I recently bought a desktop Ott-Lite for proofing prints, and have really enjoyed it. Since then, I’ve been getting more an more annoyed with the color of light coming out of my normal lighting in the office, which was coming from a GE Reveal incandescent bulb. The Reveal lights are supposed to be a much cooler color than normal incandescent bulbs. Meh.
I’ve also been wanting to join the green craze and get some CFL (Compact Florescent) bulbs. Turns out you can obtain these guys in a daylight color that is much closer to 5500K
So I went shopping. Apparently it is now impossible to find floor lamps that don’t use 3-way bulbs. I bought one claiming it used standard bulbs (the only one in target) and once put together, low and behold, it’s a 3-way. Sigh. Finding “daylight” 3-way CFLs is surprisingly hard to do, and they are expensive. I was able to find some 5100K 3-way bulbs on the intertubes, and I popped them into my lamps. If someone can find a cheaper source for 3-way full spectrum (5100-6500K) CFLs I’d love to know about it.
To measure the light temperature coming off, I decided to take some pictures with my Whibal reference to get an idea of what I’m getting. This is probably not the most accurate way to do this, but it will probably get us close. Here were the measurements.
Ott-lite: 5000K rated at 5500-5900K 3-way CFLs: 4500K rated at 5100K GE Reveal: 2600K couldn’t find a rating on this one but the color is fugly.
From other places I’ve read on the net, the Ott-lite and CFL measurements are probably about 300K too low. The measurement on the Reveal seems pretty close however. I might have been glaring the Whibal when taking the test shots, so I may try again later.
Update: I did a sanity check and did a reference shot of skylight coming in through the window. 5500K dead on. So this should be a good test. I also re-shot each of the lights and got the same results. Just for giggles, I shot the 200 watt halogen in the living room which gave me 2800K. It’s really sad that the GE reveal bulbs are so warm.
Either way, I’m really happy with the light coming out of the florescents even if they aren’t meeting up to the 5100k promised. Incandescent bulbs suck.
I’m interested in getting some 6500K CFLs just to test if they end up closer to 5900K
Here’s a reference on light temperature for those who what to know what the hell I’m talking about. Link