L.E.D. Safelights .. are they good?

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I have seen advertisments for L.E.D. Safelights. I would like to know if they are actually safe, and if they provide enough light to work. Has anybody tried one of these lights?


-- Ken Heflinger (khefling@ichips.intel.com), June 28, 2000


From what I've heard, they are indeed safe as the light is pretty monochromatic (i.e. contains light in a narrow spectral range only). I haven't got one, so I am not in a position to comment on their use.

-- Thomas Wollstein (thomas_wollstein@web.de), June 29, 2000.

I can testify that the light from LEDs is very nearly monochromatic. Surprisingly, there's very little published information on the subject, but my own tests with a simple spectrometer show only a single narrow band of emmission. Even so, that doesn't guarantee that there's no danger of fogging. If the light is close enough, and the exposure long enough, almost any "safe" light can cause fogging. LED safelights are a good choice, provided they're used sensibly. Like, don't stand them on top of your paper.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), June 29, 2000.

I've used the Jobo Minilux and so my comments are restricted to it. It is safe (but keep in mind the warnings alluded to in the previous posts). It seemed a little dim initially, probably because it emits light in a more narrow spectrum than a traditional safelight but its amazing how quickly the eye adapts. Since you can switch it off easily (it dangles around your neck), you can preserve you dark vision a little better. It is dimmer than my previous safelight (and therefore probably safer). It suits my purposes well since I do not develop prints by inspection but prefer to use a standard time - so the dim light is fine as a quick check before moving the print to the stop. I find it particularly useful for lith printing since the long development times can make most safelights 'unsafe'. SO to answer your two questions, 1/ it is 'safe' 2/ it does seem dimmer but not to the extent that it makes normal darkroom work difficult. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (ndhanu@umich.edu), June 29, 2000.

I use an LED torch safelight. Umm, 'torch' = flashlight in the States. I haven't formally tested it, but haven't noticed any problems.

-- Alan Gibson (Alan@snibgo.com), July 01, 2000.

Both Jobo mini- and maxilux are fine.

-- Boris Krivoruk (boris_krivoruk@ams.com), July 05, 2000.

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