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Gallery lighting for black and white prints

  
 
chas
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


Question:
I am planning to install overhead LED track lighting to display black and white prints. With all of the colors of LED lights, any advice on what temperature lighting to use would be appreciated.

Regards,
Chas



Nov 23, 2022 at 09:52 PM
Lightsearcher
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


Everything depends on the kind of lighting you have in the area you are planning to install it, at work we installed LED lights tracks and we noticed the temperature of the main lights in the room were so warm compared to the LED that usually are very cold creating a weird effect on the pictures.

Some LED track lights gives you the option to tune the temperature.






Nov 24, 2022 at 08:09 AM
photonoclast
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


A couple random thoughts, perhaps they will be helpful:
First, I would say matching the color temperature of the other lights in the room would be important. If you do that, you eyes naturally adjust to neutral. If they don't match, your perception will be of the color mismatch & not know what neutral is.
Second, I would say try to take an 8x10 to a lighting store demo room and see what it looks like.
Third, do you print on papers that use brighteners? They may respond quiet a bit to the presence of blue, and many LED lights do *not* actually have a smooth "blackbody" spectrum; they may have an apparent color temperature, but they have a blue "spike" near the end of your eye's spectral response, and this might affect how you perceive whites on papers with brighteners.



Nov 25, 2022 at 09:16 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


5500 K.. No question.


Nov 26, 2022 at 02:40 PM
mmm55
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


Not all 5500K LEDs (or any temperature for that matter) are created equal. Look for one with a CRI of 95+.

By the way, if the CRI isn't advertised, then there's a pretty good chance it's either unknown or low, neither of which is good news.



Nov 27, 2022 at 12:18 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


Hard to go wrong with the recommendation for 5500K for most folks.

Personally, I like 6500K as the most neutral possible temperature. Particularly if it is truly going to be used on monochrome, which has no inherent color, but will reflect the illumination color.

The CRI (Color Rendering Index) is with regard to rendering color. Kind of a moot point wrt to mono only. But, as noted, the higher CRI, the better ... BUT, there's a caveat to that. Since the CRI is based against a given color temperature, the farther from that temp you move, the more the CRI will change.

The INDEX is a composite of different colors, to assess how well the lighting handles a variety of colors using the standard colors in the index.

This is DIFFERENT from the color temperature of the light. 6500K is WHITE light. 5500K is an approximation to DAYLIGHT, which is not quite a true white.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_rendering_index

If you go with 5500K ... it's getting in the neighborhood of 6500K better than a 5000K, so for horseshoes and hand grenades, you're getting closer to white. For most folks, the eye / brain accommodation will make up the difference.

That said ... if I had a 6500K with a CRI of 85, and a 5500K of 95, I'd go with the 6500K for mono. It just means that the 6500K temp doesn't bring out some of the colors that a 5500K can because the 5500K temp is shifted in a direction toward certain colors, contained in the swatches of the CRI test.

And if you aren't trying to impose a color temp (warmer than white), or trying to bring out the colors of the object being illuminated, then the CRI is moot. Also, depending on the print (pigment vs. dye), the ability for surface structure to reflect the colored (5500K or lower) light is increased. Whereas 6500K is neutral, and results in less bronzing potentially. Might be academic in nature, but the point is that for monochrome ... CRI isn't (imo) nearly as important as it might be for color (bearing in mind that is the colors of the test swatches). And, if we are talking about different gamuts of color, the neutrality of 6500K may be advantageous, again (vs. the CRI).

Personally, I know people that do NOT LIKE 6500K lighting. They find it "off" to what they're used to ... so, it then becomes a bit subjective, but 6500K is the most neutral temp possible, even if it doesn't match up with the CRI test better than 5500K. Yet, it has less color cast than 5500K.

Most folks ... 5500K and as high a CRI as you can find. Done.
Which, btw, is much easier to source than 6500K.


NOTE:

If you notice at the bottom of the Wiki page, there is a list of different CRI's for different lighting types. Note that the incandescent at the bottom has a CRI of 100, and that it is paired with halogen. Also note that it has a VERY WARM (3200K) color temp. Then notice that the ultra high LED is listed with a color range upwards of 5000K and achieves a 99 CRI. So, it begs the question of how can a VERY WARM and a NEARLY WHITE light BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY achieve a perfect / near perfect CRI.

It is because there are TWO STANDARDS for CRI. One is for incandescent temp lighting, the other is for daylight temp lighting (iirc). So, yes, a 5500K will be very close to the daylight temp rendering, and the 3200K will be very close to the incandescent temp standard. Yup, two standards (not mentioned in the Wiki article).

Yeah, so not all CRI's are equal either.

First return from Google search for 6500K light bulbs:

https://store.waveformlighting.com/products/ultra-high-95-cri-e26-a19-led-bulb-for-jewelry-display?variant=8190564532326&gclid=Cj0KCQiAsoycBhC6ARIsAPPbeLvGUrAqidl-663NHcBv-4SUIhCM0s4gyGGzDOtDBsHwgQXpJjnUcBYaAoZiEALw_wcB


https://store.waveformlighting.com/collections/br30-bulbs/products/northlux-95-cri-br30-led-bulb-for-artwork-painting?variant=30472620441702

Available in different color variants 5000K, 6500K (etc.)






Edited on Nov 27, 2022 at 04:15 PM · View previous versions



Nov 27, 2022 at 03:11 PM
 


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bnfotografie
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


Now I have a headache. 🤕


Nov 27, 2022 at 04:14 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


bnfotografie wrote:
Now I have a headache. 🤕


You think we're picky about lighting ... you should try setting up lighting for a perfectionistic quilter.



Nov 27, 2022 at 04:18 PM
bnfotografie
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints




RustyBug wrote:
You think we're picky about lighting ... you should try setting up lighting for a perfectionistic quilter.


😁😁




Nov 28, 2022 at 07:02 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


Your eyes will adjust. The key would be keep all the lights on the art work consistent. I think I once read that many galleries tend to go with a warmer light for paintings maybe for archival reason? 2700-3000K?

Wanted to add I view and judge my prints in daylight (5500K) so if I am using that to make decisions on my final work that is certainly the way I would want it to be seriously viewed.



Nov 28, 2022 at 07:27 AM
chas
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Gallery lighting for black and white prints


Wow!!! I love asking questions on this board!! I always wind up learning that whatever subject I ask about, it is always WAY more complicated than I thought. I never even heard of CRI until I submitted this post!

So here are some more details. All of the images will be black and white printed on archival paper by WHCC. They will all be located in a 30 foot long hallway with 9' ceilings and no other source of light. Both ceilings and walls are white, so it is a totally monochrome environment with no influence from other lighting sources. I will have about 14 pieces hung in this space, each a minimum of 16"x 20". Based upon most input from all of you experts, and the really detailed response with product research from RustyBug, do believe a 5500K product is the way to go.

I will be looking for ceiling hung track lights using 5500K LED spotlights with the highest possible CRI. (btw Rusty, I was in St. Louis two weeks ago and had I posted then, I would have bought you a meal in Soulard for the information in that post!! Next time!!) Again thank you to all, and if anyone has any additional thoughts, I welcome an and all advice.

Warm regards,
Chas



Nov 28, 2022 at 02:27 PM







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