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Author Topic: Has anyone looked into the modern LED video lights as a print evaluation light?  (Read 3500 times)

michael_mutmansky

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Folks,

I know that LED is a bet problematic for print viewing, but as the other technologies become obsolete, LED is taking over the lighting market. I have been looking for a good quality print viewing light but I don't have room for a booth, and I'm not really interested in the SoLux lamps for a few reasons. I have read of people using the Fiilex V70 as a light for this, but it has miserable R9 and R12 values (mid- 70's for both).  However, they also have a V360 model, with is much better in both of these characteristics (R9 - low 90's, R12 - Mid 80's).  It's around $800 though...

https://www.fiilex.com/products/V360.php#Title4

But this got me thinking about other low power LED video light options, and I looked at at the P360 from Fiilex and the newer P360CL, both of which have better values, and are cheaper than the V360.  The P360 is recently discontinued, so it's available on sale as well.

https://www.fiilex.com/products/V360.php#Title4

Also, the Aputure SL Mini 20C is around $280, and it has even better color performance than the Fiilex products:

https://indiecinemaacademy.com/complete-led-color-database-cri-tlci-cqs-tm30-15/#aputure-mini20c

It's actually in the low 90's for R12 and drops to the mid-80's at higher temperatures. Overall, these are good enough to be at least comparable to the high quality fluorescent curves I believe.

I'm thinking that The Aputure SL Mini 20C would make a very good source for a color viewing arrangement.  It could also serve double-duty as a continuous light source for macro work, so this would be an all-around ideal solution for my purposes.

Has anyone tried these for this purpose?  I'm hoping for some feedback, but I think these could be viable instead of the SoLux route, and much better than the Ott Light approach.


---Michael



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dchew

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Have you checked SORAA bulbs? CRI 95, R9 95, Rw100.
https://www.amazon.com/SORAA-Radiant-Dimmable-410-Lumen-Equivalent/dp/B075J2R428

You have to search a bit; they do have different temperatures but not sure if all have those ratings.

Dave
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digitaldog

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The SORAA's I measured, not so great.
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michael_mutmansky

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The Soraa's don't have CCT's that I'd like to use for a print viewing light, so I figured I'd pass on them.

I really don't know whether these video lights would be suitable, but I think they would pass the test for most people, and they are CCT variable, so it would be possible to actually set up a few different conditions with them as well. They also have variable output, so you can tune them down as needed.

I find it an intriguing possibility, which is why I asked.
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dchew

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I have the P360 “classic” heads for product shoots. They are nice lights but have no readout scale to tell you if the temp or power got changed, bumped or tweaked. Might require frequent measurement or some way to ensure the dials don’t get moved. Looks like the V360 has an LED panel to tell you where things are set.

The newer 360 PRO version has readout, and the PRO plus adds hue (magenta/green)

Dave.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 05:30:28 am by dchew »
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Alexey.Danilchenko

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Yuji VTC D50 https://store.yujiintl.com/collections/standard-illuminant have a CRI 98 and are very stable with constant current power supply. I am using their VTC 5600K as well as D50 (need higher level of illumination) and run fairly stressing tests (4-6 hours non stop at max rated current and 100% PWM duty cycle) with periodic measurement of CRI and spectrum - figures were kept very stable at CR 98-99 with almost no fluctuation in colour temperature (within 160K around rated colour temperature - measured by ArgyllPRO ColorMeter app with i1 Pro).
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Czornyj

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Phottix M180 - CRI Ra 98% in whole CCT/brightness range. It recently became my favourite, portable "proofing light" I always put in my pocket ;)

michael_mutmansky

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Marcin,

That looks like a real excellent option... Better than the ones I posted, but I think it won't have nearly as much output.  That won't matter for my needs I don't think.

It runs about $100 in the US, so it is a quite inexpensive option.  Of course, it doesn't have nearly the control of the light of the Aputure LS Mini 20c, but that may not be an issue depending on the how I set up the print viewing area near the monitors.  It does have a CCT display on it, which is nice as well. 


---Michael
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Garnick

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Hello Michael,

From the late 60s working in a custom colour lab in Toronto, until early 2017 when I moved my lab business to my home location, I had been using 5000K fluorescent bulbs for print evaluation and they always suited my needs very well as long as I replaced them on schedule.  When I did make the move in early '17 I decided to look for perhaps a better solution to print viewing illumination.  I did a lot of research, both here on LuLa and otherwise and finally setteld on LED Bars from a supplier in Toronto.  Before I left my previous location I measured the intensity of the lighting I had been using, which was approximately 500 Lux.  Once I had the 4000K bars installed with a dimmer I then set them to 500 Lux at my viewing work table and they have done the job very well since.  You might want to check this approach here - https://lumicrest.com/.  You can also check the the LED Bars I use here - https://lumicrest.com/product-category/led-flexible-strip/undercabinet-modular-lighting/.  Set the proper LUX value for your situation and I believe you will find these lights to be very efficient.

EDIT:  I do have a pic of my setup for these Bars but cannot seem to find it.  If I do I will post it.  However, this is the combination I use -- 2 - 48" bars and 2 - 6" bars, which combined, is a 6" x 48" rectangular setup.  The light is diffused so it covers a good area.
 



       
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 02:31:01 pm by Garnick »
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BlueBomberTurbo

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99 CRI:

https://www.waveformlighting.com/absolute-series


Gotta rig them up yourself, but it's easy (can be chained together).
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MfAlab

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99 CRI:

https://www.waveformlighting.com/absolute-series

Gotta rig them up yourself, but it's easy (can be chained together).

Waveformlighting absolute is a nearly perfect lighting source for prints viewing. I attach some charts below.

The SORAA's I measured, not so great.

SORAA lamp is not for printing judgement. The problem is the SORAA lamp has 2700K CCT. But BabelColor CT&A shows terrible CRI just because the software calculated CRI to a D50 reference illuminant for ISO 3664 standard. It cannot evaluate lighting quality correctly.

SORAA 2700K lamp can provide a good lighting in lower CCT for home or store. At correct calculating method, which reference illuminant is 2635K blackbody, it has good CRI Ra 95, Re 93, Rf 90, Rg 100 and Δu'v' is only 0.002.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 11:04:55 pm by MfAlab »
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Kang-Wei Hsu
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Lessbones

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SORAA did have 5000k and 4000k options before they discontinued them, and they were (are) fabulous.  I've set up an entire viewing wall with both 5000k and 3000k soraa lamps, and they are performing extremely well.  They are track mounted about 15 feet up  to give about an 8 foot sweet spot on the wall, and evenly spaced to provide for maximum uniformity.  The idea is that clients can see the difference the lighting color makes when going from D50 print standard to halogen equivalent-- in chromaluxe dye-sublimation especially things can shift quite dramatically (black and white shows considerable color inconstancy).

I can take some photos of the setup and post some spectral plots if anyone is interested-- this is installed as our main viewing wall at Griffin Editions.

Of course, I'm relying on bulbs which are no longer in production, but I've been able to work some magic with Soraa to hopefully maintain availability of the 5000k engines themselves.

I tested a large number of possible LED types, including the Yuji LED D50 strips and Ketra color tunable bulbs, but nothing could compare to the smoothness of the soraa spectrum, especially with regard to spectral power in the cyan range.  They also have incredibly good R9 values, which can be difficult to attain.  Anyway, proof is in the numbers, so if you guys are interested I'll post some pics.

I'm sure i'm going to have to deal with some color temperature drift, but for now this has been a fantastic asset for our particularly difficult setup (evenly lighting very large prints is HARD).  The downside is now I go to many of the galleries that show work that we produce and there's some insane mixture of halogen and CFLs or what have you--  even in the very high end ones!

My dream is to one day set up a photo show that will cover everything from scan/digital file workflow through to lighting and display, but that day has not yet come...

One last note, in my conversations with GTI about their developing LED technology, the main concern they have is drift.  I think the solution eventually will be to have some type of colorimeter built in which can re-tune the output of the various phosphors and take care of drift over time, but the industry is developing rapidly, and we are going to start seeing real options very soon

EDIT**

Attaching plots of the lighting for 5000K (ish) and 3000K Soraa bulbs--  should be pretty clear which ones are which ;)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 01:57:12 pm by Lessbones »
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Lessbones

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I didn't realize that editing my post wouldn't push it to the top of the stack-- so in case anyone's interested ^^^
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MfAlab

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I didn't realize that editing my post wouldn't push it to the top of the stack-- so in case anyone's interested ^^^

Looking good. Thanks for sharing.

The SORAA's SPD has a unique violet peak around 410 nm (Waveformlighting Absolute too), most brands use blue light base LED.
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Kang-Wei Hsu
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erik.brammer@me.com

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Phottix M180 - CRI Ra 98% in whole CCT/brightness range. It recently became my favourite, portable "proofing light" I always put in my pocket ;)

Hi Marcin,

Looking to get started with controlling my print viewing conditions, this sounds like an excellent low cost entry option. Are you happy with the max color temperature of 5600K?

Thanks,
Erik
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erik.brammer@me.com

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And speaking of small, portable LED lights, how about this one from Aputure:

Aputure AL-MC RGBWW CRI 96+ 100 Lux

This one seems to have 100 Lux in 1m distance, while the Phottix M180 yields 1600 Lux in half a meter distance.

I must admit that I have no idea what brightness level is practical for viewing prints next to the monitor.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 02:45:47 pm by erik.brammer@me.com »
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MichaelKoerner

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Some time ago I used Godox FL-100 (CRI 98) as Print Evaluation light with good results, but found their lack of UV emission problematic, as I could not see the effect of OBAs. Any experiences in this regard with the LED types you guys mentioned?

MfAlab

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Some time ago I used Godox FL-100 (CRI 98) as Print Evaluation light with good results, but found their lack of UV emission problematic, as I could not see the effect of OBAs. Any experiences in this regard with the LED types you guys mentioned?

Almost all LED lights are lack of UV/none UV. It's a problem when comparing images using papers contain OBA under different lights. Another problem is ICC profiles were build under M1 (or older M0) condition with UV. Adding extra UV-LED is an solution, but how to adjust the relative power to visible light is tricky.

A revision ISO 3664 was under developed by ISO Joint TC 42 and TC 130. One major content is low UV LED lights in practical viewing. Don't know the suggestion from ISO yet.
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Kang-Wei Hsu
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erik.brammer@me.com

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I have a small UV torch and some papers with OBAs so I guess I can just play around a bit in an unscientific way.

Other than that, I am still considering those handheld, battery powered LED lights but I am also considering the GrafiLite 2. These are all low cost entry solutions to the subject matter, probably far away from the spectrum coverage and linearity that professional solutions provide.
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MichaelKoerner

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Almost all LED lights are lack of UV/none UV.
Quote
Adding extra UV-LED is an solution, but how to adjust the relative power to visible light is tricky.

I see an LED proofing solution at JUST website. (about EUR 1.600.- inkl. VAT). So I draw the conclusion that there must be any LED vendor/producer JUST uses... Any ideas?

What are your experiences with Yuji/Waveform lighting/Soraa concerning UV ratio?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 09:09:18 am by MichaelKoerner »
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