Studio Tips Part 3 Lighting


Armand Cabrera

For a more in depth discussion of lighting see my previous post here. Lighting has the most impact on how your work is viewed. It is important you paint it in as close to a natural light setting as possible to give it the best chance in all the other places you may show it.  The first thing is to make sure you have enough light,

 I highly recommend spending the money to purchase some daylight fluorescent bulbs for your painting situation. They are efficient with power consumption, don’t output a lot of heat, relatively inexpensive and long lasting, (my bulbs last 30,000 hours).

You want them to give you enough light to cover your easel and palette at the same time. This usually means mounting them in the ceiling or high enough so they are not in your way. I use a four foot long four bulb ceiling fixture with T8 Lumichrome bulbs. Make sure the fixture is the correct size for the bulbs. The sizes are T5, T8, T10,T12 and then the length of the bulb 12, 24, 36, 48 inches or longer.

 If you work digitally proper lighting is still important for other reasons. Don’t depend on your monitor to be your light source. Make sure your desk setup has bright enough lighting to reduce eye fatigue.  Nothing will ruin your eyes faster than sitting in a dark room staring at a brightly lit monitor. Daylight bulbs are a good solution for digital workplaces also in that they help reduce Seasonal Affective Syndrome and improve overall mood, perception and energy levels. A desk lamp with daylight corrected bulbs is a good solution if you don’t have room for more overhead fluorescents.

Next week I will discuss studio ergonomics.

4 thoughts on “Studio Tips Part 3 Lighting

  1. armand, thanks again for posting good credible info on your blog. It is appreciated.

    I buy my fluorescent bulbs at Loews or Home depot. THey have a descent 6500K @ 84CRI (Phillips). I wish they had higher CRI but they dont. Do you think it makes much of a difference that it's not in the 90's…?

  2. Albert,
    It really does, When you look at the color spectrum for the bulbs, a CRI below 90 is really shifted towards a single hue like red yellow or blue. But remember its not just the CRI but also the quality rating (CIE); you want that to be A or B rated. If you worry about the price, just buy one and see if you can tell the difference in the fixture with the others. Check and see if Lowes or Home Depot can order a Higher CRI, CIE bulb for you.

  3. Armand, thanks for the notes in your response. I was about to ask you where do I find the CIE.. letter thingy? and then I found it, a big E…lol So I will be looking into the blue spectrum instead as they seem to cater to what we need and the price isn't to bad. I dont feel Home Depot will be much of help. They can barely hand the paint aisle..:)

  4. Albert,

    Check out the Phillips TL950 bulbs which have a higher CRL rating than the Lumichrome, not sure of their CIE although remember its not just one or the other rating but a combination.

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