Colored safelight *bulbs* still available?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Stephan Goldstein, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. When I was in high school (1970s) I had a 15W red-colored bulb
    that fit a standard US light socket that I used as a safelight. It was
    a "Mazda"-type bulb, i.e. unfrosted with visible filament and red-
    colored glass. During my life's travels that bulb has disappeared,
    but now I find myself in need of it or something like it. I looked
    on the B&H site but saw nothing like this. Does anyone still
    sell these? Yes, I know other solutions are possible, but this
    would be by far the least expensive way to shed a little safe light
    in a dark corner of my B&W darkroom.



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    Stephan Goldstein, Dec 1, 2004
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  2. Stephan Goldstein

    Louie Powell Guest

    (Stephan Goldstein) wrote in
    Steve - it is still possible to get those small (15 w) red bulbs that
    have a standard Mazda base and that are slightly smaller than a golf
    ball. I would look at Home Despot or Lowes. I used one of those when I
    first set up a darkroom, and I still get it out if I need an additional
    safelight in a dark corner of my darkroom.

    Louie Powell, Dec 1, 2004
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  3. Thanks! I've got a HD on my way to work (more or less) and a Lowes
    close by the office.
    Stephan Goldstein, Dec 1, 2004
  4. Thanks! I've got an HD on the way to work (more or less) and a Lowes
    not far from the office. I'll check them today.
    Stephan Goldstein, Dec 1, 2004
  5. Stephan Goldstein

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Sure. Any place claiming to have a darkroom section will stock them. But
    they're only cheaper if you never need to replace them. You can get a brand
    new 5x7 light for not much more.

    If you just get a red bulb from a non-darkroom source make sure you test
    it well. OTOH test any safe light well.

    Nick Zentena, Dec 1, 2004
  6. Stephan Goldstein

    Mike King Guest

    Well...if you must, try this link in Freestyle sales:

    The last time I saw the CLEAR red or amber glass safelite bulbs, made with
    ruby or amber colored glass, they were not cheap (like $10-20), the painted
    ones are cheap but how safe they really are is anyone's guess. I guess when
    I can buy a 10x12 Kodak Utility Safelite (model D?) for ten bucks with
    filter at a swap meet I'm not very interested in the alternatives. (Even
    better, I bought a Thomas with filters and bulb for $45.00--use that
    safelight and you just don't have any dark corners!) I worked in a place
    that sold the cheap painted ones and used them in their darkroom and recall
    many quality moments spent patching the coatings on those bulbs with heat
    resistant black paint to blot out all the dang-blasted white pinholes. BTW,
    the ones made with colored glass were really intended for graphic arts
    applications and may transmit too much of the wrong color light to be really
    safe around VC papers.

    But if $10 is really too much? Make your own housing and beg a couple
    sheets of RubyLith form a graphics arts guy, since they are all going
    digital they will probably give it to you for free. The RubyLith is tacky
    enough to stick to a piece of glass.

    BTW I also had the good fortune to pick up a couple rolls of 3M
    lithographers tape, it's like clear cellophane tape but dark red in color,
    great for patching pinholes in safelights and a couple layers over the lens
    of a small AA flashlight make a great safe flashlight for checking lens
    aperture settings, looking around in those dark corners or under the edges
    of counters for the dodging tool someone just dropped (it's never happened
    to me of course). Great for sky parties, too, if you're an astronomer,
    makes it easier to find the Thermos with the hot chocolate.
    Mike King, Dec 1, 2004
  7. They are(were) still on the shelf at the local photostore.

    B&H has the style that is dipped in paint. The 25W 'Jumbos' work well.

    Really nice safelights often go for a song on ebay.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Dec 1, 2004
  8. Thanks everybody for the info. Home Depot had the 25W version red glass
    (not painted) ones for at a measly $2.49. I can't believe how bright it is,
    I'll definitely run a test soon. These are made by Philips.

    I appreciate the convenience of a full-up real safelight and have two 5x7 units
    hanging over my processing area. My darkroom is a bit, um, peculiar, as it
    needs to fit into an existing bathroom. The enlarger is on a purpose-built
    table above the toilet (no longer accessible unless you're under 3 years old).
    I'm not allowed to make holes, and there's no power other than a wall light
    that accepts a standard bulb. Hence my requirement, now seemingly met.

    BTW, I also found the 15W version online at Porter's, $7 or so for a pack of
    two. But the minimum shipping was $8 :(

    Stephan Goldstein, Dec 2, 2004
  9. My experience is that these red-colored light bulbs aren't safe. An amber
    one may actually be safer than a red one, because red glass or paint usually
    transmits quite a bit of blue.
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 2, 2004
  10. Stephan Goldstein

    Warren Weber Guest

    This article got me to think if red LED's would work. I use white LED's to
    replace those plug in night lights. They are usally good for about 100,000
    hours. Warren
    Warren Weber, Dec 2, 2004
  11. They do. I use two sets of 12 LEDs (4500mcd type) in my darkroom (which doesn't
    deserve this term when lit with the LED - no problems reading the fine print
    on the instruction sheets) without problems (I'm using Foma Varian III paper).

    Christian Kolinski, Dec 2, 2004
  12. Red LEDs make excellent safelights, completely free of out-of-band (blue)
    emissions. You can get big automotive tail lights that are made of red LEDs
    and run off 12 volts DC.
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 2, 2004
  13. Stephan Goldstein

    Dan Quinn Guest

    RE: (Stephan Goldstein) wrote
    My bathroom darkroom got a lot bigger when I switched to
    one tray processing. Some who use one tray processing save
    the chemistry to cups, beakers, or the like. I meter
    chemistry then use it one-shot. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Dec 3, 2004
  14. Interesting thought, but I'm not really limited in tray space. It's more
    in the area I have to stick the enlarger. It's a complicated space overall,
    the print washer sits on a metal rack in the shower! Fortunately I've
    got more than one bathroom so one can be sacrificed for essentially
    permanent darkroom use.

    So when you use print developer one-shot, how much liquid do you
    use for an 8x10, assuming an 8x10 tray as well? And how much fixer?
    Stephan Goldstein, Dec 3, 2004
  15. Stephan Goldstein

    Dan Quinn Guest

    RE: (Stephan Goldstein) wrote
    You'll find eight ounces of solution plenty. Four will do
    but pre-wetting will leave the paper flat when the developer is
    poured in. Same for fixer.
    I compound all my own chemistry. Homebrew or not it is
    necessary to determine the quantity of chemistry needed for the
    results expected. For example one quarter ounce of ammonium
    thiosulfate concentrate will fix one eight by ten.
    After all nobody wishes to throw good chemistry down the
    drain. It does take some testing. BIG plus; always
    fresh chemistry. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Dec 4, 2004
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