Lighting Photographs

NYSteveAugust 2, 2011

Hi,

I probably should have posted here sooner...

Here's where we are:

I have an approx 14x20 living room (open at one end under a drop header into a family room, in case that matters).

The 20' wall will be a photo gallery - an evenly spaced row of identically framed photographs at a consistent height (2' off the ceiling). We consulted with many lighting "experts" and "designers," experimenting with various bulb patterns, discounting tracks because we just don't like them, we determined that the best thing for those photos would be a row of 7 PAR20 (AllPro /HALO) cans evenly spaced along that wall, about 16'" off the wall (to the center of the can). We originally wanted gimbaled trims, but ended up deciding on small eyeballs. We will angle these towards the wall to get the coverage that we want.

50W Flood 25 Halogens were originally recommended, largely for color temperature and light dispersion. We have since been steered towards LEDs to save power and heat. I have had a hard time locating LED PAR20s with more than 300 lumens, > 4000K color temperature. I do not think that dimmable is a requirement for this, but that would be a nice bonus.

Any thoughts on bulb (or trim) selection for the photos? While I'm curious about other ideas for how we *could * have designed these lights, that's of secondary interest since the cans are up and the sheetrock is installed. (I said I probably should have come here sooner).

(Almost forgot: We have 6 6" recessed cans installed for "general lighting" in the LR as well. I know some will not like this, but we're not huge lamp fans and a fixture didn't seem right for the room. With the sheetrock up and the cans all in, I don't feel that this creates a "swiss cheese" look.)

Thanks for any suggestions!

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David

led waves apparently has par 20 led bulbs that output 500lumens, 4000K

Alternatively the LE6 could be considered

Here is a link that might be useful: ledwaves

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:59AM
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NYSteve

Thanks -- the ledwaves link is interesting. If they didn't have a huge restock fee, I'd have jumped on it. I really want to get my hands on a bulb so I can see the beam dispersion pattern and color rendering when lighting those photographs.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:22PM
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David

How about trying a Feit PAR20

http://www.attictrunk.com/jdrtypape3me.html

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:30PM
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NYSteve

The Feit bulb looks interesting, but attictrunk's return policy is worse than ledwaves (as in no returns at all).

I'm wondering: what's the best color temperature for lighting photos? I would have thought something cooler than 2700K-3000K, no?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 3:58PM
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brickeyee

"I'm wondering: what's the best color temperature for lighting photos?"

B&W or color?

Any worries about fading?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 7:45PM
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NYSteve

Color photos... I probably should be worried about fading but I printed them using Canon ChromaLife100 inks on Canon Fine Art papers and will keep them behind glass (if I can avoid too much glare). If they fade before my eyesight does, I'll reprint.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:38PM
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David

The Feit bulb could be available from Amazon and Lowes.

3000 - 3500K would probably suffice. The main factor you should be concerned with is the Color Rendition Index.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:10PM
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NYSteve

I was doing research in to CRI and from what I saw it is not viewed as a good measure of accurate color rendering because it *averages* the results across the spectrum. Spiky sources (like LEDs) can end up with a higher score than something with a smoother response, even though perceptually, the smoother response would seem more "natural."

I think the best thing I can do is try some bulbs. I stopped by my local lighting shop who said that as soon as they got some PAR20 LED retrofits back in stock, they'd let me borrow some (along with a CFL) to see which I liked better. They gave me great prices on a bunch of light fixtures lately so I'm happy to give them the bulb business as well .. I didn't think they had PAR20 replacements at all, but I was wrong!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:16AM
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brickeyee

"I was doing research in to CRI and from what I saw it is not viewed as a good measure of accurate color rendering because it *averages* the results across the spectrum. Spiky sources (like LEDs) can end up with a higher score than something with a smoother response, even though perceptually, the smoother response would seem more "natural." "

Stop noticing how the manufacturers 'game' the standards.
Black body radiation (like an incandescent bulb) has a much more uniform spectrum.

LEDs and discharge lighting have narrow spectral line with nothing between them.

While our eyes average pretty well from the spectral lines, they still distort color perception.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 10:53AM
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