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Thread: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

  1. #111

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    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    I am coming into this discussion at a late date,and I am glad I didn't see it years ago and get tempted to build a new UV box with LED's..
    About 1990 I built a box with 10 - BL bulbs. It has functioned well ever since and I have never replaced a bulb. There are 10 bulbs as close together as I could get them. A muffin fan cools the unit. My exposure times are about 2-3 times longer than the same print in the bright Southern Cal sun. I also have a NUArc, but i prefer the BL tubes. They are economical and do not heat up my darkroom as the NuArc would if I had it in the same 100sg.ft space.
    My tubes are approximately 1.75" above my negatives.
    Several years ago an experiment was performed by Judy Siegel publisher ofthe "The World Journal of Post Factory Photography". She was attempting to discover if the output of fluorescent tubes was evenly distributed. She blacked out every other tube in her UV box. Of course the exposure times were longer, but not doubled. There was no banding. Then she laid the printing package directly on the tubes. Still no banding. Why is this important?
    Because it shows that fluorescent tubes are so diffuse they will expose our prints evenly with no banding even under unusual circumstances.
    Until LED's can match the diffusion, UV output, long life-span and other qualities of BL tubes, I'll stay with what I have. AS I am now nearing 91, I don't expect to see it.

  2. #112
    Mr
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    1

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    This is an eye openner for me. Thanks for sharing

  3. #113

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    Amazing skills in DIY Perks's video......!!

  4. #114
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    From Tim Layton Blog

    How I Updated My UV Fluorescent Printer For Platinum Printing With LED Lights

    Thank you Tim!

    I ordered them 3/16/2020 and have used that brand LED white light in my shed for over a year.

    Maybe I get them Saturday, as Amazon is now prioritizing food and medical...
    sin eater

  5. #115

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    100

    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    A little over a year ago I built a UV unit with three strings (90ft IIRC) of non coated strip LEDs I picked up off Amazon. It took a lot of soldering which was a pain, but the light is super bright. I get exposure times of around 90-120 seconds for Canon pigment negs on Cyanotype. I don't know if the UV will expose Platinum, but I have no interest in Platinum printing so iron based is just fine. I think the total cost was well under $150. If I went back and did it again, I'd probably make it slightly larger. IIRC the light is about 16x23ish in size. I put four computer fans in the end and they move quite a bit of air through it. I also made it pretty thin. All in all it was worth doing. I don't know why anyone would use FL bulbs anymore with LEDs that are so superior, at least for iron based stuff. With the strip lights you can make one any size you want. Want a ten foot one and you have the money? No problemo...

  6. #116

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    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    I agree with Sandy. I built my box using BL's about 25 years ago. None have needed to be replaced. Printing times are fast enough. I also have a NuArc, which although faster by about 3/4 stop, rarely produces as nice a finished product, print, as my old fluorescents. I keep reading about LED's but in the end say, "Why bother? I'm Used to what I have and it serves me well."

  7. #117
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    Jim, I understand

    I am starting from scratch at age 70

    I have a NuArc Vacuum frame and pump that holds 16X20 tightly, if it had come with the lamp, things would be different
    sin eater

  8. #118

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    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    ANother advantage in favor of fluorescent is the evenness of the output. without adding any kind of diffusion material the output is so diffused that even if a tube should happen to fail no banding would be evident in the print. In one issue of "The World Journal of Post FActory Photography" Judy Siegel reported on an experiment during which she blacked out every other Fluo tube with black tape. She laid her print directly on the bank of tubes and the resulting prints showed no banding.
    It is hard to beat that kind of evenness of exposure.

  9. #119
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    Tim Layton also did that and agrees

    The LED Tubes are coming regardless and now paid for

    I will check and report
    sin eater

  10. #120
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: LED UV Light Box: Build Your Own for Under $150

    Amazon just delivered 3 packs of 4 Barrina UV LED Blacklight Bar, 9W 2ft, T5 Integrated Bulb

    I will use 10 and keep 2 for spares, low heat, no fan planned at this time

    Now in decontamination chamber for 24 hours
    sin eater

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