Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Painting in the Evening - Daylight Bulbs

I like to paint in the daylight, I think it makes it easier for mixing the colours and you can see if the dried paint is the colour you wanted. However you may have your painting time in the evening and painting by artificial light can make the colours look quite different.

I received a gift of a couple of daylight bulbs one birthday many years ago. They look very odd; I did wonder why I got a couple of blue light bulbs! They are unusual looking. But once I tried them I was very happy and found that I enjoyed painting in the evening as I could see the true colours of the paint I was using.

A Bit about Daylight Bulbs

The science part…

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

‘Full-spectrum light is light that covers the electromagnetic spectrum from infrared through near-ultraviolet, or all wavelengths that are useful to plant or animal life; in particular, sunlight is considered full spectrum, even though the solar spectral distribution reaching Earth changes with time of day, latitude, and atmospheric conditions.

"Full-spectrum" is not a technical term when applied to an electrical light bulb but rather a marketing term implying that the product emulates natural light.

Products marketed as "full-spectrum" may produce light throughout the entire spectrum, but actually do not produce an even spectral distribution, and may not even differ substantially from lights not marketed as "full-spectrum”

(They are often said to appears similar to noon daylight)

Use in art and in color matching

Full-spectrum fluorescent lamps are used in the art studio by artists who paint pictures on canvas when they paint at night or inside (ideally, during the day the art studio should have north sunlight, but many artists don't have access to north sunlight so they use full-spectrum lamps instead) in order to make sure that the colors they are using appear in their natural hue as they will appear when the painting is displayed in a home or in an art gallery.

Full-spectrum lamps are also used by color scientists or color matchers in paint stores to match colors at night or inside when they don't have access to north sunlight.’

The daylight bulbs that I have are over 20 years old. They look like a normal light bulb that has been painted blue. They seem to last very well, but maybe I've been lucky!

As I looked online the newer versions appear to be clear. And come in a range of shapes and sizes.

Want to try one?

If you want to try one I would recommend buying a bulb that will fit a lamp that you have already. That way you will just be paying for a daylight bulb and can see if you like them.

If you find that they suit you there are a wide range of lights made especially for painting and crafts, from ones that clip onto your easel to desk and floor lamps.

Not just for painting

If you decide to get a daylight lamp be sure to use it for any other crafts or hobbies you have, they are not just for painting. So that will make it a better investment for you too.