View Full Version : Artificial Studio Lighting

10-06-2004, 07:18 PM
I'm setting up to start painting in my basement. Most likely I'll be painting a lot at night.

What's the best way to light my painting area? I don't need to light any "subject", as I'm painting abstractly. I just want to light the painting surface and my palette.

I have some paired "cool white" and "warm white" flourescent fixtures that my wife used to start tomatoes back before we were parents. These produce a nice white light, but it's not very bright, and it may be hard to get enough light around the work area.

Anyone had any luck with "balanced" bulbs in clamp fixtures?

Any other ideas?


10-06-2004, 10:00 PM
First, you need coffee, than music.

I think that there is a few important details, like if you work on small or large project.
I work at night also.I like it a lot. I use a pivoting work lamp(springs and whatever) with a 60w bulb in it. And for the colours and mixing table ,that`s what I use also.
I would not use a fluorescent light, I find them too...too...

Hope your gona like working at night.

10-06-2004, 11:04 PM
You may want to check out some of the threads in the Studio Tips forum about lighting. There's lots of information there.


10-07-2004, 12:52 AM
I use a Philips fluorescent cool white arctic daylight, and it is truly just like daylight.

10-07-2004, 01:00 AM
Thanks Joa. I'll try those bulb. Sounds like a good way to cover a lot of area with several clap-lights.

Duo: I'm painting no bigger than 2'x3'. Mostly around 16x20". It's been a long time since I painted -- it was my undergraduate major -- nearly 20 years; but I'm still dragging around some of the 5-6' paintings I made back then. The aren't good enough to hang, but they're too important to cut up and throw out. The ego of a 20 year old artist is really something. I was just sure those paintings were going to be worth thousands.

10-07-2004, 01:05 AM

How do I search for a thread within a specific forum?

10-07-2004, 07:14 AM

How do I search for a thread within a specific forum?

Click on the "Search" button above, then "Advanced Search". That will take you to a form that will allow you to search by keyword, forum, etc. Let me know if you need more help. :)


10-07-2004, 08:28 AM
I use GE reveal bulbs, they are supposed to put out daylight but not as expensive or accurate either but I like them just for general lighting purposes. :clap:

10-07-2004, 12:21 PM
BTW, asinning, I first saw the Phillips fluorescents at an office supply and they were pretty expensive. Found them at a home improvement center and they were the same price as reg. fluor. shop lights!

I tried some GE Reveal bulbs, but they didn't really put out white light, and they burned out pretty fast. Phillips now has a coated incandescent bulb (like the Reveal) which I think is a little better than reveal, but I wouldn't use it to paint by.


10-07-2004, 01:19 PM
If you live in the US the best lights to provide good colour are made by OTT. Their website was not very helpful last time I checked but they have the highest CRI (colour-rendering index) of bulbs you'll easily locate.

With a quick search for CRI in Google you should be able to find a table of comparisons between different bulb/tube types if you can't get OTT Lites where you are. You're looking for a number above 90 ideally, 93-96 if you can find it.


10-08-2004, 01:20 PM
In the US, Home Depot has the Philips fluorescent bulbs. Outside the US you should still be able to find them--Philips is everywhere in the world.

The bulbs I use are S40/C50 5000k Full spectrum with 92 CRI. Cost about $7.50 for two 48" bulbs.

They also have regular screw-in bulbs: F40/T12 "Natural Sunshine"--92 CRI
I haven't tried these--didn't see them.

I use two 100w "Natural" (100A/NTL) in relectors for taking pics of my paintings.

These are all from Philips. If you have questions, call 1-800-555-0050--they are very helpful.

10-08-2004, 09:53 PM
Thanks for that Jo, very helpful.


Silent Jaguar
10-09-2004, 02:49 PM
I use an adjustable mid-sized metal task table lamp that uses a normal bulb. The bulb used is full-spectrum GE Reveal bulb, which can be found almost anywhere. The lamp can be found at stores such as Target or Kmart, OfficeMax, Office Depot and Staples. The lamp is not too much more than $20.

I've used many types of lamps and found this type to be better on the eyes and budget. Specialty bulbs and lamps can be better for the eyes, but are obnoxious to find, replace and are expensive, especially if you don't live in a city where replacement bulbs are readily available.

The only problem with GE Reveal bulbs is they do not last as long as I'd like. They are definately not 1000-hour bulbs. But the GE Reveal bulbs are much easier to deal with and less expensive to replace than other specialty bulbs. :cool:

HRH Goldie
10-10-2004, 09:03 PM
I use a daylight bulb and have found that because I have it in a fitting with a clip attached- I just clip it to the easel or even to the canvas if I'm working on one. As I often end up painting through the night (only peace I get sometimes) this seems to give the best solution to seeing 'true' colours.
Fitting only cost 3.00 and is one of the most indespensable things I have.