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Lighting for finishing

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 560 days ago 770 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2824 posts in 844 days


560 days ago

I get dragged to craft stores a lot with my wife and always notice an abundance of “quilters lights”. They supposedly mimic natural daylight as closely as possible (5500-5900K) Has anyone ever used something like this over a finishing table? I always have to bring my work out into sunlight to really catch any swirl marks or spots I didn’t get. My shop is all fluorescent now

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts


19 replies so far

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b2rtch

4286 posts in 1644 days


#1 posted 560 days ago

Joe, is it a fluorescent ligth?
My wife has a ‘natural spectrum” ligth to read (supposed to reproduce natural sun ligth),
I really dislike it.
IMO It is no more than an expensive fluorescent ligth.
The one you are talking about might be different.

-- Bert

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NiteWalker

2698 posts in 1172 days


#2 posted 560 days ago

I use a 2 daylight (5500k) cfl’s for my finishing area. Look for “full spectrum” in the description. Works great.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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lumberjoe

2824 posts in 844 days


#3 posted 560 days ago

They are fluorescent Bert. I’ve never seen full spectrum CFL’s. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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HorizontalMike

6914 posts in 1509 days


#4 posted 560 days ago

I have six double 8ft fluorescent fixtures, but also have three 300w Halogens that help with more natural color. But then again, what is “natural” color?

I grew up in a house that only had incandescent lighting, you know with the yellow glow and all. NOW, today with these CF bulbs I STILL buy the yellowed/incandescent version for all of my lamps. That is what I find to be “natural.” Yes, the kitchen and the shop have the fluorescent lighting, but that is it. What can say is that the all-fluorescent lighting brings out many more flaws in my stain/finish than the house lighting.

Great question Joe. I just am not sure there really is an answer to it, though.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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NiteWalker

2698 posts in 1172 days


#5 posted 560 days ago

Mike, “natural” generally refers to sunlight. That’s why you see a lot of the best pics taken outdoors. Sunlight is about 5000-6000K.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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lumberjoe

2824 posts in 844 days


#6 posted 560 days ago

Mike I agree. Indoors, I always get the “warm” toned CFL’s that mimic incandescent’s. I’d LOVE to have 6 double 8 footers! I have 4 which provides just enough light. To me light is like clamps – there is never enough. I notice the fluorescent’s tend to cast weird shadows though and I have a really tough time seeing imperfections in finish unless I constantly flip it around. If I lower the chains a bit on the light over the bench, I can see the reflection of the two bulbs in the finish instead of just light. As soon as I go out in the sunlight the flaws are instantly apparent. I’m not sure if it has to do with intensity, coverage, or tone/spectrum though.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1754 days


#7 posted 560 days ago

Hey, Joe. Yes, but keep in mind that many of today’s interiors are cooler fluorescents in the 7500k range or more…they can be more blue in color. “Full spectrum” just mimics the color (spectra) of our sun more closely, around 5500k.

I mention this because finishers in a business can run into problems when choosing finishes to look good in their 5500k lights (or sunlight) when their clients will see the project in their home’s much cooler lights. I don’t run a business, but if I had a picky client when it comes to a project color, I would try to gain as much knowledge as I could regarding their own lighting at home.

I would setup overall shop lights with a mixture of spectra. I would also designate task lighting (especially raking lights when sanding) as needed, though spectral choice is less important there.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1754 days


#8 posted 560 days ago

Reading your last post, Joe, the shadows just come from not having your lighting multi-directional (many lights around the area are better than a single, bright directional light). When sanding, a raking light setup across the surface will show the marks better – it’s the reason why lunar craters aren’t visible during a full moon phase. You need that angular light to create the shadow depth.

BTW, it’s this reason why I do not necessary agree that the best pictures are taken outside. Those are just brighter and more aesthetic because of the shadows. I think more information (better pictures) are taken in the same type of setting as a portrait studio, where lighting is multi-directional, or at least tightly controlled to render the shadows you want.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1565 days


#9 posted 560 days ago

Warm white is 2700k – standard incandescent bulbs, most CFL’s

Cool white (office type fluorescent) 4100k

Daylight 6500k

I think rather than looking at colour temperature, you should look at how you can make your lighting directional when finishing. I have overhead fluorescent lighting but use a halogen worklight at the side when spraying. It does a great job of showing how well you’ve overlapped passes.

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CessnaPilotBarry

877 posts in 706 days


#10 posted 560 days ago

I use raking light to look for defects. This is light shining across the surface.

This can be work lights mounted tummy-high on a post, or on the wall. A cheap clamp lamp can also work, and you can walk around and inspect with it. In my experience, the color or temperature of the light is less important than the angle. Body shops have 4 tube florescent fixtures mounted on the walls.

The temperature of the quilter’s lamp probably has more to do with color choice than seeing defects.

I always decide on the actual color I’m going to use in, or as close to the actual installation area, as possible.

Then I match my sample to my work in whatever light I’m working in. The lighting will have the same affect on the sample as it does my work, so when I move to another location, they should still match.

Go to a home center, grab a paint chip strip, and go to the lighting aisle. Look at it under the various lit fixtures, then back in the light at the chip display.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

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lumberjoe

2824 posts in 844 days


#11 posted 560 days ago

Thanks for the tips. I never thought of directional lighting. I do have a few 500w halogen tripods. Next time I am out finishing I’ll try a halogen at each end of the bench and the fluorescent overhead. I’m less concerned with how the finish will look aesthetically. It is what it is, I’m more concerned with highlighting and correcting the defects that show up the second it comes out of the shop and into the sunlight.

As far as pictures, I agree with Jay. For me the best scenario to take pictures is a slightly overcast day, or if you have some nice muted multidimensional bulbs like they do in portrait studios

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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CessnaPilotBarry

877 posts in 706 days


#12 posted 560 days ago

The tripods are perfect at low angles.

Pro photographers use light tents or diffusers to soften light sources and eliminate shadows, just like an overcast.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1754 days


#13 posted 560 days ago

I agree with Renners. The color temperature is less important than having light surrounding the work space and having enough of that light to see well. I only mentioned color temperature because Joe originally brought it up…but people should understand that our perception of hue is greatly influenced by the type of light we are in. In part, this is a huge reason why the same photograph might look completely different on two different computer monitors. It’s why a ton of money is spent calibrating monitors in the publication and printing industries. It’s also why cameras have “white balance” settings. All of this very important to me when I process astroimages.

I know specifically of people in the wood finishing business who didn’t get their money on a project because they failed to meet a customers expectations with regard to color. It might look right in the shop, but not when the customer gets the piece home. And I like Barry’s point about taking color swatches to different parts of a store.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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pintodeluxe

3260 posts in 1409 days


#14 posted 560 days ago

I take stain samples out in natural light, and in the room where the furniture will live.
As far as sanding and spraying finish, I find a harsh raking light shows any defects well. At that point I don’t care if it looks natural, I just want to identify flaws before it’s too late.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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lumberjoe

2824 posts in 844 days


#15 posted 560 days ago

I understand now. Spectrum of light will reveal color of finish – quantity and angle of light will reveal defects in sanding/finishing. Those halogen tripods are going to come in handy.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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