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Thread: Safe light material in rolls?

  1. #1

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    Safe light material in rolls?

    In my quest to make my basement suitable for enlarging without major construction or too much of a pita I thought about light weight film that works the same way as safe lights. Is it possible to buy safe light type film that could be cut to cover small windows in a basement that can easily be put up and taken down at will? My windows are a little difficult to access so I want it as quick as possible and I don't want them to be permanently blocked.

  2. #2

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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    The problem with filtering a window is that the light outside is pretty bright. A good OC filter still only can handle a 15W bulb... I'd look for other solutions to darken the window.

    A piece of foam-core board, cut to fit your window frame, with some dark plastic sheeting for "wings" on the edges to block light around the edges worked for me for a long time.

    Best,

    Doremus

  3. #3
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    Way back when Rubylith was the go to material for diy safelights. Ive seen it dropped into the diffusers of overhead flourescent units and put in to old safelight units with damaged filters. I built my own safelight with it one time for a small darkroom in my first house I bought. I still have a very old roll of the stuff, doubt its any good for its original purpose for cutting masks for platemaking.

  4. #4
    Matt Alexander
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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    I covered an existing window in my darkroom space with foam insulation board with a integrated foil backing. 100% light blocking, It cuts easily, deforms enough to make tight seals on the edges and is easily removed. It's only a few dollars for 4x8 sheet at your local big box home center.
    The foil backed foam also makes for a great bounce card for studio lighting.

  5. #5
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Beasley View Post
    Way back when Rubylith was the go to material for diy safelights. Ive seen it dropped into the diffusers of overhead flourescent units and put in to old safelight units with damaged filters. I built my own safelight with it one time for a small darkroom in my first house I bought. I still have a very old roll of the stuff, doubt its any good for its original purpose for cutting masks for platemaking.
    I've seen Rubylith that had faded in such an application over a long time.

  6. #6
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    I've seen Rubylith that had faded in such an application over a long time.
    No doubt, but seeing that the stuff was readily available back then it was pretty simple to rip it off and put a new sheet back in. I usually used a double layer.

  7. #7

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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    As an ex-printer I can tell you that the rubylith is worthless for it's original purpose. It won't peel any more. The 2 layers are permanently stuck together. It will only peel off in teeny little pieces.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Beasley View Post
    Way back when Rubylith was the go to material for diy safelights. Ive seen it dropped into the diffusers of overhead flourescent units and put in to old safelight units with damaged filters. I built my own safelight with it one time for a small darkroom in my first house I bought. I still have a very old roll of the stuff, doubt its any good for its original purpose for cutting masks for platemaking.
    Last edited by HT Finley; 23-Mar-2018 at 18:09.

  8. #8

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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    Turkey foil* is light-proof and heat-reflective, fixed to glass window-panes on the inside. I have seen that being used very effectively in a converted-workshop darkroom in Istanbul, where it was keeping the room dark and fairly cool -- certainly cooller than the more usual black polythene sheet or black paint.

    *By which I don't mean turkeys rolled in to very thin sheets, of course . . .

  9. #9

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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    Aluminum foil works and is cheap...

    Steve K

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Safe light material in rolls?

    Good question! Been there.

    I am a lot happier since I quit trying to safe light the two windows in my darkroom. Thick black plastic did not work for blocking light - it just created solar heated surfaces that caused the plastic to sag and deteriorate.

    What worked is simple household aluminum foil (outside surface) over common construction foam sheets. Twenty years and still good.

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