View Full Version : Nights drawing in, cant see to paint

09-13-2004, 07:46 AM
Hi all,
Now its pretty dark by 7-30pm I find it very difficult to paint in the evenings, which is usually when I have the chance to do it. I find the normal tungston lights are far too yellow and dim to be able to determine the correct colours.

I am sure lots of people have solutions to this, special lights and so on; was wondering what people would recommend, bearing in mind I live in the UK?

09-13-2004, 08:22 AM
I don't know about availabilty, but General Electric is making quit a splash over here about their Reveal and Edison line of bulbs. They are coated with blue so it guves off a very neutral white cast. The difference is amazing.

Trisha H
09-13-2004, 08:34 AM
Hi Nick,
There was a thread in oils a little while ago which you may find useful:

I find the Daystar & Histar tubes as good as daylight with no colour adjustment needed next day.


09-13-2004, 09:15 AM
Thanks for the reponses. I suppose I was looking for a clip-on type light, as I do not have flourecent lights in th room I paint in, and I usually paint from photos, so I just need to see the photo and the painting.
I have just looked up 'Daylight' easel lamps - they look ok. Are people happy with these?

09-13-2004, 11:33 AM
I wonder how a reptile light would work, they are made not only for heat but for natural sunlight. You would have to be pretty careful and maybe make sure you get a low heat bulb but you can put them into a clipon style lampbulb holder too. JUST A WEIRD THOUGHT for some cheaper alternatives. HEE HEE . Also a good suggestion for florescent bulbs, aquarium supplies have light bulbs in natural lighting . I know these are really nice in my 55 gal aquarium and the lighting is beautiful.

Trisha H
09-13-2004, 12:30 PM
Nick, by daylight bulbs, do you mean those blue ones - if so, it's all down to individual taste, etc; but I tried one in a lamp about 12 years ago, and hated it.

You can get desk lamps very cheaply at most home/interior shops. I do know that the lighting available in pet stores is full spectrum to simulate daylight. If there is a suitable fitting, or you can get a small tube of that type that fits in a lamp, it will give you good light to work with.


09-13-2004, 01:57 PM
I have this and love it


Heres the link where I got mine...

09-14-2004, 06:06 AM
Thats the sort of thing I need Angie - I am off to the artshop lunchtime, to look for something llike this. Thanks.

09-14-2004, 07:54 AM
Let us know if you found what you are looking for Nick :)

09-14-2004, 08:49 AM
No, just got back with a 'daylight' bulb - I was too short of time to go into it.


I might get one of these though ( I hope that link works). I couldnt get any retarder for acrylics either - they had everything else!


09-14-2004, 11:52 AM
I recently bought two Phillips bright white fluorescent cool arctic white bulbs; I'm putting in all those descriptors, because I can't remember the exact name of the bulb. Don't know what sizes they come in, because I bought a 48" one. I love this light--my corner-of-the-kitchen studio is just like outdoors. Phillps also recently brought out a tungsten (I guess) bulb--screw in to a regular socket. I bought two of those to photograph my paintings. They work pretty well.

I tried the reveal lights and didn't like them. Just coating the bulbs with blue didn't work that well for me. I have a circular fluorescent light on an adjustible arm (about 4 feet long if it were stretched out) Got it a Office Depot. It has cool light that lets me mix and match colors of beads, etc. That might work for you as you just plug it in and clamp it on something.

Hope you find the perfect light!


09-14-2004, 01:46 PM
Nick, by daylight bulbs, do you mean those blue ones - if so, it's all down to individual taste, etc; but I tried one in a lamp about 12 years ago, and hated it.
Ditto, far too blue to my eyes. Plus they run hot, scortched light fixtures are a constant worry.

Nick, what you need to look for if you can is a high CRI - Colour Rendering Index. A number in the 90s is what you want to aim for.

With incandescent light your eyes can compensate for the low CRI to some extent (as one can tell from comparing what you see to photographs taken under the same lighting!) but you need to have it at a good bright level, a naked 100W bulb would be the minimum I would suggest. In a bedsit years ago I used a 200W bulb since the room was large. I currently use a mixture of a 100W incandescent room light with an 11W fluorescent task light; this gives a decent mixture of light but it's still not ideal.

Since you live in the UK the best full-spectrum lighting you can get is Actulite (http://www.actulite.com) lamps, these have both a good light fidelity and a polarising filter which replicates indirect light from the sky. Woking under them takes some getting used to but what you can see compared to tungsten lighting is beyond comparison.


09-14-2004, 04:36 PM
This is starting to look like a really useful thread! I like to paint in the evenings and sometimes at night, too, and it's really getting impossible now that the days have gotten shorter. Today it was raining, and it was too dark even in the middle of the day... I think I really should invest in something like Angie's lamp - it looks really great. But thank you all for all this information! :)

09-14-2004, 06:00 PM
Leena, here is a link for the replacement bulbs, as you can see they are fairly expensive but I have had my easel lite since Christmas and i use the light even when I paint in the daylight and have not had to replace it yet.

09-15-2004, 11:37 AM
The Actulites look a good product - they are a little expensive, have to save my pennies if I want one of those :)

Trisha H
09-16-2004, 02:22 PM
Einion, Actulite looks interesting - hadn't seen them before, thanks.
I use a 2x4ft tube fitting with a diffuser, and put Daystar or Histar tubes in it. (www.sadbox.co.uk). They're very resonably priced too.
These are full spectrum daylight, and the CRI is something like 95.
Perhaps next time I renew them, I'll take a closer look at the Actulite.


09-20-2004, 11:15 AM
A little OT wrt/art, but the Reveal lights are great for interior bathrooms. I replaced the standard incandescents with them a couple of years ago and would never go back.


p.s. And maybe I'm just lucky, but not a single bulb has burned out so far. :p