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Thread: LED darkroom bulbs?

  1. #1

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    LED darkroom bulbs?

    I was just getting ready to order a new red darkroom bulb and saw that there are a lot of red LED bulbs coming up in search results. Is anyone using one of these? Just wondering if they are equally safe compared to a standard darkroom bulb. Most of the bulbs in our house are these newer LED bulbs because they supposedly last twenty-somthing years so if the red versions are darkroom compatible Iíll grab one of them. Anyone using one and can confirm they work safely?

  2. #2

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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragomeni View Post
    I was just getting ready to order a new red darkroom bulb and saw that there are a lot of red LED bulbs coming up in search results. Is anyone using one of these? Just wondering if they are equally safe compared to a standard darkroom bulb. Most of the bulbs in our house are these newer LED bulbs because they supposedly last twenty-somthing years so if the red versions are darkroom compatible Iíll grab one of them. Anyone using one and can confirm they work safely?
    Many folks here and over at Photrio use the red lamps from SuperBright LEDs, either the strips or single bulbs. I much prefer amber and have found that the little S11 globe bulb is one very bright 2-watt light -- enough that I prefer to dim it with diffusion for use. Ilford VC paper has tested fine for 5 minutes with it in my darkroom. In order to use Fomatone warmtone paper, it is necessary to aim the lights ("bullet"-style Kodak housings) away from the work area. It's a bit dim but I just don't like red light; it gives me a headache.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  3. #3
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    I am suspicious of red LED bulbs, whether they are allowing me max contrast from Ilford VC papers. I use purpose-made amber LED fixture and a pretty ordinary safelight from Freestyle that I have refitted with a Kodak amber filter. Plenty of light in my darkroom, and it has passed the Kodak safelight test.

  4. #4

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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    I use a short string of red LED Christmas lights I bought on clearance a few years ago.
    I tested them of course, and no problems presented themselves.
    They do make the place look rather festive!
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  5. #5

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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    Red leds work magnificently; some straight out of the box,and some require additional filtering with e.g. rubylith to cut put the secondary green/yellow emissions. I've been using cheap Chinese strips this way for years. Lots of (red) light to comfortably work with; it's absolutely refreshing after having worked under the old style very dim darkroom conditions that used to be normal. There's no going back for me. Currently working on the light setup of my new darkroom, which of course will also be all led.

  6. #6

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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    Just paint a 3w 4000k led bulb with 2 or 3 coats of red car brake spray Paint... It works

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    Test, test, test. I don't take anything for granted.

  8. #8
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Test, test, test. I don't take anything for granted.
    I can't agree more. It is amazing that folks are willing to risk hours of darkroom work for the sake of saving a few bucks on an iffy safelight.

  9. #9

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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    Testing would be the only way to know that works...
    Tested with multigrade, foma vc and adox, fogged up to no density and then adding up to ten minutes of safelight... No density...

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: LED darkroom bulbs?

    and don't expect miracles

    I bounce my LED safelights off a 10 foot ceiling and only use them for paper and X-Ray for seconds

    Never for 10 minutes!

    I use paper safes also as X-Ray safes, especially if cutting it down

    I am testing KODAK GBX-2 Medical X-Ray Filter safe lamps in OE KODAK Bullet fixtures

    soon

    I also have my shooting studio setup with RED LED

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