Bulb Color

I have florescent lights in the shop. What color bulbs (cool white, warm white, etc.) are best to avoided eye strain?
--
Jim Giblin



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Eye strain is likely more a problem with insufficient light or poor light distrubution rather than light colour.
Look for full spectrum. They are the closest to pure white and are, unfortunately, the most expensive. I've seen them occasionally at the borg. Don't confuse them with Daylight bulbs, which are similar to cool white (but if you live near the tropics, you might prefer daylight bulbs). In the absence of full spectrum, some folks put one cool and one warm white in a two bulb fixture. I've tried cool/daylight in a fixture, but prefer full spectrum.
I've seen full spectrum for T12 (? the common ones) but not for the newer T8. They exist, AIUI, but haven't seen any.
Mike
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Jim Giblin said:

~5000k tri-phosphor T-8 bulbs with electronics ballasts are recommended - by me anyway... ;-)
Electronic ballasts switch at ~20kHz, and get rid of the 60 cycle flicker than many people find annoying with fluorescents.
This particular color temperature resembles natural sunlight and makes colors seem more natural. When doing finishing work, they are helpful in avoiding the surprise colors that show up after finishing a piece under warm white or incandescent bulbs.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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On Fri, 16 Jan 2004 06:40:56 GMT, "Jim Giblin"

Doesn't make much difference, IMHO. Just have plenty of them, don't have them casting your shadow over the bench, and modern ballasts will work better in cold weather.
If accurate colour rendering is an issue, then go straight to incandescents. Cheap portable halogen floods are convenient and good enough for most uses, or you can go for an atrtist's "blue" bulb (which need to be over the bench, as they're tiny in the space of a workshop).
I've worked on framing in a barn under low pressure sodium (the yellow streetlights) before now, which really _is_ annoying
-- Do whales have krillfiles ?
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Andy Dingley wrote...

Matches my experience exactly.

To this, though, I would add "if the piece will be placed or used indoors." Of course, this is the usual case. Bottom line: when accurate color rendering is important, use the same kind of illumination the piece will receive in use. If it's a swing or park bench, finish it outside.
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There is a company named Ott-Lite that makes bulbs and light fixtures that are color correct but on the expensive side. They have 24" and 48" fluorescent replacement tubes, try this link:
http://tinyurl.com/38yvt (direct to bulbs page)
or www.orr-lite.com
The SWMBO has one of their light fixtures over her craft bench (read my old drafting table!) and it is bright and white.
phil www.247PalmBeachRE.com
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Thanks Phil, good reference by $$$$. In a side note, my wife quilts and has what appears to be OTT-LITE TrueColorT.

warm
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Thanks Phil, good reference but $$$$. In a side note, my wife quilts and has what appears to be OTT-LITE TrueColorT.

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