as

    Hi guys,

    I am currently renovating and would like your ideas on how to lightproof a window and the door seal. In both cases it needs to be an "on demand" solution, meaning easily applied and removed.

    It would be great to get your ideas and photo examples...

    Cheers,

    Marko

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    In my various darkrooms I have always thrown a towel against the bottom of the door and that's all the door needed. Right now I have one small window for which I cut a tight-fitting piece of cardboard, wrapping it with a black t-shirt for a seal, and that's working well. All of my other darkrooms have been more permanent and I taped thick black construction/contractor's plastic over the windows, but that won't help you in this instance.

    How big are the windows, and do they have sunken frames that you can jam something into easily? If so, I'd find a light and hard material, such as foam insulation, that could be cut to fit and painted, then make a light sealing flange around the edge with black tape.

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    I recently renovated my office. During the renovation I installed a light-tight shade over a glass door. This eliminated the need to put up a wall between my office and connected darkroom space.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4

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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    In my last apartment I had light leaks all around the bathroom door, but was able to turn set up a black backdrop on the outside. It was all I needed.
    In my present house I use the laundry room. If I am in there at night its perfect, however there are cracks all around the door and the sun shines right through. Wedging the ironing board between the door and the washing machine takes care of most of them and makes it less than ideal but still functional. I keep away from the little stray light on the far side and have never noticed any fogging.

  5. #5
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    mdarton's suggestions are all good, in particular the part about filling in the window with white insulating foam sheets - if the window is inset from the wall. Once I made the mistake of taping a black plastic sheet against a recessed double-pane window. Sun shining on the plastic created a hot-house which caused the plastic to sag and tear under its own weight. That would not have been minimized if I had added reflective insulation.

  6. #6
    2 Bit Hack
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    Feb 2014
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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    I have a closet that I can make dark. The door is old cheap and a very poor fit. It leaks light all around the door. I drape a thin mat type blanket over the entire door, working it in around the hinges. There is enough slope in the fit that the door shuts snuggly sealing out the light. I then toss a towel at the bottom. Even after 10 minutes I cannot see light. This is a dry room and is used only to load and unload film. I still have not gotten a wet room blacked out.
    Regards

    Marty

  7. #7
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    I altered a utility room once upon a time in a way that may be useful to you. The sliding window panes were "blacked out" with cheap, black on one side white on the other, mat board (it's best use? ) cut to the pane size and gaffer taped in place inside the frames the advantage being that the window could still be opened when the room was in normal use. I bought a cheap piece of dark, light proof naugahyde from Jo-ann Fabric to draw as a curtain (with rod) over the inside of the closed door. An oversize piece should drape nicely on the floor and around the sides to prevent door crack light infiltration. I used this multi-use space to develop 120 film for years.

  8. #8
    2 Bit Hack
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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    Thanks ROL. That is a start in the right direction for me.
    Regards

    Marty

  9. #9

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    Apr 2012
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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    Can you make a small 3/4" frame around the inside of the window, just far enough away from the window to ensure that any handles/locks are window side of the frame?

    If so, cut a piece of 1/4" or 3/8" Plywood or MDF (or any sheet material) to fit inside the window aperture and butt up against the frame. Depending on the size of the window, drill 8 in no (or more if a large window) 5/16" holes with one in each corner and one between them in the middle of each side, only just go through the plywood and make a mark in the 3/4" frame. Then fit 8 in no 1/4" Hanger Bolts (like these) in each of the marked positions (you will need a couple of 1/4 nuts to fit them without damaging the threads). You will then be able to fit or remove the blackout board by undoing the 8 wing nuts that you also purchased for the job. Fitting a thin layer of self adhesive insulating foam around the frame will also help stop light leaks when the board is snugged up with the wing nuts.

  10. #10

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    Madisonville, LA
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    Re: Removable light proofing method for windows and doors: using your laundry/bathroo

    I used a similar setup to the post above in my first darkroom, except I put the plywood on the outside of the window case opening. Wrapped the plywood with a black felt cloth to keep leaks around the space between the plywood and the wall. A white foamcore board inside the window opening itself would also help. See my post #507 in the link below. L

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...arkroom/page51

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