"daylight bulbs" (CFLs?)

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by claire_grandpuits, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I am looking for CFLs as close as possible to daylight. From what I've read, the 2 parameters to consider, and on which to base decisions, are color temperature and color rendering intex - CT and CRI - and the daylight ones, to the best of my knowledge, are 6000K and 100.
    So far the closest CFL I've found to daylight is a 26W, CRI 94, 5900K floodlight, of the Bluemax brand at FullSpectrumSolutions. They also have bulbs at CRI 96 but they aren't CFLs that can be used in screw-in fixtures.
    Has someone found CFLs - or even lights with other technologies - closer to daylight than this floodlight?
    Thanks very much !!!
  2. I think this is what you're looking for? http://www.maxlite.com/PDFs/FocusSheets/PARs&Rs.pdf. It's the SKR423FLDL R40 FloodMax Daylight. 23W, 5000K floodlight. They also have a lot of other bulbs though I'm not sure if it's what your lookling for.
  3. Hi Claire,
    I've done some similar research as yours. I don't recall the exact brand and supplier with which I went, but I have the feeling that you *might* be slightly disappointed - at first. "Daylight" - color & intensity - changes so much during the day, is one issue. Another is simply having enough power in your new CFLs to overcome the existing light that you might have in your studio. But, I think that I went with something like a 5600K CFL, 96 CRI, that also was around 23 watts.
    That being said, I bought ten of the same model and used seven to create my own small (2'x2') light bank and I'm pleased with how it came out. The whole project cost me about $100, mostly for the bulbs, and maybe four hours of time, mostly to wire it all together. In the right situations, I get some really nice results that don't require any more effort to correct (as RAW files) than any other photograph. What inspired me to build this little light was the cost of a similar setup that I could be buy commercially (starting at like $300), and seeing an example of someone building essentially a whole wall of lights (7'x10'!) like this to create a very nice, directional & diffused uniform light for a dark studio - like having your own large, north-facing window any time you wanted!
    I apologize if I haven't been the help that you've wanted, but I hope that I've been encouraging!
  4. Claire,
    As I was doing my taxes this morning, I came across the digital receipt for the bulbs I ordered. Here's a link:
    Good luck,
  5. I've done some studies on four full spectrum light sources two of which are CFL's. One is the HD Ottlite and the other is BlueMax Daylight A Series CFL.
    Below you'll see exactly how these lights look and how the number rating paired with there color casts for both CRI and Kelvin for both bulbs aren't in agreement which proves the rating system for measuring light source's color reproduction characteristics isn't an industry standard. The BlueMax is rated at 5900K which looks a warmish yellow with a bit of green compared to the Ottlite's bluer and more neutral appearance at its 5500K rating.
    The BlueMax looks more like 5000K than 5900K with a more pronounced green spike over the OttLite's.
  6. Something else you should know about CFL's I discovered in my research, the farther away from the light your subject is when shot under these lights the more there will be a pronounced color cast, so you'll need to get quite a few of these bulbs to produce plenty of light.
    The shot above was taken about a foot away from the actual bulb which combined with using the camera's Auto WB gives a more neutral appearance. When I moved the subject farther away and thusly had to increase exposure within the camera, the resulting Raw shot in ACR produced more color errors requiring selective color editing especially gray's, pastels and beiges and skintones which would get too red in addition to the overall slightly greenish cast throughout.
    I didn't have to do too much in ACR with the shots above except for small tweaks in HSL and color temp to get them to look exactly as I saw it and as seen here.
  7. Thanks very much for your answers!
    Tim Lookinbill: can you give me the link for these Bluemax 5900K 95 CRI 85W CFLs you tested? I haven't even found CFLs with that high a wattage on their website. The floodlights I mentioned are here:
    and the CFLs I'm using at the moment are these:
    I also want to place my bulbs every few feet to create diffuse lighting.
    Could you also give me the link to the Ottlite bulbs that you found better? And what are the 2 other full-spectrum light sources that you tested?
    Tim Mulholland: the link that you gave doesn't point to the bulbs with high CRI and CT you mentioned, but if you find the right link I'd appreciate having it.
    Indeed I like to have the impression of many north-facing windows. Lack of proper lighting causes more problems than people think.

    Thanks again!
  8. Claire,
    Here's the link for the BlueMax pictured above:
    From this list:
    I think you might have misunderstood the wattage rating I indicated on the BlueMax I posted. Its OUTPUT is 85 watt, much less than the one's you already have. You really need to look at the lumens rating which can be compared to a regular GE soft white to help determine just how much light these bulbs put out. BTW, do your BlueMax bulbs render colors the same as pictured in the image above with regards to neutrality and skintone?
    I got the Ottlite at my local Lowe's Home Improvement store. But the closest I could find of this model on their website is this one:
    Note: The model number to the one I have is #25ED12R. I entered this number on their website and google and got nothing. I paid $8 for it at Lowe's.
    The two other lights I've tested are the fluorescent GE Sunshine 18" T8's rated at 620 lumens, 5000K CRI 90 which I use to view prints and the MR16 halogen Solux clip-on task lamp rated at 50 watts, 4700K CRI 98-the best at color reproduction because it's spectrally flat meaning it renders most colors evenly with regards to hue/saturation as seen mostly on prints. Still it's not a perfect bulb either because I've come across colors lit by this bulb that don't render the same as if viewed in direct daylight but then not many daylight balanced lighting do anyway.

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