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Proper LED Products for Art Studio Lighting
I am an artist and have been on a long quest for proper lighting for my easel that will not distort colors. I have an east-facing window. I have read through much of your fantastic website, which is well done and very informative. I have a few questions:
Noting that I have an east-facing (not north) light source and think I would like the dimmable NorthLux™ 95 CRI BR30 LED Bulb for Artwork & Studio Edison bulbs would you recommend the 5000k or the 6500K?
Both color temperatures should work well for your needs; however, 6500K is generally a better fit for north-facing windows. As such, you may prefer the 5000K for your east-facing window setup.
Please see below for additional insights from our blog:
What would 800 lumens equate to in incandescent wats? I couldn’t find a scale to show me how lumen output compares to incandescent wats, which is what I am used to when comparing light brightness. If I get two of these which are 800 lumen or 60W halogen will these give me essentially 1600 lumens on my painting surface (depending on the distance of course)?
800 lumens is approximately equal to a 60-watt incandescent bulb. You are exactly right that two bulbs would add up directly to 1600 lumens and provide twice the brightness.
Do keep in mind, though, that incandescent lamps emit a much warmer 2700K color tone, so it can be a bit difficult to compare brightness when discussing daylight-calibrated bulbs. Nonetheless, it is certainly a good ballpark estimate when it comes to relative brightness levels!
There are so many different light sources to consider when creating a painting: reference source (photo, print, iPad, computer, life), natural outside light (weather dependent), studio light (intensity, color, placement including projection on both paintings and palette), photographing final work for publication and giclee printing, and gallery or home viewing of the finished painting. I read on your site that a device’s screen can emit blue light. So, is it probable that this is the first point where color can become distorted?
That is exactly right - most digital displays will be calibrated to D65 (6500K) but of course, depending on the level of sophistication and quality, the calibration may or may not be accurate. Even natural daylight, as you mention, can change depending on the weather and season, so that can be difficult to navigate as well.
That is where high-quality studio lighting comes in and can provide some consistency and accuracy. I have seen some customers even block out their windows and replace them with our lamps because the natural lighting was too inconsistent due to changing weather and time of day. Ironically, the only way to ensure consistent lighting would be to only use a high-quality, full-spectrum artificial light source, day and night.
If an artist is working primarily from an iPad should they choose the 6500K light because it matches the blue light from the iPad or goes with the 5000K because it will color compensate?
Unfortunately, it does not seem that Apple likes to publish technical data about their iPad product and I was unable to confirm if their screens are calibrated to D65 (6500K). That being said, I believe almost all digital displays are calibrated to D65, so there is a strong likelihood that the iPad product line is also D65 calibrated.
If so, the 6500K light source will be a better match to the iPad, since as you mentioned correctly, the 5000K will be a bit "warmer."
(Here is some additional information on D65: https://www.waveformlighting.com/color-matching/what-is-d65-and-what-is-it-used-for)
So many questions, but your team seems to have the technical expertise to answer them and for the various combinations of light. If these bulbs and your recommendations turn out to be the Holy Grail of Art Studio lighting, I would like to share it or see it as a feature article or workshop with my local, national, and international art society membership because many artists seem to struggle with this lighting issue because it is such a science complicated by the ever-changing variety of bulbs and diverse lighting comparison scales. Also, would you have any discounts available for our membership?
We would be honored to have you share your experience working with our products! As a general policy, we do not offer any group or membership discounts, but I would be more than happy to share the opportunity with our team at that time.
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LED strip lightsT8 LED tube lightsArt studio lightingT5 linear fixturesLED shop lightsColor matchingD50 (printing, digitizing)