Safelight bulbs??

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Geoffrey S. Mendelson, May 4, 2009.

  1. I have a Kodak safe light that looks like a metal cone. One end screws into
    a lamp socket, the other holds a round filter. It's probably from the 1960's
    or older, but it's the only thing I could get here in any color except red.

    I bought out the last of the locally availaible little red things that
    use nightlight bulbs and a bunch of the bulbs, so I am covered for red,
    but I wanted an orange (Wratten OC) filter as I can see much better by

    The problem I have, is that here in Israel, we have been ahead of
    everyone else in energy saving, CFL bulbs have been sold here, and used
    by me, since 1997. That's good, but it has caused the demand and
    therefore the supply of low wattage incadescent bulbs to dry up.

    I found a few Chinese made 7-10 watt bulbs, but they only last a few
    hours. I found a 15 watt bulb sold for refrigerators, but it has a
    different base and I am trying to adapt it, but may not be able to get
    those bulbs much longer and they are very expensive being made to
    operate at 0F and below.

    The smallest incadescent bulbs that are still common here are 40 watt

    What is everyone else doing for safelights?

    Thanks in advance,

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, May 4, 2009
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  2. Here in Poland 15W bulbs are quite common and could be bought in almost
    any shop (supermarkets etc.), but it is also possible to get 5
    and 7 watt ones. The prices are like 0.5 euros for the 15W ones and
    approximately 2 euros for smaller ones (they aren't so popular). Some
    of the popular makers is Tungsram (owned by GE) and PIL1 (polish).
    Maciej Zielenkieiwcz, May 4, 2009
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  3. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Yuki Guest

    I had solved the problem building a safeligt using a dozen of hi bright red
    leds, some resistors and an old phone charger.

    Being almost monochromatic, the illumination is much brighter that anything I
    had used before while testing safe for VC paper.

    The LEDs we're purchased in a small shop and I don't know manufacturer or model
    but is easy to source from major distributors components with known
    Yuki, May 4, 2009
  4. Thanks, I tried the supermarkets with no luck. I asked on a local group and
    got some leads on real lighting stores, so I'll try them.

    Although we have not gone as far as to ban incadescent bulbs, the market
    seems to have spoken.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, May 4, 2009
  5. I use 7 1/2 watt 120 volt incandescent lamp bulbs. Whereas most incandescent
    lamps are designed to last about 750 hours, these little ones are designed
    to last 1250 hours. I do not know if I have ever had one burn out. Now if
    you run them at 220 volts, their lifetime would be very short.

    My safelights came with 15 watt bulbs, and they did not seem to fog paper,
    but since the lights are slightly less than the 4 feet distance from my
    working surfaces, I thought it would be better to use smaller lamps in them.

    Incandescent lamps run much longer as their input voltage is reduced. You
    might consider putting a suitable resistor in series with the bulb to dim
    the bulb slightly and increase its lifetime. The trick is to compute the
    proper resistance. If you measure the resistance of the bulb with an
    ohmmeter, it will be very low, so you will get too low a value to put in
    series. It is better to calculate it. If it is a 22 watt bulb at 220 volts,
    the bulb draws 1/10 amp, so it is 2200 ohm with a hot filament. So you might
    try a 110 to 220 ohm resistor to lower the voltage. You might wish to use a
    5 watt resistor.
    Jean-David Beyer, May 4, 2009
  6. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Peter Guest

    I think the OP needs to consider what is available locally. Those
    sound good, but I am not sure what is available in Israel. If the
    enclosure will withstand a higher wattage bulb, it is also possible to
    reduce the illumination by simply moving the safelight farther away,
    shining the light on a dark wall or covering part of the filter with
    black paper. Having tried any of these suggestions it is still
    necessary to test the result.
    Peter, May 4, 2009
  7. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Ian Harding Guest

    I use 3W CFL lamps in my beehive safelights. They are supposed to
    produce equivalent light output to 15W incandescents. They certainly
    seem to produce about the same amount of illumination in my darkroom,
    and no fogging problems when used for similar periods of time.

    Ian Harding, May 4, 2009
  8. If that 40 watt bulb can indeed fit in your safelight, what about hooking it
    up to a variable resistor? A specific one commonly available (I trust even
    in Israel) is the room dimmer. Get an electric/junction box which allows
    two switches/receptacles, one two prong receptacle, and one room dimmer.
    Mount the dimmer and the receptable in the box suitably wired. If desired,
    add a cover plate. If desired, add rubber feet/felt pads to the bottom of
    the box. Plug your safe light wire into the receptacle and turn on/off the
    safelight using the room dimmer. You may want to mark the cover plate
    suitably to indicate illumination levels. And connect the box to any wall
    receptacle using a length of suitable wire ending in a male plug - I suggest
    cannibalizing an plain old extension cord - cut off the female end and wire
    it into the box.
    Lawrence Akutagawa, May 4, 2009
  9. Thanks, and to everyone who suggested something. I went to another lighting
    store today and found a bunch of GE 15 watt bulbs (made in Hungary).I bought
    six, so I am set for a long time.

    I'm still thinking about the other possibilites as I need more safelights,
    and I doubt that there more Beehive lamps around (here).

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, May 6, 2009
  10. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Murray Guest

    A 1 amp diode in series with the bulb will reduce the wattage
    (but not by half). Try a 1N4004. 400V @ 1amp. About 10c or less.
    Murray, May 9, 2009
  11. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    K W Hart Guest

    Will the series diode work with a compact fluorescent lamp? I think either
    the clipped sine wave or the decereased voltage might not let the bulb work
    Although the clipped sine wave might not be a problem..
    K W Hart, May 9, 2009
  12. *Please* don't top post.

    Won't work (well) with most CFLs. Should work OK with dimmable CFLs.

    By the way, it isn't a clipped sine wave; it's a half-wave rectified
    sine wave.
    David Nebenzahl, May 10, 2009
  13. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Bob AZ Guest

    The smallest incadescent bulbs that are still common here are 40 watt
    Geoff is your best friend for bulbs. Failing that send me
    some .jpgs of what you have and I am sure I have what you need.

    Bob AZ USA
    Bob AZ, May 20, 2009
  14. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    K W Hart Guest

    Shouldn't that be
    K W Hart, May 21, 2009
  15. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Murray Guest

    Sorry, been away -late answer. The quick answer is 'NO'.
    Fluoros work to a completely different system.
    That's why the usual dimmers warn against using them to
    control fluoros. Incandescent only. Get a fluoro specific
    A diode actually extends the lifetime of a normal bulb.
    Murray, May 23, 2009
  16. Actually, you got it a little backwards. No such thing as a
    "fluorescent-specific" dimmer. What you *can* get are dimmable
    fluorescents, that work with any dimmer.

    Please don't top-post.
    David Nebenzahl, May 23, 2009
  17. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Murray Guest

    I see your request not to top post - unfortunately my
    program displays from the top, down, and I don't have to
    scroll all the way thru countless repetitions of
    previous postings to get to the actual new message.

    BTW - never seen dimmable fluoros here (Australia)
    only dimmers labeled as suitable for fluorescent lamps,
    But since I don't look all that often you are doubtless
    Murray, May 29, 2009
  18. I am sorry things work out that way for you. There are two problems, and
    only one of them is yours.

    1.) When responding, the responder should delete all unnecessary material
    from the post to which he is responding. Usually, retaining only the context
    needed to make the response understandable is enough.

    2.) When responding, either respond at the bottom or, when appropriate,
    immediately after the part to which you are currently responding (when you
    are responding to several parts of the original message).
    Jean-David Beyer, May 29, 2009
  19. "Jean-David Beyer" wrote
    If only they would.... Unfortunately, so many people will not snip the
    countless lines of old material, making top posting almost necessary. Those
    who vehemently condemn top-posting, claiming it's "against the rules," and
    citing "netiquette" and all that, should instead go after the many posters
    who leave 600 lines of old, already outdated and now irrelevant material
    from several different previous postings... and then respond with a
    two-liner. That's even worse. Having to scroll, scroll, scroll just to get
    to the next response is a real nuisance, thanks to those bottom posters who
    do it badly.

    Regardless of all that... ;-) I remember starting out printing b&w a
    million years ago at age 12 with the aid of a Kodak safelight that probably
    used 4w nightlight bulbs. The kit came with three large translucent domes of
    red, green, and orange. Printing my own stuff was fun.
    Howard Lester, May 29, 2009
  20. That's still not any justification for top-posting.

    When I advise to bottom post, that *implicitly* includes trimming the
    text before posting. You'd thing that would go without saying, but as
    you say, too many idjits just blindly quote the entire damn previous
    message, sometimes adding only a line or two at the bottom.

    Like they say, it ain't rocket science ...
    David Nebenzahl, May 30, 2009
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