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Koo Schadler 10-01-10 08:29 PM

Studio Lighting

I'm writing an article on studio lighting. I've asked various artists how they illuminate their studios, and the three most common scenarios I hear about are:

- Natural north light
- Full spectrum electric lights (either incandescent or compact fluorescents)
- Traditional (warm) incandescent lights (these artists feel that since artwork, once purchased, is rarely viewed under full spectrum it should not be painted under full spectrum).

I will need to be fairly specific in the article, i.e. recommend fixtures, wattage, etc. If any of you have experience on this subject, have had good luck with your studio’s lighting, etc, I would love to hear it.



jpohl 02-02-10 03:07 PM

I'm using solux bulbs which I love. We only get four hours of sunlight this far north mid winter, and it really is the closest to the natural spectrum I've come across. They are recommended for light therapy for seasonal disorder, and I find myself turning the light over my easel on to help wake up. It's easy on my eyes, and every detail shows up... all the problems I've had with glare in the past are much less of an issue.

Last year a study showed that fluorescents may not be energy efficient in colder climates/winter because of heat loss. There is a bit of heat from the soluxs to help warm the air, but doesn't reach the work enough to hurt/bake it. The solux bulb may work out to be more energy efficient in colder areas, and there are not the worries about mercury found in florescent (especially with children around).

I won't embarrass myself with some of the experiments with lighting I've had over the years...or perhaps I will. :smile: Some were more successful than others. I've painted by candlelight (more suited to a quick painting than painstaking egg tempera) and a little like painting colourblind until the sun came up. (Perhaps more suited to tonal work, and the palette has to be well laid out in advance.)

Years ago, I've tried putting foil on worklights to block glare (highly dangerous and could easily cause a fire.) Then there was my great reveal bulb experiment when they first came on the market. It did reduce glare and made it much easier on my eyes for long hours of painting. This worked very well till I took my painting outdoors for the daylight test and discovered what I though was crimson was closer to a fuchsia.

Koo Schadler 25-02-10 01:13 AM

Hello Jennifer. I hadn't heard of Solux bulbs before. From what I can find on the web they are in the halogen family, yes? I've heard from several artists who love halogen light for art making. Do they get very hot (as halogens are reputed to do)? Its been illuminating (couldn't resist the pun) reading up on lights - thanks for your input. And hope you are finding time to paint. Koo

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