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lanaballot
06-25-2014, 07:25 PM
Hello everyone!
I was wondering if anyone can recommend better lights for the studio. I looked in the store today and there were different kinds of "daylight" light bulbs - cooler, warmer "mid day" lights, so on.. Not sure what would be the best for the studio. I'd appreciate if anyone can share their experience with that. It looks like I'll be able to paint in my new space only in the evening, so lighting would be extremely important.
Thank you!

robertsloan2
06-26-2014, 12:03 AM
Well, a while back I invested in Daylight lamps. I had a wonderful table lamp for four or five years until the lamp itself broke down irretrievably. It wasn't the bulb but the lamp. The flip top ones still work fine and I brought both of them with me when I moved.

These are like Ott lights but Daylight brand. I found them very true to color and super bright. But I also like the daylight adjusted fluorescent bulbs for normal sockets, those are great and better than the usual incandescent.

Hint, don't paint your studio "Cream." My room here in San Francisco is actually a pale yellow tan, very pale, but it warms the light a lot. The difference between bright white and a tint is enormous. Daylight itself is relatively cool.

However it's good to have some warm lights if you want the painting to look good in an indoor place with an incandescent light. There are many subtleties to choosing lighting. I wound up with the Daylight lamps and am still very happy with them.

Blayne
06-26-2014, 09:50 AM
I go crazy trying to figure out lighting! I bought two daylight fluorescent 48" lights 30 years ago when they first came out and were touted as being like true daylight, and also the clip lamp that holds a round fluorescent bulb and 60 watt incandescent. Paintings always looked different under them but not always in a good way. When a painting was moved to a room with typical household lighting, it didn't necessarily look its best. Now I have a variety of brands of those small daylight fluorescent bulbs all over the house, some combined with incandescent. My paintings change color in every room in the house--and look totally different outside. Aaargh!

lanaballot
06-26-2014, 11:17 AM
Thank you, Robert and Blayne!
Robert, you are bringing up some good points there - color of the walls, but unfortunately I cannot do much about that. This will be for the attic space, the only space right now for me to put my easel in. Itís not finished and the ďwallsĒ are just wood. Iíll just have to make the best of it. I looked up Ott lights, it looks like thereís a variety of them, they might do the job, thanks for the recommendation! It's nice to know that they hold up well.
Blayne, thank you for your answer! I might have to try different lights too and see what works better. It does drive me crazy when thereís too much of a color shift in a painting under different conditions, but I guess thereís not that much we can do about that other than trying to make it work in some most common lighting situation. We never know where the painting is going to end up. Thanks!

robertsloan2
06-26-2014, 01:22 PM
Ott lights are comparable to Daylight, definitely. I've heard good things about them, just chose the Daylight brand on account of what was on sale when I bought the lamps.

One thing you could do is tack up white sheets around your painting area to cover the walls. They'll improve the lighting in general and neutralize any reflected color from the warm wood. No great expense and not even much labor but the effect could be important. Cool that your attic space is tall enough to let you make a studio in it!

Blayne, if you're doing a painting to hang in a particular area of the house, it can help to do the painting in that room or under similar lighting. That was one of the things I was trying to get at - to do a painting so it looks its best in the setting you know it'll hang in. The color of the walls and somewhat the furnishings will affect that a lot, as much as the lighting. Sounds like your house has different color rooms.

Though paintings that show up well in indirect sun outdoors will tend to look good most places, I found. My room has so strong a yellowish cast that my iPhone 4 camera turned anyone's skin orange and the walls bright chrome yellow when I snap photos. The one on the Kindle seems to correct for this, to my great relief!

pastel65
06-26-2014, 01:49 PM
Just completed week long workshop with Richard McKinley, which was great and he is wonderful. He told us we should use 5,000 K (Kelvin ? spelling). He said 6000 to 6,500 K is the most like "North Light" but he said it is a "blue light" and he doesn't recommend it.

Pam :wave:

kcwhitney
06-27-2014, 10:20 AM
Does anyone have experience/ comments with the new LED lights?

kylesurges
06-27-2014, 11:30 AM
When shopping for your studio lighting, it's important to observe the CRI on the packaging; it's usually listed on the back along with the light intensity (Lumens) as well as color temperature. Since incandescent/halogen lamps create light from heating a filament it renders all colors in its spectrum equally making it the benchmark, a CRI score of 100 - as good as it gets. Other lamp forms, LED, fluorescent, etc., are compared to an incandescent relative to its color temperature. For example, if a florescent with a color temperature of 5500K scored a CRI of 100, its light would be identical to an incandescent light with the same color temperature of 5500K. Conversely, incandescent lamps are not practical at 5000K; a filament glowing that hot would probably have a short lifespan. The problem with LEDs and fluorescents is they don't always have a perfect CRI. Any LEDs and fluorescents purchased from a hardware store tend to have CRIs about of 80 which I don't recommend using to observe color. You want to find lights that are 90 or better. These are available, but only in photography stores where they specialize in high CRI lighting. Keep in mind they will be more expensive too. Also note some LEDs and fluorescents lights claim to have higher CRI than what they actually do. Only trust reliable manufactures. When looking at incandescent/halogen "Lighting Facts" on the back of the packaging, raring do they list the CRI, but you can assume its 100.

Light quality is much more important than color temperature. Here is something to try yourself. Go to any hardware store, buy one 60 watt incandescent and one CFL 60 watt equivalent with a color temperature between 2700-3000k - you want it to match the incandescent. Take them home and compare how your art looks under each light. You will notice the incandescent will make your colors look cleaner and brighter. This is the difference between 100 CRI and 80 CRI.

Whatever type of light you use whether its warm or cool, make sure the CRI is as close to 100 as possible.

DAK723
06-27-2014, 02:26 PM
I'm sure it is a good idea to find the lighting that you like and works well for you, but I have never used anything but common household incandescent light bulbs. Do I notice a difference when I then see my painting in the daylight the next day? Sometimes I do - but I just don't worry about it. The painting - if it ever actually hangs on the wall - will be seen under both daylight and whatever bulbs are in the house. So there is no "correct" lighting, and I just live with that thought!

Don

Colorix
06-27-2014, 03:45 PM
I use simple halogen lights, precisely because their CRI is 100, or nearly so. 300W gives a light temp that is like warm sunlight.

I tried a LED light for the lamp by the bed, and immediately noticed that everything in the room looked like it had a grey wash over it. Checked the CRI, and it was lousy. Until they improve them, I prefer the heat and accurate colour of halogen.

And don't have too good light on your easel, as the paintings tend to turn out too dark.

kylesurges
06-27-2014, 04:08 PM
I use simple halogen lights, precisely because their CRI is 100, or nearly so. 300W gives a light temp that is like warm sunlight.

I tried a LED light for the lamp by the bed, and immediately noticed that everything in the room looked like it had a grey wash over it. Checked the CRI, and it was lousy. Until they improve them, I prefer the heat and accurate colour of halogen.

And don't have too good light on your easel, as the paintings tend to turn out too dark.

I use halogens too and I believe they are still the best option for lighting art, regardless if they are not "daylight" lamps :clap: .

Be care using too little light on the easel. Light is what allows you to see and judge color relationships accurately. Ever notice how vibrant the color of objects appear in a dimly lit room? Of course not, it takes a decent amount of light to really see colors well.

lanaballot
06-28-2014, 02:12 PM
Thank you everyone for answering! Lots of information here! I did not even know about CRI, now I'll have to pay attention.
Robert, yes I thought about covering the wood with something white, either paper or cloth. It might help. Thank you! The space is tall enough for me to stand in the middle and the easel fits to the side. So itís possible to work once the heat of the day is down :) Better that than nothing.
Pam, thatís what I was thinking too while looking at those ďcoolĒ daylight bulbs in the store, that they might have that blue cast, would not be good, Iíll have to watch for that. Thanks!
Don, Iíd agree if the space Iíll have to use was more traditional - a room with finished walls. Itís not though (unfinished wood), so Iím just trying to work with it and at least set up the lighting the best I can. I agree though, minor shifts in color are not that important for a paintingís overall effect, as long as the composition is strong it will be fine in any lighting.
Charlie and Kyle, thanks for this great info! It seems like halogen might be the winner after all.
Thank you all!

kcwhitney
06-29-2014, 08:05 AM
General questions for halogen users:

What wattage bulb do you use?
What fixture do you use for the Halogen?
Is there a good clamp on sort of lamp?
Do you find the heat as issue?

Colorix
06-29-2014, 11:07 AM
What wattage bulb do you use?

150 and 300 (those that are like rods)

What fixture do you use for the Halogen?

Cheap from the hardware store, as they throw the light in one direction only. One has a telescope pole. I often point that bulb to the ceiling, using it as a huge white reflector, for the ambient light.


Is there a good clamp on sort of lamp?
Where I live there is. I clamp it to a shelf and aim the beam at my easel (150W)

Do you find the heat as issue?
Not where I live, usually it makes the studio (extra bedroom) nice and cosy.
In another climate, it might be a problem. On the rare hot evening when I've needed the light as I've painted I've opened the windows so the heat blows out.

If you use a 300W halogen to heat... I mean light a still life, see to it that it is not too close to any objects that burn easily (about 1 metre or 1 yard is safe). I once had a wax candle in a set up that started to turn soft... had to paint that one quickly.

For that reason, I avoid the 500W bulbs/rods, as they burn out too quickly, and generate a humonguous amount of heat.

lanaballot
06-29-2014, 11:39 AM
I see heat might be a problem for me here in summer, on Long Island, something to take into account. But then again, in summer I should be painting outdoors :) Thanks for the detailed answers!

kylesurges
06-29-2014, 11:41 PM
I see heat might be a problem for me here in summer, on Long Island, something to take into account. But then again, in summer I should be painting outdoors :) Thanks for the detailed answers!

If halogen is route you take, look into halogen PAR flood lamps to light your easel. For less watts and less heat you can have the same amount of light as you would with a standard bulb in a reflector. PARs are designed to focus the amount of light they emit into specific angle or beam. Usually 10, 25, or 50 degrees. These are nice because they put light where you need it and not where you don't. I attached a comparison of a regular bulb in a reflector and a wide flood (50 degrees) PAR.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Jun-2014/1890164-flood_vs_reflector_800.jpg

I typically use 3 Sylvania 60 watt wide flood PARs to light my easel - 2 is usually enough though.

When you do find the lights, position them like the image below. This position of lighting will make sure you won't have any glare or reflection from the light source on your easel.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Jun-2014/1890164-lighting_a_painting_800.jpg

lanaballot
07-03-2014, 02:58 PM
Thank you, Kyle! I really appreciate you taking your time to include the illustrations too! Very helpful information.

kylesurges
07-04-2014, 12:19 AM
Thank you, Kyle! I really appreciate you taking your time to include the illustrations too! Very helpful information.

You are very welcome :thumbsup: