How Safe Is Your Safelight?


Placement Of Safelight Lamps

In black-and-white printing rooms and other areas where general safelighting is acceptable, position ceiling safelights so that the illumination is evenly distributed over the entire area. You can then place individual lamps where you need them most--at the processing sink, for instance. Do not place direct illumination closer than 4 feet (1.2 metres) from the work surfaces. Also avoid situations where pools of relatively bright light appear against a dark, unilluminated background. These conditions are difficult to work in and can be fatiguing to workers' eyes.

Consider safelight illumination before you paint a darkroom. Paint ceilings flat white for use with indirect safelights. The walls should be a light color--preferably a color similar to that transmitted by the safelight filters. A neutral color, such as light tan or buff, is suitable in most cases. Paint the wall area immediately behind each enlarger a flat black to avoid reflection of white light from the enlarger onto the paper. Flat black paint is also recommended around light locks to prevent unwanted light from entering darkrooms. An all-black darkroom is best for preventing fog or superadditive exposure in some applications, such as copying and duplicating.

KODAK Utility Safelight Lamps provide good indirect illumination when they are hung with the filter side facing the ceiling. In large rooms with white ceilings, place no more than one lamp for every 64 square feet (6 square meters) of ceiling area. For the work areas where you need more concentrated light, hang KODAK Darkroom Lamps from the ceiling, or use KODAK Adjustable Safelight Lamps with ceiling, wall, or shelf mountings. You can use a number of these lamps (with the correct filter and bulb) if they are at the proper distance from the photographic material and are spaced at least 8 feet (2.5 metres) apart.

Don't put a direct safelight where it will shine on an enlarging easel and make dodging and cropping difficult. Improperly placed safelights can also interfere with exposure calculators, and will decrease the safe time during which you can safely handle the paper in this location.

If your operation is large and you have a number of darkrooms for the same application, be sure that the safelight illumination is uniform from room to room. Similar wall paint and spacing of the safelights will provide uniformity. Operators can then work in any of the rooms under the same lighting conditions, and their judgement of quality under similar safelight conditions should remain consistent.

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