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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a newbie. Exactly what kind of lighting do I need? I've heard people mention yellow lighting as well as red lights.

And, I'm assuming the only time I need to be working in this special lighting is when I'm applying the emulsion, and while it's drying on the screen, is that correct?
 

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You need a yellow bug light. Make sure no sunlight or other light gets in the room. You will need to use this light anytime you have an open container of emulsion, or emulsion drying on a screen, or emulsion on a screen that hasn't been burned with an image yet, or while you're rinsing the screen after it's been burned and while it's drying after the image has been rinsed out.
 

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I have standard floresent lights with yellow covers. Best thing I ever did. Ryonet and performance screen both sell the covers. Not the cheapest things but so much more light than the standard bug lights. I used to have 3 bug light and now only 1 4ft fixture with 2 bulbs.
 

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I use clear UV blocking sleeves. They have them at screenprintingsupplies.com. I think that's where I got them. They have them on amazon too. $25 each I believe, but for $50-$100 getting to set up in regular white light is worth it for me. Haven't had an issue with it yet and I'm using ulano QX-1 which exposes pretty quickly. I do keep my drying screens in a covered rack so I don't know about ling term exposure. However for 20 minutes of coating, its seems to be fine.
 

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We use a standard 2 x 2 flourescent grid light from Lowes, no cover or anything. Never had any issues. Have used Ulano LX660 emulsion for years also... very forgiving with the short time it's open to the overhead light. We do keep our coated screens in an enclosed fan circulated cabinet. The screen comes out of the cabinet onto the jig that positions the positive on the screen. Less than 10 seconds it's laying on the exposure unit. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I've seen "UV free" archival LED (but otherwise full-spectrum) lighting for museums (usually an MR16 type bulb). I didn't dig too deep, but I didn't see many vendors for them.

I also kind of wonder how no-UV affects the look of artwork. It's better not to have it, but if there are any bright colors that might fluoresce, I'd imagine that it would change the look considerably.
 

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It actually isn't necessary to have any special lighting as long as there is no sunlight. In our training classes, we coat screens under normal fluorescent lighting and the emulsion sits out long enough for 15 students to coat screens. These are high mesh screens that we are using for 4-color and simulated process jobs and there is no loss of detail. You would have to leave it out for quite some time before there is any effect. In my personal shop, I switched from yellow lights to standard fluorescent and the only difference is that I can actually see a lot better. If you have a drying cabinet and there is no sunlight filtering in, it is not necessary to have a dedicated "dark room."
 

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It actually isn't necessary to have any special lighting as long as there is no sunlight. In our training classes, we coat screens under normal fluorescent lighting and the emulsion sits out long enough for 15 students to coat screens. These are high mesh screens that we are using for 4-color and simulated process jobs and there is no loss of detail. You would have to leave it out for quite some time before there is any effect. In my personal shop, I switched from yellow lights to standard fluorescent and the only difference is that I can actually see a lot better. If you have a drying cabinet and there is no sunlight filtering in, it is not necessary to have a dedicated "dark room."
I agree, I coat my screens and line up artwork in regular fluorescent light. I do have a drying box that keeps light off them.... so they are only in the light for probably 1 min total.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I seen some guy's screen printing video on youtube and he just uses incandescent lightbulbs without any problems. Although he did advise against the use of florescent lighting because it's in the UV spectrum.

I googled for more information, and found out that is true. Incandescent lightbulbs apparently have very little in the UV spectrum. The same with yellow lights which is why they don't attract bugs. The bugs are attracted to the UV light. LED lights also have very little in the UV spectrum and don't attract bugs. But you would think the LED lights would be brighter then the yellow lights and easier to see what you're doing.

I guess all we need is to get rid of any light in the UV spectrum. Ordinary incandescent bulbs, yellow bug lights, or LED lights can help us do that, as well as covering up the windows.
 

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Has anyone tried using blacklight bulbs for exposing their screens? I understand that they are uv bulbs, just wondering if they would work and cut down on heat from the bulbs? I've learned alot from you guys on this forum and hope to continue to learn.
 

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Has anyone tried using blacklight bulbs for exposing their screens? I understand that they are uv bulbs, just wondering if they would work and cut down on heat from the bulbs? I've learned alot from you guys on this forum and hope to continue to learn.

i used black light (leftover from college days) in the beginning but did not have enough uv to burn screens properly. I switched to a 500w halogen tube..works great! good luck!
 

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Thank you for your response. I've done a little playing around (nothing real serious) with the emulsion process and had limited success using speedball emulsion, and was wondering about blacklights...also from my college days. But since joining this forum I have learned of a lot of things I weren't doing correctly (All my experience was trial and error with homemade equipment and bottom of the barrel materials, along with limited access to whatever information that was available, that I now know probably had a lot to do with my sometimes less than desired results):). But I guess we all have to start somewhere. Thanks again for your kind words and encouragement, and hope we can continue to help each other out in the future.
 

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That is a good point--darkroom is a pretty serious misnomer... At this point I'm of the persuasion that it's much easier to make a drying cabinet and screen boxes for storage that are 'light safe', and it's easier to do pretty much everything in a 'screen room' (I don't call it a darkroom :)) with good light.
 

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Thanks for the info here guys, been looking into buying some soft lighting for my studio.

Going to try using a baby nightlight i have, gives a real soft green glow, but will be enough for my small studio. Uses virtually no electricity too. Will let ya know how it goes.
 
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