SoLux: Premier Light Source for Photography

SoLux: The best light for checking color from a digital output (Graphics or Photographic)

 
Set up your own color proofing lighting system.
Click on photos to order.

[New!]Nikon School of Photography now recommends SoLux to its students for image capture and evaluation.

Tailored Lighting has been a Epson Print Academy co-sponsor from 2007-2009

American Photo, Images Of the Year Competition 2007 featured SoLux Lighting to display all photographs.

The verdict is in and the independent experts agree, SoLux is the light that best simulates the D50 standard.  The reason is the spectrum from the SoLux models D50 more accurately than any fluorescent daylight tube. 

John Paul Caponigro (http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com) Read SoLux Review

"The highest quality artificial light source currently available"

Brad Carlile (http://www.bradcarlile.com/)

"To provide the best illumination currently available to view your fine art we recommend using SoLux lamps."

Katrin Eismann: http://www.photoshopdiva.com    http://katrineismann.com
Author:"Photoshop Restoration & Retouching" http://www.digitalretouch.org
"Photoshop Masking & Compositing" http://www.photoshopmasking.com/
Co-author: "Real World Digital Photography" 1st & 2nd editions http://www.digitalphotobook.net

"I recommend Solux quite often and just think you have a great product that meets the needs of critical artists and photographers."

Rob Galbraith's seminars on digital photography recommends using SoLux lights for color management. www.robgalbraith.com 

Steven Johnson a well known photographer writes...(www.sjphoto.com  April 2002). 

"Finding an artificial light source near daylight has traditionally been no small task. The SoLux bulbs rise to the occasion. These bulbs are particularly useful with pigment prints that overreact to changes in lighting color temperature."

Steven Katzman writes in(After Capture Magazine  April 2002). 

"Regardless of lamp choice, SoLux is clean and brilliant."

Mr. Norman Koren uses SoLux... He is a well known Boulder Colorado based photographer.
http://www.imatest.com/docs/lens_testing.html#photo
http://www.imatest.com/docs/sfr_instructions.html#lighting

"I've added a recommendation for SoLux task lamps to my instructions on testing cameras and lenses with Imatest."

Chris Murphy from Color Remedies (www.colorremedies.com), well known color expert for the graphics market, and co-author of Real World Color Management, recommends SoLux. At the following website you will find Chris writing about SoLux...

There is only one bulb that I have come across so far that is the closest to simulating the D50 spectral power distribution (a fancy way of looking at ALL of the grades in all subjects for a light source). SoLux 4700K lamp. Don't be thrown by the 4700K rating. The important thing is the spectral power distribution, even if that sounds like geek speak.  It's a standard size MR-16 halogen bulb with a special filament and reflector. Naturally they've got patents on this thing. The price is right too. (I don't get free product, discount product or kick backs from this company; I just like the product and so far I haven't found a better product.) So with this bulb you could turn an entire room or workstation area into a proofing booth, err proofing ROOM. Far better than fluorescent."

Andrew Rodney (www.digitaldog.net) is another well known color expert who frequently mentions SoLux in his presentations.

Daniel Saccardo, Master Printmaker and Digital Imaging Specialist (SuperiorGiclee, Fine Art Reproductions / Digital Printmaking  www.superiorgiclee.com)

In 2006 SuperiorGiclee doubled the space of our print studio and installed an array of 24 SoLux 3500k bulbs (6 color proofing kits) to evenly light a 11 foot wide by 9 foot tall color correction wall. We use this area to compare the color and density of original art and photography to our fine art reproduction prints. The precision of your lighting has contributed to the faithful and consistent reproduction prints for which SuperiorGiclee is so well known. When our clients compliment us and ask us about our lighting, we are pleased to recommend SoLux and refer them to your website. Keep up the great work!

Michael Stewart http://www.stewartimage.com/

"SoLux low voltage bulbs are excellent for proofing and displaying photography. They have an very good Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 98 or 99."

Les Walking recommends SoLux in his Color Management Lectures. In a recent (June 2003) email from Les he wrote:

"Your SoLux lamps have made a significant difference for many people working in the area of critical colour management, especially in relation to metamerism with pigment printer inksets. We use a GretagMacbeth Spectroscan with Profile maker 4.1.1 software and include a custom SoLux lamp viewing light source spectrum in our profile calculations. This produces greater accuracy than with any other continuous spectrum viewing light source I have tested. For example our average LabD50 Delta E profile accuracy is typically better than 0.50, which is quite amazing. Thanks."

Frans Waterlander Digital Darkroom Lighting - Critical Element of Color Management states:

"Color match between monitor and printed output: Excellent; a near-perfect match with SoLux 4700K...These bulbs have been specifically designed for critical viewing applications. They have the best match to the D50 color spectrum" Read Report

Ben Willmore Digital Mastery -  willmore@digitalmastery.com 

"Feel free to link to my site and mention that I use SoLux (although I now live in a bus and don't have a SoLux lamp setup anymore...)"

The Pakon F-235 Digital Film Scanner exclusively uses a SoLux 4700K lamp.

SoLux has been chosen for taking photographs of the oldest copy of the new testament dating back to 165 AD.

As written in INKJETART.COM 

ARE YOUR PRINTS BEING SEEN IN THE BEST LIGHT?

Good light allows your prints appear as beautiful as they can be. If your prints are viewed under improper light, all your efforts to make great prints may have just been sabotaged!

Attendees to the Epson Print Academy learned about a revolutionary light source. According to Kevin McGuire, the inventor, no other light source in the world matches daylight more closely than SoLux.

SoLux is a patented new light bulb that simulates daylight far better than any other light bulb on the market. It is a high performance halogen type bulb (rated to last 4000 hours) that currently comes in the low voltage (12 volt) MR-16 format (2 pin socket) and line voltage (120 volt) PAR bulb (screw-in socket). SoLux uses a multilayer thin film coating on the reflector to reflect the desired daylight spectrum forward and pass unwanted light out the back yielding the closest match to daylight.

Many galleries and museums use SoLux to insure that patrons are able to make accurate judgments on color and have a more colorful viewing experience. The Van Gogh Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, and the Pete Turner Exhibit at the George Eastman House are just of few of the notable places that have turned to SoLux lights.

In addition to accurate color rendition, SoLux has been engineered to have very low heat (IR) output and ultra-low UV output. This means that with SoLux, you will have the brilliance of daylight without the negatives aspects of UV and IR. The result is a superior presentation that won't cook or bleach the subject being illuminated.


Color Rendering Index (CRI) is one indicator of the ability to simulate daylight, and a CRI of 100 is considered perfect. SoLux bulbs have virtually perfect CRIs of over 98 and 99. This makes SoLux the best light available for seeing true colors.

Some light manufacturers market their bulbs as "full-spectrum" light sources. Full-spectrum can be a misleading term. Technically, a candle can be considered full-spectrum. What is implied is that the light provides ideal light for rendering colors. This can only really be determined by looking at the spectral power distribution graphs for a given light source. SoLux is the only daylight simulation product that emits a full and even spectral power distribution equivalent to daylight.

SoLux lights are also being used for reading, studying and to help suffers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The FDA issued a "Health Fraud Notice", stating claims for a full-spectrum lamp were a "gross deception of the consumer". Full-spectrum light sources often are no more than glorified incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs.

SoLux MR-16 bulbs come in four different color temperature (3500K, 4100K, 4700K, & 5000K). SoLux Par bulbs come in 3500K, 50 watts, 75 watts, and 90 watts. Independent experts agree, the SoLux 4700K is the light that best simulates the D50 standard. The reason is the spectrum from the SoLux models D50 more accurately than any fluorescent "daylight" tube.

Photographers and other artists can set up their own color proofing lighting system for under $200. Most 4-color printing and proofing houses, as well as some photographers, choose the SoLux 4700K (D50) light for critical color proofing.

A REVIEW: Your editor strongly recommends reading this review by John Paul Caponigro to help you decide which lighting to use for proofing and displaying your prints:
http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/lib/downloads/reviews/SoLux.pdf

John says he uses the 3500K bulbs for my studio and gallery. He evaluates and displays prints under the same light. He also uses four SoLux Gooseneck fixtures for portable light sources: two with 3500K bulbs to evaluate display conditions and two with 5000K bulbs to evaluate color management issues, monitor calibration and soft proofing. (We'd suggest the use of the SoLux 4700K bulbs, which are the D50 standard used in the calibration and proofing industry, rather than the 5000K -- which is used more for reading lights and SAD therapy. However, after talking to other SoLux experts, you may even want to simplify your life and try using 3500K for everything, even monitor calibration - unless you also use your monitor for color balancing your images for 4-color offset printing and publishing.)

3500K IS THE NEW FINE ART LIGHTING STANDARD. An independent paper by Weintraub, Gordon, Scuello, and Abramov confirms that 3600K (which virtually matches the SoLux 3500K) as the preferred lighting condition to illuminate art work (although some black and white photographers claim that the SoLux 4100K bulbs give them the purest whites).

SOLUX 3500K MAKES ART ROCK. Originally, the only SoLux bulb available was the 4700K. However, later experiments like the one above showed that 3500K makes art rock! An experiment (to illuminate Vermeer paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington) was set up so the proper amount of foot candles illuminated each painting. Seven curators from the Van Gogh Museum were allowed to adjust the lighting to the most preferred color temperature using SoLux at 4700K while maintaining a stable foot candle level. The color temperature that was most frequently chosen was 3500K! Most thought the lighting was such an improvement that it appeared as if the paintings had been recently cleaned. Under the SoLux full spectrum light source, the paintings appeared significantly brighter, clearer, and more saturated; and the 3500K color temperature was most pleasing to the eye.

[New!]The Department of Homeland Security has specified SoLux as a preferred light source for image capture and image evaluation . In its Public Safety of Requirements for Communications (PS SoR) and Interoperability Document PRODUCT OPTIONS: SoLux bulbs are the heart of their lighting system, and many artist will use low-voltage track lighting systems. But there are many other fixture options and accessories besides track lighting.
https://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore/trackfittings.html

SoLux Art Light:
https://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore/artlight.html

SoLux Gooseneck and Telescoping Clamp-On Fixtures:
https://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore/clampon.html


QUESTIONS: If you have questions about SoLux, talk to Philip Bradfield the Vice President of Tailored Lighting, Inc. (the manufacturer of SoLux): 1-800-254-4487 or Email: phil@solux.net. Phil told your editor that most artists should choose 3500K (unless you plan to do serious color proofing for 4-color offset printing). While many photographers have been brought up thinking that 5000K to 5500K simulates daylight - this is the color of daylight at high Noon on a clear day. Photographers should remember that there are different "shades" of daylight, and that the SoLux 3500K simulates that "sweet" period of daylight that many photographers prefer to do their shooting. Even at 3500K, SoLux bulbs simulate the Spectral Power Distribution Curves of that shade of real daylight.

PURCHASING SoLux bulbs, fixtures and accessories: InkjetART does not sell SoLux, but you can buy them direct from their online store at prices that are comparable to other MR-16 halogen bulbs. SoLux also carries the "Black Back" bulb with no light escaping out the back. Bulbs are available in 4 beam spreads (10, 17, 24 and 36 degrees).
https://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore

 

SoLux Applications

SoLux is used in numerous applications all over the world. Here are just a few:

What our customers are saying...

"I recently converted all of my track lights from 'generic' halogen MR16's to SoLux 3500K bulbs, and my prints have never looked more alive. It is embarrassing that I have put this off for so long.
I plan on recommending to all of my print buyers that they purchase at least one SoLux bulb to see the difference for themselves. It's pretty cool to be this excited about a light bulb. "

Mark Graf
grafphoto.com